What you don’t say matters
That’s how long I’ve been on Twitter without a single truly negative experience.
My metro area is thriving with tweetups and gatherings of tech, pr, advertising, and business professionals. I have the high honor of being one of the people that helps organize these meetups and its been one of the most rewarding parts of my social media journey.
Yesterday I was notified by a good friend of a twitter account that looked very much like our official tweetup account. The user was actively following and retweeting a high percentage of folks that are active within our community and it appeared to many of us to be a deliberate impersonation.
That theory grew legs as we discovered a cadre of strange websites and twitter accounts. To prevent any confusion I sent 2 tweets from our tweetup account to inform people of the strange activity.
- Be aware there is an account impersonating us. Pls be sure that you are talking to @LRtweetup the other is linkbait #LRtweetup ^K (link)
- The other account is actively retweeting and replying to #LRtweetup folks. Based on the links and homepage we are reporting them as spam. ^K (link)
The account in question was never disclosed publicly.
This morning we got a real shock. The person behind the account called the place of business of one of our members to ask why they had blocked him on twitter.
Thankfully the call went to voicemail and my friend DM’ed me with a simple, “Call Me”.
I was astonished.
Meanwhile our community was busy finding even more twitter accounts, suspect websites, a foursquare account, his real name, address, and phone number.
This had gone far enough. I decided to take it offline and give this person a call.
I took great pains to be open and friendly and called with the sole purpose of trying to get a feel for this guy and his intentions.
The phone conversation was a visit to the twilight zone. He was a nice enough guy but his strategy and ideas were patently absurd.
According to him he had 720 twitter accounts and was using them to promote his website design/hosting, friends, bands, and venues. I simply tried to communicate that we were an open group and that the community was having a very negative response to his actions. I was hoping to open his eyes that his initial foray wasn’t gaining him any friends and perhaps be a conduit leading to better methods.
However after 20min on the phone I knew I wasn’t making any headway so I excused myself and returned to my work. I considered it over.
Then this evening I received several tweets addressing my attacks on him and thanking me for the free publicity since he may start an alternative to our unsocial network.
Color me unsurprised.
In social media, sometimes your reputation hinges on what you don’t say.
Trust me, I feel like telling him exactly what I thought and I’d love to share all I know about his operation. BUT, that would reflect on me, not him.
In the end Social Media is no different than real life.
Heck it may be the only real currency in Social Media.
Spend long enough in a public space online and you are bound to encounter some unpleasantries. When you do here’s my unoriginal advice
- Attempt to resolve it offline
- Always take the high road
Your reputation and integrity are too valuable to gamble.