Online Defamation and Trolling – Respond with Positivity
Isn’t the Internet great? It’s a gateway to find information and promote yourself and your business. Unfortunately, it’s also a great portal for cyber bullies and trolls to hide behind and unhinge the aforementioned business building. As with everything though, there is never a positive without a negative and it’s really what can be learned and how to move forward.
I’m a trusting person. Probably too much so. I believe people generally have positive intent and they can be trusted. Especially when working with new teams and companies, you have to come in with some amount of implied trust. Then they can either build upon that trust or tear it down, but when starting that type of engagement you cannot expect them to start from square zero in earning trust. Otherwise how can you expect a relationship with a team to begin, grow, and thrive if they are already starting at a disadvantage?
Regardless, it hurts when you find out that your trust has been squandered and there are lies in your world that strives for honesty and transparency. That someone is trying to destroy you, your brand, and what you stand for. You want to lash out, react, respond, DO SOMETHING (immediately!)! When this happened to me, I devised reactionary plans, thought of every scenarios ten times over and how and what I could do. I didn’t sleep or when I did it was restless and unsettled. How could someone rip something apart that I had worked so hard to build and help others? Question motives and integrity that I hold so dear? That is never warranted and it stings like a slap across the face.
But after the initial anger cleared and my brain was not hijacked by emotion, adrenaline, and a Mountain Dew/Coffee mixture I was able to think more clearly. What would a reaction accomplish? What are the reasons behind it? No one can control the way I feel and I will not give up that power. It always goes back to yourself.
The Internet is full of truths and lies. They can be very hard to sort out, parse through, and fully understand the intent and entire story. It takes a lot of courage to address things head on, it takes zero courage to sit behind the screen of a computer and write defamatory statements. It not only hurts reputations, but makes the writer look petty. So, how do you move on and make the best of a shitty situation?
Getting more positive content out there to outweigh the negative. More linking back and forth – collaboration with other sites (pingbacks). More brand building. More clicks, retweets, and relevant results and content. This will push the irrelevant stuff down and the relevant stuff up. It will also help continue to develop relationships of collaboration across the community. So, here’s my open invitation to collaborate and write some co-articles, publish some webinars, podcasts, and engage in friendly Twitter conversation.
It’s not about retaliation, retribution, or revenge. It goes back to the trust piece, which to me also aligns with integrity. Be the bigger person, do not stoop to that level, you are better than that! Take a positive spin (which is ironic as most people would not call me an optimist) and launch a marketing campaign to build out the great aspects of your brand and involve others to co-promote! Everyone wins!
As you will find out, it takes much more courage and more work to do the right thing than to take the low road. What good will come of a negative reaction other than a short feeling of satisfaction? It is much easier to point at someone else than to face the issues directly in front of your face. It’s not addressing the true problem. And by taking the high road, it shows your true colors. Also, maybe this should be a compliment – you know you have really made it when you have internet trolls and haters, right? #runningWithTheBigDogs #hatersGonnaHate