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The Impact of Online Defamation on an Employer’s Brand

May 18, 2023

Online Defamation of Executives

Online defamation against a corporation is the latest hurdle for entities looking to maintain their public reputation and recruit top talent. Defamation on the internet, however, can alter the perspective of even the most well-known brands, swaying the public to take their business elsewhere or even boycott your company entirely. When social media defamation is left unaddressed, online posts can be reshared quickly, even if their contents are untrue.  Avoid internet defamation by performing online due diligence for your brand and senior executives. Many employers are unaware of the personal information available publicly online, which could threaten individual executives and your entire corporate brand.

AFIMAC’s risk mitigation strategies take into consideration the threats against your company that exist both in the physical and digital worlds. Complete online due diligence of your senior executives and tap into the conversations about your organization with the intelligence gathering and social listening tools from AFIMAC.

Online Defamation Consequences Experienced by Executives

Many bad actors hide behind anonymous social accounts to harass specific leaders or spread false narratives that can be easily reshared, gaining “viral” attention through different social platforms. These bad actors play in a legal gray area and are often not considered to be conducting a crime unless private networks and devices have been breached or hacked. That does, however, not stop those working to defame and hurt their target’s reputation.

These campaigns can also include the families of executives with the purpose of creating a sense of fear at the home and office. These efforts can become increasingly more frightening, prompting security needs and executive protection when harassment turns into real-life threats.

There are ways to manage these risks, and social media audits conducted by a third party can identify information that could later turn into a serious security risk. Many times, executives have left personal details online about their lives, available to anyone with a computer. Some bad actors may collect this, including photos and contact information posted years ago, later editing and publishing images intended to embarrass or offend. These campaigns can be shaped to hurt your organization’s goals, encourage investor groups to sell, or even prompt sharp reactions from the general public.

Online Defamation and Its Consequences on Recruitment

Should your organization be facing a labor shortage, digital defamation campaigns can influence job seekers not to apply to your business. Fabricated negative reviews found on major job boards can influence the decisions of applicants, while other social posts may paint a false narrative about a specific leader just to harm your recruitment efforts. Social listening tools available from AFIMAC can notify employers of negative and false reviews about a company, gathering intelligence and identifying the source of such slander.

Online Defamation and Workplace Security Risks

Online defamation campaigns against your business can be relentless, attempting to shape public discourse and create a false narrative about senior leaders and the company. Social media, message boards, and other public forums are breeding grounds for slander, sometimes organized by several people with alternative interests or a group of former employees. 

When staff are frustrated or have been recently laid off, digital slander can stoke the flames of anger and even encourage people to protest or picket against a business or their workplace. Some of these campaigns can be intentionally crafted to create confusion among a workforce, distorting the truth and encouraging others to act out or protest against the business. At these times, digital slander can quickly grow from being an annoyance to real-life security risks that must be addressed. 

AFIMAC can monitor the security threats to senior leaders and offer executive protection and around-the-clock resources to ensure the safety of both executives and the company. In especially bad circumstances, senior leaders will need to explore 24-hour security resources for their homes to protect themselves and their families.

Online Defamation and Risk Mitigation with AFIMAC

Lean on the intelligence gathering and social listening tools of AFIMAC to manage ongoing risks to your business, including your brand’s reputation and workplace. When defamation campaigns are left unchecked, it can create an unsafe workplace for all staff and leaders. Make efforts to protect both people and property with the many tools available from AFIMAC.

Contact us today by emailing Jim Rovers of AFIMAC at jrovers@afimaccan.com.

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