Self-harming online

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It’s a special kind of hurt when you do it to yourself, especially online. Here are several reliable approaches to stepping onto the virtual garden rake:

1. Post when angry or drunk

Saying anything online is like squeezing out toothpaste – it’s a messy business if you need to push it back in for any reason. Best NEVER to post in the heat of the moment, when angry or tired, or if you have alcohol under your belt.

2. Suppress comments on your blog which are contrary to your own

So somebody disagrees with your worldview – get used to it. But don’t moderate out comments on your blog or elsewhere from people who have respectfully taken the time to offer an alternative position or have challenged you on a point. It’s a a sign of weakness to marginalise dissenters.

3. Say horrible things online while hiding behind a pseudonym

Hi zingerman666 – sooner or later we’ll work who you really are.

4. Post a fake a review for your own business

Tempting yes, but now also illegal. Don’t go there.

5. Post a negative review for a competitor business

Also illegal. Furthermore you run the risk of being outed (say goodbye to your professional integrity).

6. React angrily to a a negative online review

When you respond to a review it’s not really intended for the person who posted it – they’re long gone. It’s really for all of the people in the future who will read the original review and then your response to it. An angry retort is not what potential new customers want to see.

7. Don’t respond to your customers on social media

Don’t ignore genuine customer enquiries, questions or complaints which have been posted through a social media platform. If you can’t be responsive across all of your social media touch-points, you shouldn’t be there in the first place.

8. Give your social media login credentials to someone who needs to ‘reset your account’

You ‘reset your account’ because you received a message from someone who you’ve never met and they asked you to. Now your Twitter wall is full of weight reduction products and you can’t login to stop it.

9. Allow an ex-employee to take control  of your social media accounts

You fired the person who looks after your social media media. Now they’ve left the building with the login credentials to all of your social media accounts. Oh dear, this could get nasty…



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