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What can you do when your (Google) reputation is tarnished?

I’m sure that you’ve Googled yourself. If you haven’t, I can wait a minute. The result you get is fueling the need for a new breed of image manager; the Reputation Manager.

I’m sure that you’ve Googled yourself. If you haven’t, I can wait a minute.

The result you get is fueling the need for a new breed of image manager; the Reputation Manager.

From IOL Technology:

"We are seeing online mobs emerge and launch attacks... with significant consequences, both to the people online and to their reputation offline," University of Maryland law professor Danielle Citron told AFP.

The anonymity afforded by the Internet "gives people a kind of strength to be much harsher than they would be in person," Georgetown University sociology professor, and co-founder of International Reputation Management (IRM) Christine Schiwietz said.

Reputation managers step in where the law has failed, to provide "digital botox" to names in need of repair, as Schiwietz put it.

A group of women law students at prestigious Yale University who were attacked online, in what has come to be known as the Auto-Admit scandal, have taken on the services of reputation management group, Reputation Defender.

Reputation management is by no means a new phenomenon. Whether we’re aware of it or not, our social groups define us based on any number of variables and define where they think we belong. This definition is based on what that group thinks they know about us.

A definition from Wikipedia:

Reputation management is the process of tracking an entity's actions and other entities' opinions about those actions; reporting on those actions and opinions; and reacting to that report creating a feedback loop. All entities involved are generally people, but that need not always be the case. Other examples of entities include animals, businesses, or even locations or materials. The tracking and reporting may range from word-of-mouth to statistical analysis of thousands of data points.

Reputation management has come into wide use with the advent of widespread computing. This is evidenced by a recent front page story in the Washington Post featuring several online reputation management firms. Reputation management systems use various predefined criteria for processing complex data to report reputation. However, these systems only facilitate and automate some aspects the process of determing trustworthiness. This process is central to all kinds of human interaction, including interpersonal relationships, international diplomacy, stock markets, communication through marketing and public relations and sports.

In a world that is more and more dominated by both technology and information, it is easy to see why reputation management is becoming important.

More from IOL Technology:

"There are around 10 000 Google searches made each second, and googling is expected to double or triple because you will be able to do a search anywhere with a handheld device," Kader said.

"I've been at meetings where people have googled the person opposite them," he added.

One method used by IRM to buff someone's Internet legacy is to get the good news about them as high up in Google search results as possible.

"People are increasingly basing their first impression on what they see on the Internet, but few go beyond the first five results on Google," said Kader.

It is not surprising that blogging will result in having your name come up in a Google search. As a blogger, I can only see that as a good thing-- the more people who read me, the better I look to the people who pay me. Fortunately, I have my own reputation management right here on TR -- my peers. I have little doubt that if I mess up, I will hear it, and maybe even in enough time to fix it without resorting to digital Botox. But now I am curious. What would a Google search turn up about you?

More Information:

Do you Google job candidates? (TechRepublic- View from the cubicle)

Smile, you're on Google (TechRepublic- IT News Digest)

Are you prepared to be Googled (TechRepublic- View from the cubicle)

38 comments
deepsand
deepsand

Otherwise, your only recourse is to see the chaplain about getting your TS card punched.

jdclyde
jdclyde

My real name shows three other people in the state by the same name. VERY distant cousins I am told. If I google my TR id, well that is a different story. The Number one find is from when I turned 40 and was wished a happy b day. I have found things I have written linked to on security sites. I have found myself linked to because of the divorce discussion to both divorce AND marriage sites. There was even some links to some porn sites?? :0 Always wonder about that one..... It did make me miss when Jay was doing the "Hot on TR" newsletters though.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Nothing good, nothing bad, nothing. I'm an internet non-entity by my complete name. Almost all references to Palmetto result in TR posts or my fantasy NASCAR league. No reputation, nothing to repair.

Tig2
Tig2

It is not surprising that blogging will result in having your name come up in a Google search. As a blogger, I can only see that as a good thing? the more people who read me, the better I look to the people who pay me. Fortunately, I have my own reputation management right here on TR ? my peers. I have little doubt that if I mess up, I will hear it, and maybe even in enough time to fix it without resorting to digital Botox. But now I am curious. What would a Google search turn up about you?

