Dilbert creator slammed for promoting app in wake of Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting

In the hours after the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting, Dilbert creator Scott Adams tweeted about his free “news gathering tool” app. People were not pleased.

“If you were a witness to the #GilroyGarlicFestivalshooting please sign on to Interface by WhenHub (free app) and you can set your price to take calls,” Adams tweeted. “Use keyword Gilroy.”

“It’s a news gathering tool, like CNN and FOXNEws (among other uses),” he added in a second tweet. “No fake outrage necessary. This is one of its intended purposes.”

The app, which was co-founded by Adams, hosts “experts” in various topics who can set their hourly rate for taking calls. Users can search for a relevant expert, pay them and the app hosts their call. “Call a Video Advisor for advice on any topic” is the app’s tagline.

Understandably, people did not think this app sounded appropriate paired with a tragedy that killed three people, two of them children. Currently, Adams’ promotional tweet has less than 200 retweets but over 1,000 replies.

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“Not many people would see the upside to a mass shooting and the death of a six year old as clearly as you have, much less promote their business to benefit directly from it as you have,” said one user.

“You’re using a tragedy to advertise your product,” replied another. “Your insinuation that the outrage you’re receiving is ‘fake’ is unbelievably arrogant.”

“It’s fake unless you are bitching about CNN interviewing witnesses as we speak,” Adams replied.

Adams either unintentionally or willfully misunderstands how CNN works; media outlets, except in extremely rare cases, do not pay witnesses or sources for interviews.

As of Monday morning, Adams, who lives in Pleasanton, is continuing to double-down on his business venture.

“I wonder if the talk of socialism has ruined an entire generation of people,” he said in a livestream on Periscope.

As Gizmodo notes, only one person has taken Adams up on his WhenHub offer: A user whose topics of expertise are listed as: Gilroy, “Scott Adams being vile,” and “journalism basics.”

Katie Dowd is an SFGATE Senior Digital Editor. Contact: katie.dowd@sfgate.com

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/gilroy-garlic-festival-shooting-scott-adams-tweet-14199548.php.

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