The power of words used on a social media platform have proven to be a destructive force for one journalist. According to Nir Rosen, a liberal freelance journalist who recently wrote about the Egyptian government overthrow, a series of unfortunate comments he made regarding Lara Logan, the American CBS correspondent who was sexually assaulted in Cairo resulted in him losing his job at New York University. In an article for Salon magazine http://www.salon.com/news/egyptian_protests/index.html?story=/mwt/feature/2011/02/17/nir_rosen_explains_twitter_controversy, he defended his reasoning and offered an apology. Ultimately, the irony is that the same people who read his questionable Twitter posts are not likely the same people who read the Salon magazine article. Another version of this news is rather shamelessly described in a very different opinion piece written for American Thinker magazine here: http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/02/risky_business_lara_logan_and.html. In my opinion, there is little doubt that Twitter has the same power to incite a mob mentality. At a minimum, such short “tweets” can cause both misunderstanding and misbehavior on the part of the reader or the writer. In America, the freedom of the press allows both of these written articles to exist without government censorship or recrimination, however, public opinion via the Internet certainly appears to be more abrupt and career limiting.
Harris Interactive recently published a survey that measured the percentage of Americans who believe the statements made by spokespeople from certain types of companies. The results are revealing about the opinions American’s have about specific business categories. Here are the results:
Accounting Firms: 67 percent believe, 33 percent don’t believe
Banks: 62 percent believe, 38 percent don’t believe
Health Insurance: 51 percent believe, 49 percent don’t believe
Mortgage: 49 percent believe, 51 percent don’t believe
Credit Card: 36 percent believe, 64 percent don’t believe.
Where does your organization stand in terms of credibility with customers?