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Online Reputation Management For Dummies by Lori Randall Stradtman

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Evaluating Impact and Credibility

When a reputation attack occurs, always consider the source. Often the most awful–sounding gossip, rumors, or accusations about you or your brand come from sources who simply aren’t credible. Most people understand this and are well aware that such rumors may very well be the ravings of a deranged lunatic. However, you can’t always count on this.

The biggest issue you need to consider is how influential this source is. If you’re really dealing with a deranged lunatic, odds are good that he is probably just talking out loud to himself online, and his words should not affect your credibility. If your source is someone with influence, on the other hand — someone with plenty of followers or readers — then you’ll have to take matters more seriously.

remember.eps The easier it is to disseminate information to an increasingly large audience, the greater the threat to your reputation.

When you encounter a situation that’s serious enough to take action, consider first demanding a retraction or correction. If the attack is unfounded, your chances are good for getting what you want.

How can you tell how influential attackers are? In Chapters 14 and 15 I go into greater detail on how to determine whether a threat is credible or not, but the following are the first things you should look at in order to more accurately assess an attacker’s influence online:

Size of his Twitter ...

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