Ocean Blvd

What difference does it make if it was some thug with a gun on an evening stroll or a video? Update to this story.

Via The State

A video on YouTube scrolls the words “In a world where —–s can’t do —- without being arrested, one city agrees to let them do whatever the hell they want for one weekend.”

The video, with more than 156,000 views on YouTube and published by online personality Tre Hood, was launched before the deadly Memorial Day Bikefest this year. Though no one has pointed to the video as the reason for the shootings or the group fighting before the shootings, it’s that type of social media officials are grappling with as they try to use the clout of social media to promote a positive image for the Grand Strand.

“Memorial Day Bikefest and surrounding activities are a large, unorganized, organic event that are widely promoted by social media,” said Brad Dean, president of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. “In fact, I would go as far to say that Bikefest and surrounding activities are examples of social media gone bad with the message that you can come to the Myrtle Beach area and you can do whatever you want. That message has to change.”

Dean said countering the unorganized social media campaign, which has thus far included videos of the aftermath of the shootings, can be a difficult task to address.

“There’s not one single entity running an advertising campaign promoting this stuff,” Dean said. “In fact, what we know from history is that the promotion of Bikefest activities is mostly viral based on previous events. We know that’s a very dangerous promotional tactic that only hurts the Grand Strand.”

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