Look, I don’t want to make it seem like I’m anti-fun or something, because I really do enjoy it when people just go out and do something silly, if only for a few minutes.
But when you have an event involving a professional dance troupe that you’ve publicized to the media, when you have dozens of journalists present, when police and a government minister are taking part, can you really call that a “flash mob“? If so, the term has lost all meaning and should cease to be used.
No wonder groups so associated with the term, like Improv Everywhere and Newmindspace, have rejected it. I think it’s time we all follow their lead if it’s going to be commercialized like this.
Call it a publicity stunt, call it a public performance, call it street art, but don’t call it a flash mob.
UPDATE (July 30): Similar thoughts from Patrick Dion, Jean-Philippe Rousseau and Le Détesteur, plus a defence from a participant.