Answerfactory
Answerfactory

Don't forget to apply the alternate name policy to social networking site, too. You can have a stuff official self and and wild party person self, religious nut self, and other selfs :) Maybe both selfs are equally boring but its still good to have separation. Really job performance is the only good measure of a person's reliability on the job. How a person behaves in a complete different environment has no bearing on how they will behave in the work environment. Watch me at church, or at the ballet. Now watch me on the Soccer field or Rugby field...completely different people.

Jaqui
Jaqui

#3 in the google results for my TR id, and Name is my domain. :D Jaqui MacMillan Hand Drumming Workshop and Resource Guide ... Hand drumming and related events, classes, teachers, and drum circles in Washington, DC and surrounding areas. users.erols.com/jaqui/ - 2k - Cached - Similar pages jaqui on deviantART Art - community of artists and those devoted to art. Digital art, skin art, themes, wallpaper art, traditional art, photography, poetry / prose. Art prints. jaqui.deviantart.com/ - 46k - Cached - Similar pages Jaqui-Greenlees Custom Software for posix compliant unix operating systems, W3C Standards compliant Websites and Information Technology Consulting Services. jaqui-greenlees.net/ - 4k - Cached - Similar pages

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

Googling boxfiddler shows bf to be a tag in a variety of mp3 discussions, but other than that everything that comes up is TR posts. Googling my name (f, l, mi) brings up a mess of people who aren?t me, an address listing, and the listings for courses that I teach. Googling first and last name shows me as a Senior Scientist with a Ph. D from Bowling Green University, a ?Cinderella? beauty pageant winner (HA!), a group 4 mentor somewhere, and a ?yucko in the news?. Hmm? might have to read that last one. And find out where my winnings are for that beauty pageant. Thanks for this one TiggerTwo. Hadn't thought to google me in quite awhile.

TonytheTiger
TonytheTiger

Which is what I usually go by, and "me" was the very first thing listed! (your mentioning the divorce discussion prompted me to try it. When I was going through mine, I was pretty heavy into alt.support.divorce on usenet) [Damn, sure brings back memories. I can hardly remember being that guy. (http://tinyurl.com/299dxa)]

Tig2
Tig2

Nothing is much better than something you would rather not have associated with you. I don't know why I found the article surprising. As Google has become more prevalent, it seems only reasonable that reputation management would become a real business opportunity.

deepsand
deepsand

Otherwise, your only recourse is to see the chaplain about getting your TS card punched.

amittal
amittal

People Googling you for one reason or another are wondering, what's this person's reputation? Although Reputation Defender's approach of controlling what's already out there is one way to conduct "reputation management", an additional way is to put out more positive and accurate information on the Internet. Simple, but effective. There are various ways to do this--I happen to work for a web service called Crederity that helps people who use it to be as transparent as possible on the Internet, hence boosting their reputation. Show people the definitive, real you, and you will have less to worry about people throwing virtual spitballs your way.

Thurston, RJ
Thurston, RJ

Guard your reputation but also realize that you are human, subject to error. Also, you cannot control other people so if someone attempts to tarnish your reputation, post one dispute against it and let it go, unless you have legal grounds not to. Try hard not to get into senseless debates online. If you can't add something positive to a discussion, don't participate in it. Remember, your words will be around a long time!

Bizzo
Bizzo

I don't blog, so my name doesn't get out there much. But Googling this alias finds about 143000 pages. All of which are very random. Linked to one on urbandictionary (can't look at it at work, site blocked), but it looks like Bizzo also means something rude! Oh dear. Googling my real name, using Andy, matches 7. Two from a linkedin site (that I've forgotten about, never use it). Apparently I'm the Social Events Organiser at Hatfield Sports FC. And I'm also a single, 17 year old builder from Blackburn on bebo. Using Andrew, 2 matches only. Finds one guy with Andrew as his middle name, and the other match is a contact from trucksandsheds. Although that one returns a 404. Does that make me special?

seanferd
seanferd

I was looking for something, but can't remember what now. Turns out there are at least two other seanferds in the wild. One had a profile on Amazon, the other, I am not going to try to differentiate. Too much work. I did enjoy this, when I googled my nick just now: I am become Death, Destroyer of Worldsseanferd Ha! :D

