Fake News and Reputation Management

A recent piece on discusses the perils of engaging in the proliferation of fake news when it comes to your online reputation. Lida Citroen argues that it boils down to a fundamental question of credibility. There is no question that managing your reputation online has become essential, and it would be foolish not to expend energy in getting potential customers or employers to see you in a positive light.

However, Citroen argues that managing your reputation is not about being deceitful, but rather about being careful. It’s about expressing yourself in a way that leaves a positive impression on people. This is why being truthful is a must, because fake news makes it impossible to build a sustainable connection with the people you are trying to reach.

Citroen mentions a oft-repeated fact that too many people have learned the hard way. What you post on the Internet today is here to stay, and its effects will linger for a very long time, reveals Practicing reputation management means, in part, being purposeful about the messages that you choose to put out, and publishing false news is one strategy that is sure to come back to haunt you.

You might wonder why anyone would engage in this behavior. The short answer to this question is that people are not fully aware of what they are doing. As Citroen points out, there is an echo chamber effect at play in the Internet, and like-minded people tend to congregate together and feed off of each other. Unverified information can quickly go viral and participating in this process may not be in your best interests in the long run.

The solution is to reflect careful before publishing information or re-posting something that could be damaging to another person’s or brand’s reputation. Ask yourself how reliable the information is and what you stand to gain from posting it. At the end of the day, benefits and risks are what strategic thinking are all about, and reputation management is a strategic discipline.

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