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Why Food Blogger Daniel Ang is also responsible for the Diner en Blanc incident

I thought I played Devil's Advocate, take a step back and give another perspective on the whole Diner en Blanc social media fiasco.

From a blogging perspective, there are reasons why food blogger, Daniel Ang, should take some responsibility in this issue.

1. Did Daniel create a relationship with PR that deleting a post was perceived as a possibility?

In one of his post defending the PR agency, Daniel wrote "I cleared my content with the PR company (just to be safe) and they also thought the idea was fun and imaginative".

As Daniel highlighted that he "cleared" his article with the PR, wouldn't this mean that if the PR didn't clear his article, besides editing the article, he would also give the PR a choice to delete the article?

If you are a writer or journalist for a traditional mass media outlet, giving the PR company the final say in your article is no different from doing a advertorial. A blogger should also not let the PR company have the final say or editorial control of the final article.

As a blogger, writer or journalist, you write, not to make the PR happy, but to make your readers happy. As Winston Churchill said, "You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life".

If the PR or client is not happy with your article, it is their responsibility to respond accordingly, not ask for a take down.

2. Daniel didn't communicate his "white food" post as a joke clearly

The post that started the uproar about only "white food" allowed at Diner en Blanc was a joke as posted by Daniel. In this initial post, Daniel wrote, "Wanted to bring Snow White Milk Gelato but think it will melt before I reach there. Anyway, I am just kidding about the White Food part. You can any bring coloured-food, just no paper plates and disposables".

The title of the headline? "Dîner en Blanc is Coming to Singapore! What To Expect & What White Food To Bring."

Bold the words "white" or put it in open inverted commas. Put the word "joke" in italics or bold it. Do whatever it takes to ensure that your readers are aware of your "joke".

Even the organisers were so afraid that Daniel was actually encouraging his readers to bring "hawker white food" that they requested a take down.

As Dr Leslie Tay wrote in his blog "However, in his blog post, Daniel had suggested that the food needs to be white! (He had meant it as a joke - he said it at the end of the post) But in haste, the organizers told Daniel to remove the blog post so that it would not send the wrong message to other people coming to the event."

From this incident, it is clear that a post on a blog and the reactions to the post can become a national event. So as Uncle Ben said "With great power comes great responsibilities", bloggers, too, have a responsibility in what they blog about.

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