Social Media Meltdown

A few days ago a woman by the name of Amanda Bonnen posted this tweet about her apartment:

“You should just come anyway. Who said sleeping in a moldy apartment was bad for you? Horizon realty thinks it’s okay.”

She had 18 followers. So, a few people saw it.

However, yesterday Horizon Realty filed a defamation lawsuit against her for $50,000. An uproar ensued as word got out. The Twitterverse and blogosphere came alive. Over the past 24 hours the news has spread like wildfire. It gained more steam since the PR person for the company said “We’re a sue first, ask questions later company”. Now, 6 of the top 10 searches on Google for the company name talks about this lawsuit and highlights this quote.

Not only that but everyone from the WSJ to BBC have picked up on it and featured it on their online editions. So, what only a handful of people would have seen – is now known by millions. The worst part is that the infamous quote will forever be indexed by search robots and be associated with the company on search engine results.

Either you are humbled by the power of social media or you’ll be humbled by it! Or, in this case, your lawyers better understand that 140 characters sent to 18 people may not be worth the trouble – a kind note from a customer service rep asking how they can help may be better.

But then again users of social networking sites need to understand that they are in a public forum and their words do have consequences.  My personal rule is if I can’t say say it to my mom or my boss right in their face I won’t put it on my blog, my Facebook update or anyother place.

Your thoughts?

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