I don’t know if you have been following, but the war between Anonymous and Scientology is in full swing. Anonymous staged world-wide protests of Scientology’s churches on February 10th, to varying amounts of success. While I feel that things have certainly escalated rather quickly, I must say that I am very impressed at Anonymous’ ability to unite people from all over the world in a common cause, and then have thousands of people peacefully protest. Given the incredibly sensitive and touchy subject matter, the fact that violence between the two parties did not break out is nothing short of fantastic.
I applaud both sides for keeping their cool.
But Cameron, you’re asking, how does this relate to making money? Easy: controversy is almost like a license to print money. The more of it you have, the more money you can print. In this case, where it’s Anonymous versus Scientology, both sides have a chance to capitalize on the situation.
Anonymous is just that- a group of people who prefer to remain anonymous. I doubt that the collective group itself will find monetary gain from this “war”, I would not be (and consequently am not) surprised if individual members of anonymous, unbeknownst to the rest of the group, capitalized on it. With internet advertising being a multi-billion dollar industry, how couldn’t someone want to cash in?
So, of course, I am not surprised at all to see websites popping up that are gleefully accepting traffic relating to Anonymous versus Scientology, and plastered all over many of these websites are advertisements, e-mail submission forms, and other types of money-makers. The webmasters must be laughing all the way to the bank. Laughing, that is, until the rest of the group finds out what they’re doing.
In fact, when I look now I can’t even find half of the sites that I had found before. Now isn’t that curious?
Scientology stands as perhaps being the only group that will have to dance on eggshells (because walking won’t be sufficient) in order to make money off of this. While Tom Cruise might be loaded (and who knows, maybe he’s flooding the coffers with greenbacks), that doesn’t mean that the Church of Scientology stands to make money. In fact, all of this smearing and slandering of their name (and their carefully constructed image) is likely to cause fanaticism on all sides. Current Scientologists will fight tooth and nail to defend the group, and the general population will likely turn the other way and simply ignore the groups existence.
In that situation it’d be pretty hard to make money.
No, but what if you spun it so that it worked in your favor? I’m not talking lawsuits, but what about sponsorships and advertising opportunities? If Scientology was smart, they’d capitalize on the situation. After all, it’s unlikely that their website will ever receive as much traffic as it’s seeing right now.
But, to all the webmasters that have jumped on this rare opportunity of financial gold, I applaud you.