#NeverSeconds blog sparks online frenzy – local government commits huge social media fail
The Never Seconds blog attracted a huge response, and was used by Martha Payne to raise money for the charity ‘Mary’s Meals’.
Yesterday though, Martha blogged that she had been taken of out class by my head teacher and taken to her office.
I was told that I could not tak any more photos of my school dinners because of a headline in a newspaper today. The decision, which was taken by Argyll and Bute council not the school, has be sparked a huge online backlash.
Celebrity Chef Jame Oliver, who has long highlighted the issue of poor school dinners, weighed in and tweeted his support for Martha:
#neverseconds, Martha Payne, and Argyll and Bute are currently trending online.
It’s been a complete PR disaster by the council who said in a statement:
Argyll and Bute Council wholly refutes the unwarranted attacks on its schools catering service which culminated in national press headlines which have led catering staff to fear for their jobs. The council has directly avoided any criticism of anyone involved in the ‘never seconds’ blog for obvious reasons despite a strongly held view that the information presented in it misrepresented the options and choices available to pupils however this escalation means we had to act to protect staff from the distress and harm it was causing. In particular, the photographic images uploaded appear to only represent a fraction of the choices available to pupils, so a decision has been made by the council to stop photos being taken in the school canteen.
It is an absolutely text book classic case of local government failing to grasp power of social media.
The council now has nearly 3,000 people following them, although the account has been strangely quiet over the last two days…
Traditionally we never would have heard about this story, but social media has allowed poor local decision making to be highlighted, challenged, and perhaps even changed. It is also quite clear that schools and councils are going to have to create guidelines to respond to the rise of social media.
It is believed that Martha’s dad Dave will continue her blog if the council does not overturn its decision.