There is an interesting article in today’s Globe and Mail about people using social media to counter an offensive when it comes to defending their reputation online. The clincher? They’re using the hand to do the clean-up that also got them in the mess in the first place, social media sites.
Apparently, Facebook, Youtube and Twitter are the weapons of choice to use for anyone involved in an online scandal. Call it retaliation a la Google search. And while I agree with some form of communication at least to try and save face, if at all possible, I wonder if what the article suggests really matters. In brief, my take away message from the piece was that either you say nothing online (otherwise known as playing stupid) or create a completely new identity for yourself, re-inventing yourself in the process to be a better and less tarnished version of you.
While I’m always open to discovering new solutions to combat problems, I think these “reputation defenders and crisis management people” are forgetting one thing. You are what you are and the people that know you know you, as that. Not as someone who was embroiled in a smear campaign on five o’clock local news. So who cares and why would it be better to go online and try to make a left turn into a right? The article actually suggests one hopeful politician winning in an online poll, but still loosing out in reality. What is his reality? A bunch of Youtube followers?
Will starting a new blog or Facebook page that an online image PR firm manages really help? Maybe if you’re a public figure or a celebrity. But what about if you’re just me or you? What can normal people do once they’ve been humiliated online? I think starting a public conversation and inviting everyone for drinks on you, is always a good start.