So here is a “hypothetical” situation for you….

Person A leaves a comment on person B’s blog. Person C contacts person B making some claims about person A’s past. What to do?

In an ideal world person B would give person A the opportunity to respond and, in the event that the claims can be refuted, would decide to not accept the comment. In a less than ideal world person B would allow the comment to appear, thereby denying person A the natural justice right of reply. Given both the breadth and speed of spread of the internet, person A’s reputation could be harmed significantly in a very short space of time.

This situation actually occurred to yours truly and led to a dialogue between Michael Gregg and myself – luckily MG is a prudent, cautious and above all fair individual, and allowed natural justice to have it’s day.

In the space of the dialogue however MG commented that;

“The concept of social networking has a dangerous underbelly.  Opening up a blog or even commenting is almost like becoming a politician!”

in this statement he is correct and this is an issue that we all need to be aware of. On the one hand no longer can people expect previous indiscretions to remain hidden and on the other people need to be aware that unsubstantiated remarks can have a significantly detrimental affect on people’s reputations.

It is an area that will really come to prominence in the next few years – already we’ve seen sites set up to sanitise an individuals online image, these are a very small start to what will become a PR and legal goldmine in the very near future.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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