Social Media: Lies, Loathing And Libel
Irate and malicious people have always had an outlet and means for spreading their lies and bitterness. Whether it be by bad mouthing between people personally, over the phone and behind backs, it's now easier than ever. All thanks to social media. Facebook and Twitter now offer people a platform to voice all opinions and thoughts, and particularly bad ones. Blogging is also a new way to convey ones displeasure or libelous thoughts. And with thanks to the wonders of Twitter and Facebook, it's even more easy to advertise libelous articles. And what's worse, is that they can go viral and reach so many more people than just bad mouthing in person could ever have achieved, making results of bad reviews and blogs even more disastrous for the people on the receiving end. Libelous cases have more than doubled in just a year in the UK and this can be attributed to social media,
Internet-related libel cases in England and Wales rose from seven to 16 in the year ending 31 May, legal information firm Sweet and Maxwell said."- Courtesy of BBC News Online
A Web Of Lies And Deceit
The problem with social media is that it's so widely available and there are no real checks or balances in place to protect small businesses or individuals reputation. Some may say this is good, that there is too much authority in the world, let the web be as free as possible, but this freedom to write what you like and have it published on the web, can cause great distress and irreparable damage to people and business. Now of course, everyone is entitled to a point of view and opinion, but it's when a point of view is compromised by stubbornness or simply by a want/ability to be outright malicious, that it causes problems. Yes, you may have thought the service in your favorite store was less than professional the last time you went in, but to write a review about it and then write about how you thought their stock was poor or shop unclean as well, is not necessarily a truthful or even an accurate review. Angry consumers embrace their anger and let it grow as it is the driving force behind their reviews, blogs and nasty comments, meaning they spiral out of control and importantly, can spiral into lies. And no one and no company wants to be the one on the receiving end of this nasty, maybe even untruthful Tweet, Facebook update or blog:
"Such is the speed at which information travels through social networks that one unchecked comment can spread into the mainstream media within minutes, which can cause irreparable damage to the subject who has been wronged."- Courtesy of BBC News Online
Honesty Or Hatefulness?
Writing reviews and blogs is excellent, it means you are in touch with what you do and inform your audience. It's a great way to get your thoughts across to the masses. But be sure you that what you write and post on networks is honest AND truthful. Base your reviews on facts and not just opinions. This means the company you are reviewing can learn by it, improve and react. It also means that you can't be taken to court for making up nasty lies and rumours and damaging the companies reputation and earnings as a result. Think of the consequences before you post it. If you have been honest with the facts then you have nothing to worry about, if not, you can't be upset when action is taken against you. Honesty also means that your blogs will actually be more well received by your audience. This is because it's a just, even handed argument earning you more respect and gaining you a reasonable and level headed reputation rather than being the hot headed blogger who writes nothing but rubbish just because you can and are simply moody because something didn't go your own way or as expected. Social Media can make or break companies and people, just be sure you are always honest with what you write else you only have yourself to blame for the fall out.
Who Wrote This Article
I'm Nikki and I work as part of MarketMeSuite the social media marketing dashboard. And big news... we're now free! Please check it out and be sure to let me know what you think.
~Articles mentioned in this post: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14684620
~Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lwr