Save your reputation from fake reviews!

Reputation

It’s been said that it takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. But, what if that bad deed isn’t true? How do you take back your good name?

 

Let’s face it, a bad review is generally well earned.  If you have built your business on unscrupulous, undependable, or slap-shot quality, you deserve that others find out.

But what if you didn’t do anything wrong? What if you’re the victim of a malicious attack?

How do you get back your reputation and your standing in the community?

It appears that the expression “fake news” has become part of the modern lexicon.  Indeed, lately, it has swirled around the topic of politics.  However, regardless of your political stance, we all turn towards authoritative sources to get our daily information (aka the news media).

With the expansion of social media, these news platforms have broadened immensely; many would argue, this expansion has watered down the quality of the news reported.  Think about it, this medium that we all use determines many aspects of our lives.

The news delivers everything from how to dress in the mornings based on the weather report, how to invest our money based on financial news, even where to eat based on restaurant reviews.

When the very sources that we depend upon to provide us with this valuable information are compromised by bad blood, envy, or downright mean-spiritedness, we all suffer! By no means is anyone suggesting that all news needs to feature reports on rainbows and unicorns, we can handle bad news — just let it be honest, impartial and without an agenda.

The fact is that false narratives (otherwise known as yellow journalism) are nothing new.  Many documented journalistic sources trace this type of news delivery to William Randolph Hearst in the modern era (though it’s been around since men could speak).

However, with the propagation of social media, fraudulent claims (in a printed format) are rampant. These events are concerning when companies hire people to falsely accuse competitors in the business of bad service, negligence, deception, and worse on various social platforms.

In a piece written by Chris Silver for Marketing Land, he explains that increases in extortion-fueled reputation attacks points to needs for changes in the law. Mr. Silver believes that lawmakers must modify legislation to help innocent victims fight back.

Mr. Silver also states that “you do not have to work very long in Online Reputation Management (ORM) before you run into cases involving people who have been victimized by unscrupulous individuals. These bad actors convince these people to give in to their demands to avoid being ruined online. Cases range from human trafficking victims extorted into prostitution to businesses ordered to pay ransoms to avoid financial ruin.

This issue is one of the darkest aspects of the internet, and ironically, it has been facilitated by a portion of the so-called Communications Decency Act (CDA Section 230). It’s time to modify the law to reduce these threats of extortion based on reputation attacks. Continue reading “Save your reputation from fake reviews!”