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March 27, 2009

MAKING A BAD THING WORSE

by stevenwyer

If you discover bad information about yourself posted on an online blog, forum or social site, the hard thing not to do is overreact.

Life is not fair. Unlike credit scores and property appraisals, there is no conventional way to dispute false online information. And negative information negatively impacts your reputation.

So what should you do? First, determine what has been said and where it has been posted. If the mention is factually incorrect and you identify the source as someone you know, try a friendly tone and send evidence that they are wrong. You can then ask for the removal or retraction of the entry.

As you might suspect, those posting such bad information may not be highly motivated to oblige. However, you may be able to add a comment onto a negative posting to counteract the bad publicity and damage to your online reputation.

You can also utilize blogs, forums and social sites such as MySpace and Facebook to redefine who you really are. Professional social sites such as Plaxo and LinkedIn can also be of great assistance in presenting you in a positive and professional way.

Don’t fight fire with fire in an unconventional attack on your reputation; the high road is definitely the one to take. Responding with a direct attack will probably agitate the author and may create even more negative postings to be dealt with.

Evaluating the potential damage that a negative posting can have on your professional and personal life is critical. But damage can be minimized by hiring a professional reputation management firm like ReputationAdvocate. Evaluation, strategy and effective short- and long-cycle execution will insure that your online reputation is preserved.

Don’t underestimate the power of the written word when fueled by the worldwide web!

–Steven Wyer

extinguisher-pinkfloyd

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