Next month, the South African runner Oscar Pistorius will stand trial for the 2013 killing of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. But judging from its social media strategy, his public relations team aims to control the narrative before the proceedings even start.
“Innocent until Proven Guilty” sounds nice, it’s just that “Truth Shall Prevail“ sounds a little more like they’re going to weave an X-Files-worthy conspiracy theory to explain Pistorius’s innocence. (The Paralympian, whose legs are amputated below the knee, claims he meant to shoot a perceived home intruder, and part of the case hinges upon whether he was wearing his prosthetics at the time.)
So far, though, the feed is just links to articles like this one, plus a few vague pronouncements. Nothing as yet on the newly leaked court document indicating that Pistorius had been surfing porn sites on his phone the night of the murder—Valentine's Day. Pistorius’s media manager Anneliese Burgess and several family members will be in control of the account, South Africa’s News 24 reported.
As the trial approaches, many untruths half truths and versions of the truth have, and shall be spread across the world.— Factual Updates (@OscarHardTruth) February 23, 2014
This feed will provide the hard truth as it unfolds and provide information that will become clearer during the trial.— Factual Updates (@OscarHardTruth) February 23, 2014
We WILL address the truth and expose those with ulterior motives. The Truth will Prevail.— Factual Updates (@OscarHardTruth) February 23, 2014
This platform will share info i.a. alerts to possible briefings/statements, links to key media coverage and clarification when necessary— Factual Updates (@OscarHardTruth) February 24, 2014
It remains to be seen how the quickly swelling ranks of followers will engage with this sort of unapologetic spin, especially considering the operators won’t respond to individual tweets. Trolls should feel free to bombard firstname.lastname@example.org, however. Not the catchiest slogan, we know, but imoscar.com was already taken.