What should you do when you find out people online are talking badly about you?
Oh no someone on the internet is saying something bad about me I must respond NOW. Before responding you may want to read my rules for appearing intelligent on the internet. Below are some of the ways to respond… or not.
1. I must correct them NOW or Maybe I need to respond.
- Can you respond calmly without harming your reputation?
- Will not responding hurt my reputation?
- Will responding hurt my reputation more?
- Does what they’ve said make any sense?
- Would a sane person believe what they are saying?
If you can respond calmly and feel a response is needed make sure to have a couple of people read the original statements in context (i.e. full post) and then have them review your response. It is critical if you decide to respond that you do so carefully so as not to harm your reputation more. Sometimes this is needed just do it correctly.
2. Who cares?
- Seriously people who know you are not going to believe what is said & those who know the other person may know not to trust what they say
- By ignoring what is said you make sure you do end up down at their level
I’ve used this method a few times. Each time I’ve come out ahead as people look at what I do and say and what is being said about me and see that it does not add up. Yes I may lose some potential clients and followers but not as many as I would have if I’d responded directly. In the end the person attacking me looked either vindictive or stupid. This can be surprisingly satisfying but I will admit I write the response I really want to and then put it away and re-read my rules on appearing intelligent on the internet after sleeping on it for 24 hours.
3. Would responding indirectly make more sense?
- Can you write a blog post about the topic without it seeming aimed at anyone in particular?
- Can you post on Facebook or other social media about “proper internet behavior” without it being too obvious that you are responding to the accusations?
I’ve used this method a number of times. Posting either on my blog or on FB about internet behavior as well as ethical behavior without the person who attacked me (and others) realizing I’m responding to the attack. By appearing to ignore the attack while posting useful information you create a win-win.
What do you think?
- How do you deal with attacks on you or your business?
- What has worked?
- What has backfired?