You may have seen it, liked a post, followed and shared ATL Scoop at some point without paying much attention. Or you might check for it every day, and noticed that it went down for a day or so before returning and confusing everybody.
For the record, we’re not really trying to get involved despite being brought up in the social media dustup over anybody’s perceived motives. But ATL Scoop (and the many copycat/spinoff/response IG accounts that have followed) has become such a thing that it’s opened up a conversation about Atlanta, how the city sees itself and why it may or may not ultimately matter.
We’re not saying you should like it or dislike it, but it’s always good to be aware of what we share, you know?
So anyway, sigh… Here’s the scoop on how this has all gone down:
It all started, innocently enough, with this single-liked post at the beginning of the summer 2020 protests following the murder of George Floyd:
From there, it was off to the races with posts that have ranged from highlighting Buckhead “looting” to COVID charts. News and… stuff.
There was even an early attempt at food influencer content, via this post recommending Three Dollar Cafe for having “Some of the best mozzarella sticks” in Atlanta.
The page also adopted an ongoing interest in the shooting death of 8-year-old Secoriea Turner, using the hashtag #JusticeForSecoriea in memorial posts.
Aside from that, things were really all over the place. By all appearances, ATL Scoop was, like many other Instagram channels in many other cities, just another place trying to become a popular source of random information. Sometimes that was protest-related posts. Other times it was all over the place, sharing whatever seemed to be happening in town to keep up the volume. Nobody seemed to mind, or be paying much attention.
But around mid-August, a pattern began to emerge. Video views began to grow, thanks to posts about negative happenings in Atlanta. What followed was increased frequency of bad news.
Soon enough, there were back-to-back fight videos, shootings, and posts of massive crowds patronizing Atlanta nightclubs like Compound.
Hundreds of views turned into thousands, and soon enough, ATL Scoop was being passed around to bored, quarantined doom-scrollers around Atlanta and beyond. This wasn’t, to some people, the experience Atlanta needed to be presenting to the world.
And one of the main people voicing opposition to @ATLScoop has been our friend Isaac Hayes III.
Since late last year, Isaac has made it something of a personal mission to alert his social media followers to what he sees as ATL Scoop’s plan to tarnish the image of Atlanta for political reasons.
And soon, others began to see things Isaac’s way.
In the meantime, ATL Scoop’s follower count continued to grow. Posts with crowds of young people fighting in Atlantic Station, cars leaving donut marks on parking lots, and other chaotic activity helped the IG page move in on 100K followers.
And then came the shooting in Lenox Mall.
Next thing you know, Isaac began to suggest on his own social channels that he was fed up with @ATLScoop.
And not long after that, Isaac let everyone know that something was coming.
And with that, ATL-World was introduced to @ATLUncensored, whose aim was to expose @ATLScoop’s creator and the person’s true intentions, through collected evidence in the form of screenshots.
It’s important to note here that screenshots are not exactly concrete evidence. It’s certainly not difficult to make one up.
But with the release of several DM conversations, @ATLUncensored began to get more and more interest, and as a result, more people began to give @ATLScoop the digital side-eye.
And with the additional push from Isaac, more people became aware and began to voice concerns about the page.
As you can see above, people as influential as Jermaine Dupri were in agreement that something wasn’t right.
A couple days later, word came that ATL Scoop had deactivated.
There was a sense of accomplishment. Albeit temporary.
And then, funny enough, ATL Uncensored decided that it no longer cared about ATL Scoop and is now a news site of its own. It has since deleted all content related to ATL Scoop.
A lot of people are just now learning about the situation, and Twitter has a lot of folks talking about the entire thing, from how they’re disgusted by ATL Scoop to the larger concept of #Blackfishing.
But… after a very brief blackout, ATL Scoop is… back?!
Yes, as the post above shows (you’ll have to slide to see the message from the founder), it’s back. But from the founder’s words above, it looks like she’s sold the site to new ownership. She even offered a mea culpa:
So it’s over now, right? Um, no. The conversation continues over at Twitter:
In our conversations about influencers, an interesting case study of exposing @atlscoop on @instagram , by @atluncensored and @isaachayes3 , as a white woman #blackfishing and distorting the image of black people and #Atlanta among other egregious acts. #ATLScoopExposed #WDC620 pic.twitter.com/MCdkeDUKLF— Jasmine Moore (@JCherieee_) March 2, 2021
And of course there are all sorts of new burner IG accounts playing off the @ATLScoop and @ATLUncensored hype.
There’s an old saying in news that you’ve surely heard before. “If it bleeds, it leads.” Here’s another one: “No news is good news.”
Well, we live in a world of content-on-content-on-content. And while everyone wants to know who is behind the ATL Scoop IG account, there’s really a very simple answer that is super-obvious.
You are behind it. And yes, we are behind it too. There, we said it.
No, that doesn’t mean ATL Scoop is secretly “Butter.ATL Scoop.” Don’t take it literally.
We are not involved in publishing their content in any way, and we also have no idea who runs it today, or if that’s really changed since it launched in 2020.
What we mean is that there would be no ATL Scoop if people decided that it’s not worth anybody’s time to simply share shock-value content as a daily habit.
Clearly we’re not judging anybody for looking at ATL Scoop content. After all, here we are writing about them.
We’re just saying that if people really want to cancel ATL Scoop, or any other news source, they can simply stop visiting the page. No one is forcing anybody to be on Instagram looking for things to help us shake our heads or feel superior to anybody else. That’s been going on much longer than ATL Scoop has been out in the world.
If you like ATL Scoop, that’s your business. If you want them to go away, you’ll have to go away from them first. If you stay, you’re saying that you are interested in what’s happening and want to consume more of it. And you have every right to do either.
If it turns out that a Buckhead Republican who happens to be a White lady was (and maybe still is) behind all of this, sure, some people will definitely see that as The Opps, and they’ll have every right to express opposition.
If it turns out that ATL Uncensored is just going to become a newer and better version of ATL Scoop, and this becomes the IG version of a Ja Rule vs. 50 Cent battle, well, it wouldn’t be the first time.
But you wanna know what we think, regardless?
Seriously? The thing that, if we’ve all learned nothing else, is the main and undeniable truth? The only 100%-real takeaway from this?