Serial season two: The Internet coming after Best Buy and metaphorically killing it.
If you are not a fan of Serial, this story might go over your head. But if you aren't a fan of Serial but love Internet outrage, stay anyway.
On Thursday, Best Buy tweeted a joke/jab that referenced the murder case that's being investigated on the super successful podcast Serial. TL;DR version: the key witness in the case says he saw the suspect with the body of the 18-year-old girl who was murdered in the parking lot of Best Buy. He also says that the man convicted of the crime called him from a pay phone from Best Buy. But there are no pay phones at that particular Best Buy, and depending on what you believe, there never were.
That's just a small sample of the problems with the investigation, but basically that particular Baltimore Best Buy has been a big part of the Serial narrative. And Best Buy apparently is very excited to be included in a hip thing that all the cool kids are talking about because the posted this on Thursday:
"We have everything you need," the tweet reads. "Unless you need a payphone. #Serial"
Now we're not saying that this isn't a clever tweet. Hell, we're sure a lot of Serial fans laughed at it. But c'mon, Best Buy, it's insensitive to make light of the murder of a 17-year-old girl, even if listeners have been picking the story apart like it's fiction instead of non-fiction. For a corporation, that was a bold (and wrong), move.
Twitter obviously got the outrage ball rolling and it hurtled downhill fast.
Eventually Best Buy deleted the tweet and posted an apology:
We deeply apologize for our earlier tweet about Serial. It lacked good judgment and doesn?t reflect the values of our company. We are sorry.? Best Buy (@BestBuy) December 11, 2014
"We deeply apologize for our earlier tweet about Serial," the company wrote. "It lacked good judgment and doesn't reflect the values of our company. We are sorry."
Yeah, joking about a murder case to promote your corporation is usually not the best strategy. Don't worry, the Internet made sure Best Buy knew that.
And then there are those who are mocking the outrage, because like we said previously, people have been picking apart this tragic story, making jokes and gossiping about it like it was some kind of TV show on their DVRs:
Everyone calling out Best Buy about Serial I'm sure only listens to podcast out of respect for victim. Not morbid curiosity/entertainment? Gregg Jaffe (@bigteethvideo) December 12, 2014
Everyone who got after @BestBuy yesterday for their tweet is the epitome of lame.? HaleyMancini (@HaleyMancini) December 12, 2014
The people mad at the @bestbuy tweet- are they the same ones who spring out of bed Thursdays, excited to hear and discuss their murder show?? Emily V Gordon (@thegynomite) December 11, 2014
At the very least, with just one episode left, this Twitter controversy served as a harsh reminder that the entertainment we are gaining from Serial came out of a truly horrible situation