'Dilbert' comic strip creator Scott Adams is facing criticism after he encouraged witnesses of the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting to sign on to an app he created immediately following the carnage. Adams was accused of shamelessly trying to profit off the tragedy, but he says that isn't the case at all and calls the backlash against him "fake outrage."
What are the details?
Within hours of the deadly attack Sunday — which left four people dead and at least 15 injured — Adams tweeted out an ad and link for a new app he co-founded, saying, "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."
If you were a witness to the #GilroyGarlicFestivalshooting please sign on to Interface by WhenHub (free app) and yo… https://t.co/15mfmE6NVU— Scott Adams (@Scott Adams)1564370509.0
Adams' message was met with outrage from Twitter users who accused him of using a horrific event to line his own pockets, given the fact that his company is paid a 20 percent cut out of whatever a victim might charge for selling their story on the app to news outlets.
But Adams defended himself, following up with tweets explaining that his app was a news gathering tool, and that "no fake outrage" was necessary.
It’s a news gathering tool, like CNN and FOXNEws (among other uses). No fake outrage necessary. This is one of its intended purposes.— Scott Adams (@Scott Adams)1564371842.0
By Monday, Adams expected the backlash against him to gain more traction, asking his followers on Twitter, "Which fake news group will run the best hit piece on me today while getting all the facts wrong? The fake outrage is a thing to behold."
Which fake news group will run the best hit piece on me today while getting all the facts wrong? The fake outrage is a thing to behold.— Scott Adams (@Scott Adams)1564399834.0
The 'Dilbert' creator addressed the issue more thoroughly during a Periscope livestream late Monday, explaining his reasoning behind promoting the app and saying he expected that any witnesses who used it would have set their price at $0 considering the circumstances.
Adams went on to say that this is not the first time he has promoted his app while a major news event occurred, but admitted the backlash he's received over his Gilroy Festival promotion might make him think twice before piggybacking off a mass shooting in the future, according to the Daily Mail.
But Adams also admitted that he was guilty of using the tragedy to plug his business. "For those of you who are saying, 'Scott, you grifter, you're using this to get attention for your app.' Well, obviously, yes."