Jim Rovers – Senior Vice President of AFIMACMay 2, 2023
We are in an age of protest and there is a great deal of angst among the public. Everyone is on heightened alert and the public’s tolerance is much lower than it has been in the past. The temperature of conflict has had a tendency to rise quickly. Insensitive comments made online can be reshared quickly, sparking online backlash, threats against executive safety, and creating heated demonstrations against a business or brand.
If you have any corporate brand or workforce, it’s likely that your business will come into some form of conflict or disagreement with the public. It could be something your company has done, someone targeting an executive for what they have said, or for the work your staff complete. Many reporters are being targeted for online threats and harassment for reporting on the news, while there is a great deal of angst in the food industry for comments made on social media.
We’re seeing information weaponized by different individuals to promote anger towards a specific or brand executive, and the result has been threats of violence against executives and workforces. Business leaders could experience sudden protests at their workplace, with more serious threats against individual executives personally.
Corporations have a fair bit of work to do in respect to due diligence on a executive’s social media’s presence. Many have unknowingly revealed personal information about themselves that could create security risks. Cell phone numbers and personal addresses could weaponize such information, creating personal safety risks for executives, their homes, and families.
Protests against corporate entites have also spilled beyond the workplace, we are also seeing more targeting of corporate events, shareholder meetings, speaking engagements, and trade shows.
People in the public eye, and not just media, but those who represent well-recognized brands including senior executives are at risk of having their comments misunderstood and amplified. The world is a lot more in tune with what is going on around them, and social media amplifies that information you are going to have to make sure you’re company has built-in security plans to address the security risks.