Facebook Fueling Gas Boycotts

By Gregory Pleshaw Comment

People are posting on Facebook about nationwide gas boycotts — one occurring tomorrow and another on May 15 — at an increasing pace.

In some states, the price of gasoline has risen as much as 47 cents a gallon in the past month, fueling consumer rage and pushing many to call for the boycotts.

The topic shows up in status updates and wall posts more than pages and groups, and we’ve noticed the frequency of postings accelerate. And not all of these posts express support for a boycott — some commenters ask whether one day of not consuming would have any real effect on the price.

Yet others, including at least one page, suggest that drivers boycott for more than one day. Voices on pages like these use the pages to discuss issues such as smaller cars and more efficient fuel technology. (Manny Lopez of the Detroit News points out, Americans may not want higher gas prices, but people are still buying and driving big cars despite rising gasoline prices.)

While a boycott may make for some interesting water cooler discussion or ranting on Facebook, there is neither evidence to support that a boycott would make a difference – nor is there any to support that Americans care enough about gas prices to change their habits.

Readers, do any of the posts on Facebook make you want to boycott gas on March 11, May 15 or other dates?