The Real People of Bloomsburg Fair

The 2013 Bloomsburg Fair has come and gone. From a new mobile app to an increased social media presence, this year’s fair has certainly been the most high tech. But that does not mean that the fair has previously been devoid of social media influence. A few years ago, a Facebook page was created to unofficially celebrate the Bloomsburg Fair.

The page is called “People of Bloomsburg Fair,” in the same vein as the popular “People of Walmart” website.  Created on Sept. 24, 2010, the page’s mission statement is “to create a fun page for fans to enjoy.” Users are encouraged to snap photos while they are at the Bloomsburg Fair and upload them to the page to share with everyone.

Here’s the problem with “People of Bloomsburg Fair” sounding similar to “People of Walmart”: The content of the latter site consists entirely of candid photos of unsuspecting people who someone may have thought looked funny. It might be a dude whose pants were hanging a little too low and he wasn’t aware of his own half moon. Or perhaps it’s an overweight woman whose clothes don’t fit quite right. If you take a few minutes to click through the images on “People of Walmart,” you’ll see far worse than that.

And obviously people find a lot of enjoyment in photos like these. Some of these people, do, in fact, look ridiculous. I have shown the site to many of my friends, and they have gotten a good laugh.

“People of Bloomsburg Fair” draws a very obvious comparison to its Walmart counterpart; therefore it is attracting similar content. There are photos on the page of unsuspecting citizens who are simply trying to enjoy the Bloomsburg fair.

This year, the page seems to have gained a lot more traction than in previous years. In 2010, users uploaded 10 total photos to the page. In 2012, only two photos were uploaded. This year, 33 photos had been uploaded after the first weekend of the fair. The page has also received several thousand new likes since this year’s fair began, and has surpassed the 10,000 mark.

So what do Facebook users think? The page has gotten some very mixed reactions from people. On one hand, there are those who see no harm in the page:

 On the other hand, there are many who find the page’s contents offensive:

Personally, I think “People of Bloomsburg Fair” has potential. It could have been a page with nice photographs of the fair, like these taken from the page:

I think the name choice led to the page becoming a source of indirect cyber-bullying, just like its predecessor “People of Walmart.” However, both pages have their supporters, so what do you think? Is “People of Bloomsburg Fair” just harmless fun, or are the pictures it hosts offensive or mean? Leave your opinion in the comments below.

 

 Nicholas Cellucci is in the class of 2016 at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. He is studying Mass Communications and is a BUnow staff writer in addition to serving as Executive Producer for BUnow’s Radio section. He also works as a communications assistant in BU’s Office of Marketing and Communications.

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