Mistakes to avoid when dealing with negative online criticism
It might just happen that somebody will publish some information about you on the Internet which could damage your reputation. Many people hire Online reputation management services to deal with such issues, and which is very prudent. Lots of other people will however react in a manner that doesn't befit the situation upon noticing something unfriendly about them on the web. Online reputation management experts can help you to deal with the online marring of your reputation but if you make rash reaction mistakes then you could complicate your chances of recovering. There are a number of possible mistakes that these experts point out, and which must be avoided at all costs.
One area you need to exercise a lot of caution in is how you respond to criticism. If you are being criticized over something do not fall into the trap of making ad hominem attacks in responding to the critics. This is for the simple reason that such caustic responses can go viral very fast especially in the social media and this will only serve to exacerbate the problem by actually vindicating the critics. Instead, focus on the issues raised and direct your responses to the questions/issues arising. If you cannot read any important issues in critics' comments except malice then it is alright to just let them be. Remember that other people reading the criticism are also rational enough to discern malice in such remarks.
Closely related to the first mistake is the temptation to make threats of pursuing legal action. Even if you are offended by negative remarks, look at the bigger picture. Untrue comments made by a single individual should not ruin your business, and especially if you are serious about all aspects of your business. It is thus useless to threaten legal action that you do not intend to take anyway as it will make you look vindictive and insecure.
Online reputation management companies also advise against making retaliatory moves against a perceived enemy because besides portraying you as vindictive, you could actually end up in more trouble. In essence, avoid the temptation of fighting dirty; you operate in the public arena and members of the online community will be watching how you respond. If your response is no better than the offender's then you will lose all credibility. Online reputation management consultants advise that one should desist from lashing out against abusive authors or sending them angry emails. Similarly, do not post rejoinders on social media or blogs. Such rash reactions can be turned around to imply justification for the criticism; you must not supply ammunition for the fire.
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