I begin this cautionary blog with a story. After the story,
you'll understand why I began the blog as I have.
I wrote an article on holiday parties for Business Week. I
discussed the risks, including too much alcohol consumption and
sexual harassment. Of course, the two often are connected.
Well, the article included a little sarcasm. Perhaps a little
more than a little. So it was tweeted pretty heavily.
As you know, when people tweet, they can add their own message.
As I learned later, one tweeter included the words party, alcohol
and sexual. They forget the harassment. No Freudian miss there.
So one night I went to the movies and came home late (10 p.m.
for me) and decided to go to bed without checking my e-mail. I try
to do that twice a year to deceive myself into believing that I am
The next morning, I logged on and noticed that I had many new
Twitter followers. Twit that I am, I am very happy.
Until, I see the followers. They saw alcohol, sexual and party
and were very interested.
But they were not interested in legal issues. They were selling
sexual services, quite literally and explicitly.
I immediately sent messages: do not follow me. But I don't
think Candy Cane is a big reader.
So, now I decided it was time to ratchet things up. I copied my
bio (hoping a big law firm would intimidate) and, to my delight,
they went away. I would like to think that it was the law firm and
not the fact my bio has a picture!
After cleaning this up, I learned of a very important twitter
feature: block. And, when it comes to social media it is a critical
tool... beyond responding to sex workers.
All too often people tweet or follow and think more is better.
Social media is a form of communication. And, at the risk of the
obvious, it is a two way street.
Check your followers and make sure there is no one you do not
want following you. I have advised clients to do this, and they
have found among their followers piranhas masquerading as
plaintiff's lawyers. Block!
If you follow someone, read their tweets. If their tweets are
offensive or unseemly, unfollow. I followed a reporter. I thought
one of his tweets was sexist. Unfollow.
In social media, it is the quality of your relationships that
counts, not the number of them.
Gotta go. Wrote a blog last month for WeKnowNext on
Valentine's Day called "I Love You." They're
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We're delighted to publish our Social Media Safety Guide for Companies, which highlights key considerations to keep in mind in using social media to promote your company's products and services and to engage with customers.
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