An interesting thing happened to me recently – when I say interesting, at the time I found it a little disturbing!  We were walking the dog on beach when my twitter alerts starting going off, I glanced down to see the word “liar” in a tweet referring to me!

What on earth ???

I did a little digging around and worked out that my twitter user name @MichelleF had been mistakenly used by a Trump fan (@JoanneDavis) to accuse now former Breitbart journalist Michelle Fields of lying about being violently pushed by a Trump staffer.  Michelle’s twitter user name is @MichelleFields.  I felt a little annoyed that my twitter account had been pulled into this by mistake but decided to just let it go..  But then I got a couple more tweets again calling me a liar, a stupid ass and finally a “C word” by @MarshallFSmith!

To be honest I did feel a little angry and bullied after being pulled into these twitter threads just because these people didn’t bother to do any basic research!  However after the initial rush of indignation that they could digitally drag my “good” twitter name through the mud, I calmed down and got on with life on the other side of the world (Tasmania, Australia) and just hoped that this tiny storm in a teacup would not effect my coaching business.  It did in fact go away and of course the only clients who learnt about it where the ones I told 😉

Now Michelle Fields is in the news because this little incident at a Trump rally has been moved to a court of law (ABC News article).  Hearing it in the news this morning I decided to use the experience to write a post about what we can learn from incidents like this…

It seems to me that the web is full of people saying what first comes into their heads and that in its self is not a problem (I do that ALL the time) but when they are passing judgement on other people without doing even a little rudimentary research things can get a little sticky!  Even this story about Michelle Fields is an example – people are running around calling her a liar, however there is obviously enough evidence for charges to be laid, perhaps there is something to the story?  I have no idea because I wasn’t there and I assume that most of the people talking about it on Twitter were also NOT there.

What am I saying?  Please people of the Internet do a little research before you say nasty things about another person AND don’t believe everything you read on the Internet – many of the tweet alerts I was getting where from people blindly retweeting the hate tweets with my twitter user name in them!

What lessons can we learn from this, when as businesses we’re trying to get our messages out there?

“Don’t be part of the noise – learn to stand out by standing up for what you believe!” 

Oh and if some silly Trump (@realDonaldTrump) supporters can’t be bothered to do their research use this to write a blog post showing how stupid they are!