Wondering Out Loud

Anti social media

Several months ago I wrote a post about what I considered to be a potential abuse of Twitter. It involved an influential basketball coach who used her Twitter account to complain about a nonspecific customer service problem she encountered at one of her favorite restaurants. A restaurant that she had praised via Twitter in the past. I took no side in this particular incident because the facts didn’t exist to do so, but it did cause me to wonder about how people using social media and whether they are taking their complaints public without giving the object of their scorn an opportunity to make good. My opinion is that the scorn-er deserves a chance before the scorn-ee takes to the Web.

I know there are people who use abusive tactics so they can pump up their numbers, but some boarder on negligent. One – which I will not name because I have no desire to add to their numbers – has a Twitter profile that reads:

Have a horrible experience with a company CSR? Get noticed and PUT ‘EM ON BLAST with the [deleted by me] tag and we’ll RT!

Personally, I find the proprietor of this account to be, well, a jerk.

Anyone can complain about anything and this, well, jerk, is willing to take the word of someone he/she’s never heard of and push it across the Twitter-sphere without verification. All ya gotta do is use the hash tag and he/she will retweet the message, no questions asked. Who cares about what actually happened or how it went down, if you know the hash tag you’ll get noticed.

The account is only two months old and has a whopping 48 followers, but there is a standard that he/she seems willing to ignore. Most will look at the tweets coming from this account and see them for what they are, but in this new environment all it takes is a few to take an isolated complaint and make it seem like a widespread problem. Those are the ones I worry about.

The world and the Web are filled with information that ranges from inaccurate to outright wrong. It’s up to each of us to be responsible, to verify before Tweeting and to push those who are irresponsible to the sidelines.

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June 1, 2010 - Posted by | Social Media |

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