CHAPTER 5 Double jeopardy: why you can’t not be there

It’s impossible not to be involved in social media. Why?

  • You can be drawn in when you don’t want to be.
  • New media allows people to speak out.
  • People in your organisation use it.
  • The law says so.

Let’s look at these in turn.

You can be drawn in

There are many ways, good and bad, that you can be impacted by social media even if you don’t want to be.

Because the media focuses on what happens when things go wrong, so will I, not to reinforce the scaremongering but to talk through what we’ve learned from these crises and how they can be prevented and managed, and to demonstrate that, whether you like it or not, you’re part of the socially connected world.

But a caveat. Most of the time what is going on online is business as usual. Yes there are the horror stories of the Facebook party that turned wild, or trolls tweet-bombing insults or bullies who extend their offensive behaviour into the online world. Most of the time, though, people go about their daily business, forming strategic and serendipitous connections with others who share their interests and values and for whom the name of the game is reciprocity. And because of what we’ve learned, when the offenders do come out, social media platforms have ways of dealing with them.

That said, let’s look at what happens when things go wrong. We’ll start with one of the worst things that could happen to a person — being falsely accused of being a paedophile. This happened in ...

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