The Shady Side of Online Reputation
Listened to a radio program (KQED) this afternoon on online reputation. It was about the light and dark side of online reputation today. There were several call-ins with disturbing examples of reputations ruined – telephone numbers endlessly listed on the Internet due to election campaign donations, unemployment due to criticisms about the accuracy of a school textbook, 1983 article in a college paper that was mis-edited, etc. While the positive side of online reputation such as ebay seller ratings and the ability to find out information on companies of all sizes and sectors, the increasing negative side of the Internet for managing reputation consumed much of the program. The advice given was quite sound: 1. Take the long view of anything you write today. 2. Google Early, Google Often.3. Take action (formally and informally) if there is something inflammatory written about you.4. Monitor yourself carefully. Even the innocent can become victims. Moderator Dave Iverson interviewed Professor Daniel Solove, law professor at George Washington School of Law, and author of a new book titled The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor and Privacy on the Internet. Timely indeed. The other person interviewed was Michael Fertik, CEO of ReputationDefender, a service that helps individuals manage their online reputations. Enjoy.