This article appears in the January 2024 issue of KNIFE Magazine. You can read the whole thing by clicking on the flipbook below.
You can learn more about the American Knife and Tool Institute (AKTI) and the work they are doing on this and other fronts by visiting www.akti.org
An Unholy Alliance: Knives and Social Media
By Chris Kuroda
Quick! Name a knife brand, a national knife retailer, or a knife reviewer who doesn’t have a Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or Twitter account. It’s hard to do, right? Everybody seems to have a suite of social media accounts. If you possess even a passing interest in knives and are active online, you’re keenly aware of how much knife content populates social media sites.
Which is all well and good. Until it’s not.
Take what happened at WE Knife, for instance.
A couple of years back, on a run-of-the-mill March day, the social media manager for the knife manufacturer tried logging in to the company’s Instagram account. But something was clearly wrong.
“We made several attempts to log in, and we finally got a message that our account had been disabled, and if that was done by mistake, we could dispute it,” said Seth Ercanbrack, Director of Marketing at WE Knife. “That was it. No explanation. No warning. Nothing.”
And without any communication, WE Knife’s Instagram account vanished. The most likely culprit, according to Ercanbrack, was an innocuous photo of an open pocket knife that had somehow run afoul of Instagram’s community standards. Similar images can be found right now on tens of thousands of social media accounts – and some of them are apt to trigger an unexplained social media timeout for an unsuspected knife brand, social media influencer, collector, or member of the public who’s simply a fan of knives.