Dilbert creator Scott Adams has been accused of using the deadly shooting at California’s Gilroy Garlic Festival to promote his new app, which allows survivors to sell their interviews and give him a 20 percent cut.
Adams, the creator of the Dilbert comic strip, tweeted out a link to his new app Interface by WhenHub on Sunday after a 19-year-old gunman opened fire at the popular festival.
A 6-year-old boy, a 13-year-old girl and a New York college graduate were killed and 12 others were injured in the mass shooting in the rural community near San Francisco.
‘If you were a witness to the #GilroyGarlicFestivalshooting please sign on to Interface by WhenHub (free app) and you can set your price to take calls. Use keyword Gilroy,’ Adam tweeted to his followers.
Dilbert creator Scott Adams is facing a backlash after he used the deadly shooting at California’s Gilroy Garlic Festival to promote his new app by telling survivors they can use it to set a price to sell interviews – and then give him a 20 percent cut
Adams, the creator of the Dilbert comic strip, tweeted out a link to his new app Interface by WhenHub on Sunday after a 19-year-old gunman opened fire at the popular festival
He co-founded the app with the intention of providing experts with a way to make money by selling interviews to media outlets.
Those who use the app can set their own price for interviews and Adams receives a 20 percent cut.
His Twitter was inundated with complaints and backlash after he tweeted out details of the app in relation to the deadly shooting.
Many accused him of trying to profit from the tragedy.
He quickly sent out a follow up tweet arguing that it was a ‘news gathering tool’ and that it was ‘one of its intended purposes’.
No shooting survivors appeared to utilize the app in the aftermath.
Only one person had listed himself under the search term ‘Gilroy’ – a man named Rob Rodgers who said he wanted to charge $120 per hour.
Following the backlash, Adams held a Periscope livestream late Monday explaining the app and saying he expected that most shooting survivors would set their price at $0 given the tragedy.
‘When I sent that tweet out I thought: ‘Hey this would be one of those situations where this tool – Interface by WhenHub – could be an asset to get the story to the people who have a legitimate reason to hear about it’,’ he said.
‘This is not the first time I have done this exact thing. It is the first time I got any push back for it.
‘The first time I did it… was when there was a helicopter that crashed on top of a building in New York City. Nobody complained. Here’s why… there is no political interest group involved in helicopter crashes.
‘Most of the complaints fell into the category of organized trolls.’
He said while he plans to do the same thing in the future, he might think twice if it is a mass shooting given the backlash he faced.
Hundreds of people held a candlelight vigil in Gilroy on Monday night to honor the victims of the deadly shooting at the garlic festival at the weekend
Six-year-old Steven Romero and 13-year-old Keyla Salazar were killed in the deadly shooting on Sunday
‘For those of you who are saying, ‘Scott, you grifter, you’re using this to get attention for your app,’ Adams said. ‘Well, obviously, yes.’
Trevor Irby, a 25-year-old New York college graduate, was also killed
Adams launched WhenHub early last year.
It comes as hundreds of people held a candlelight vigil in Gilroy on Monday night to honor the slain shooting victims.
The shooter, Santino William Legan, legally purchased a semi-automatic assault rifle this month in Nevada before targeting the garlic festival.
Police patrolling the event responded within a minute and killed Legan as he turned the weapon on them.
While authorities sought a motive for the killings, they noted that he had posted white supremacist views. He urged his Instagram followers to read a 19th century book popular with white supremacists on extremist websites.
Legan grew up less than a mile from the park where the city known as the ‘Garlic Capital of the World’ has held its three-day festival for four decades, attracting more than 100,000 people with music, food booths and cooking classes.