Look, I know it can be hard getting promotion in digital media, and heaven knows how many times that pesky leprechaun keeps getting me to set things on fire, but we must always show restraint and discipline in these matters and not actually set fires or burn things. If only I had been able to give such sage advice to Johnny Mullins, a man who reportedly started a forest fire to get more views on Facebook.
According to Jenkins Police Chief James Stephens, Mullins set a forest fire within the area of the northeast Georgia mountains with the intention of leaking the story to the news on social media. Early in the investigation, a $5,000 reward was offered for information… and then Mullins was arrested in Kentucky.
Posting selfies of himself in the blazing area, Mullins offered what he dubbed a “Weather Outlook.” He was successful in getting views, as a video of him warning the people of Kentucky over the fire got around 2,900 views, but time will tell if it was all worth it as he is now facing one charge of second-degree arson in Letcher County. Now that he’s actually become a trending news story, methinks Mullins at least has the satisfaction of people knowing his name.
Now, hopefully we can all learn from his example and behave ourselves when offered the chance to set a forest alight. First, if you’re going to do something illegal that risks people’s lives, don’t be stupid enough to post selfies on social media that showcases you doing just that. Second, never set forest fires unless you have the supervision of a professional leprechaun who only wants your loved ones to be punished for locking you in the attic all those years. Smokey the Bear is also an acceptable accomplice. And finally, remember, if you need social media views, Google Plus groups are the way to go, and StumbleUpon is your friend.