A Costco store in Southern California came under heat recently after a pastor spotted Bibles labeled as “fiction” in the store. The mistake highlighted not only different views regarding the veracity of the Bible, but also the ability of social media to effect change when users raise awareness about the missteps—mistaken or not—of large corporations.
The Los Angeles Times reported how Caleb Kaltenbach, pastor of Discovery Church southern California, discovered the Bibles labeled “Fiction” while shopping for a gift at a Costco store in Simi Valley. He took a photo and posted it on social media with the comment: “Costco has Bibles for sale under the genre of FICTION Hmmmm...”
The mega store has since issued a formal apology and promisied to correct future labels. They blamed the error on the distributor for mislabeling a small percentage of Bibles before they were sent to the store.
Kaltenbach said he recognized some people might not consider the Bible non-fiction, but told Fox News he thought they could at least label it “religion” or “inspiration.” Others, like author Robert Jeffress, are taking a more aggressive view, saying the error represents a lack of tolerance and urging Christians to, “call out organizations like Costco whose actions undermine Christianity – regardless of whether those actions are accidental or intentional.”
The practice of consumers calling out corporations on Twitter is becoming more and more common.
Also last week, Yahoo reported how Ashton Kutcher used Twitter to condemn Walmart for hosting a food-drive for their employees. “Walmart is your profit margin so important you can't Pay Your Employees enough to be above the poverty line?” he tweeted. Walmart replied in a series of tweets saying they were proud of the store for starting the food drive and defending their wages. “We think you're missing a few things. The majority of our workforce is full-time and makes more than $25,000/year,” they tweeted.
Similarly, last month, Coca Cola Spain (CCSP) came under fire for sponsoring a reality show that angered critics by featuring scandalous content, including nudity. Catholic News Agency reported last month how the religious liberty group, Hazteoir.org, convinced several big corporations to revoke their support for the show.
The disagreement eventually took to the Twittersphere as the Coca Cola CEO, Marcos De Quinto defended his decision and attacked his opponent, tweeting: “May God spare us from groups like ‘The Guardians of the Faith,’ who want to tell us what TV shows to watch, what books and newspapers to read, what party to vote for.” Eventually the disagreement escalated to a twitter boycott and the rise of “#BoikotCocacola.”