Complaints Can Come From Anywhere
With just a computer and internet access, anybody, anywhere can post anything they want any time out in the cyber world. This freedom and anonymity can lead to some serious problems for honest, hardworking business people. According to online reputation management firms, complaints abound about malicious postings can hurt a business’s good name.
Just because the playing field may seem level for most businesses in a given arena, competition is the name of the game and the internet’s anonymity offers a tempting way to get a leg up. Let’s face it, there’s no place like the web for people to lie or to fabricate information. Just like it’s easier to be an obnoxious dolt when behind the wheel and surrounded by a ton of metal, people are better able to lie online than they are face to face. And lies are usually accepted as truth more quickly when they appear online. That’s not always the case in real life.
So, that makes it a lot easier for a company to have its reputation soiled by a few lies appearing on the internet. Past customers who may for whatever reason hold a grudge can blast a business with little fear of being found out, and even less fuel to backup their claims. Competitors can just go online and spread lies about the guy across the street, or across town.
It is the anonymity of the internet that can make it so dangerous to business owners. Complaints online are often faceless, and just like self-selecting polls in newspapers and other digital media, often satisfy the complainer. Lacking a background that includes a lot of technical knowledge, it can be difficult, if not impossible for a businessperson to trace a bad or mean-spirited website to its source. Often when a website allows the posting of reviews, there is no identification requirement, nor is there any real way of verifying the poster. Again, this makes it easier for a person to say nearly anything without fear of being exposed, whether it’s true or false.
It is the web’s anonymous nature that makes it difficult for businesses to maintain the pristine image they would like to project. According to online reputation management companies, complaints and negative reviews and comments can continue to be found for years using any search engine. The best way to combat these anonymous mud slingers is with online reputation management to restore your good name, and put the truth, rather than lies out in the public forum.