Yet another teen is weaponizing America’s free market system to strongarm a private company into complying with his East Coast idealist agenda, according to a report from Business Insider. Fifteen-year-old Darian Lipscomb of Prospect, VA, heretofore the sole owner of Snapchat handle @CarnivalCruise, has apparently been holding the vital social media feed hostage--much to Carnival’s distress--since he was nine years old. Now it appears the highschooler has leveraged his media influence to coax the popular cruise line into subsidizing his exploration of European-style, “free-ride” social structures (they put him on a boat).
During the period that Lipscomb held total control over the incalculable advertising dollar value of the Snapchat handle, he was able to voice his opinions, unchallenged, on literally any issue, undoubtedly impacting Carnival’s brand, without providing the company any recourse to counter his claims directly. Snapchat’s choice to provide unlimited airtime to the young activist--with absolutely zero fact-checking--only further cements the perception of Leftist/anti-business bias in the modern MSM.
In an attempt to extend an olive branch, Carnival executives launched a highly visible campaign of billboards featuring ambassador of goodwill Dr. Shaquille O’Neal, Ed.D (look it up). Mr. Lipscomb eventually agreed to bilateral negotiations, resulting in an agreement to trade his Snapchat credentials for a free cruise with his family to Europe on Carnival’s newest vessel, the Horizon. This payout, reportedly worth over $5000, presumably will preclude any further punditry appearances by Lipscomb on the @CarnivalCruise media outlet.
For those unfamiliar, Snapchat is a high-powered platform similar to the more recognizable Instagram; however the modified design of the Snapchat app allows it to automatically clear its contents after shots are taken for a more efficient high-capacity application.
While Lipscomb has not publicly admitted to having ties to any outside political group, notable parties such as Planned Parenthood and George Soros have remained strangely silent. To be fair, his voice deserves to be heard, and we can’t begrudge him for being passionate. While I may not agree with his positions, I have to admit, for a young man of his age to go up against Big Vacay and win takes true courage. Still, considering the outcome of the battle, one has to wonder whether it was truly a case of grassroots activism, or an intentional grab for cruise control.
Dr. O’Neal has not yet commented.