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Some of them are about other Tony Hopkinson's though. Which is a pity, because some of the other's seem quite successful and clever. They must f'ing hate me. :p

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

I'm just learning this one myself. Here's a shocker, I have been the target of an online mob that wanted to wreck the rep of one of my screen names.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

I know I am an easy target. I often say things the wrong way or simply before thinking them through. I usually have a thick skin about things though, and can hold my own. That doesn't stop the attacks, but I can fight back, so it usually doesn't get to me. And like I said, I'm an easy target so I expect it. But what I have seen elsewhere has been appalling. Folks, you'd swear I was making this up, but it's true. A friend of mine who passed away from cancer was the subject of a viceous campaign of libel. This person wasn't like me, she didn't antagonize anyone or fight or call names or anything. An online mob just targetted her. As she was going through the final stages of cancer, this mob started posting that she was faking cancer to get sympathy and money. If anyone doubts me, I will provide the names and dates in private email. Once that got out, some people believed it. That's the thing, no matter how outrageous the lie is there are always some who will believe it. Tiggs, I have been doing cleanup for this person for six years now. She's been dead for over a year and the mob still spreads crap about her. PS... I'd fight just as long and hard for you ;)

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

apparently I am a board member for some company (wish I knew so I can get my pay check). Also, I have several other things going on such as being a musician (didnt know it), as well as had a community center named after me (now I feel important), etc.. P.S. -- I went beyond the 5 links though to find all of this.

RknRlKid
RknRlKid

I jealously guard my online reputation. Part of this comes from some of my previous occupational choices (I was a musician). I realized that being in the public eye, in any way shape or form, must be guarded. Being on the internet is no different than being on the cover of a newspaper...both are public records that can be viewed by anyone, for any reason. So, having said that...a Google search on me will turn up that I am: a. An author with a book on sale in a half dozen countries. b. A former city council candidate. c. A guy with multiple degrees, and numerous certifications of various types. d. A past contributor to the Biblical Archeological Review. e. A author noted as an Oklahoma author by a tourism website. f. A guitar and bass player who once played in a heavy rock band, who has eclectic musical tastes. g. A very opinionated person, as my blog talks about music, the internet and society. All of these things are what I have decided I want the world at large to know about me.

RFink
RFink

I was asked at an interview if I played in a rock band. I answered no. This made me curious so when I got home I googled myself and found "Rick Fink and his Gas House Gorillias". I don't even look like the guy. :)

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

However, now you gave some of us (scummy beings) ammunition...... LOL -- Ok, I will lay off for now (until ya piss me off ;)

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

included my full name, address, place of work... not good. It's gone now, my lawyer saw to that.

santeewelding
santeewelding

Excepting forum discussions into "identity" and "definitive" and "real" and "you" and the enunciation of "Crederity."

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

has been a small amount of hate mail for telling people how to electrocute themselves while trying to crack into systems. I guess a little hate mail wont kill me, however, the thought of these stupid punks offing themselves makes me very happy :)

kidstrust
kidstrust

Hello, I have lost my entire net worth due to an extremely acrimonious divorce and a Google reputation smear campaign that has crippled me and my now defunct business. The antagonist is judgment proof, but I still need to sue her so that I can get an injunction against her and get her posting pulled down so that I can begin rebuilding my career and life and hopefully gain custody of my beautiful children. Not easy at 40. I am looking for witnesses that can assist with affidavits and court appearances (by telephone should be OK) that can testify to a 80 year old judge just what Google is and how it can be used to destroy a career. I am looking for: 1. Professional recruiters that can testify about how Google is used as a due-diligence tool 2. Employers who can testify the same 3. Individuals that have been victims of internet libel and had their careers adversely affected Payment I can?t pay for expert testimony. However, my book is due for release in 4-6 months and my publicist believes it will make the Oprah show, whatever way it goes, there would be public thanks in the book and accompanying website which is used to display exhibits etc.. I have also been the victim of attempted murder, so the book is more than just about Google rankings. Anyone willing to help me will receive profuse thanks of course. Expert witnesses would be offered significant public exposure (advertising). Please contact me at kidstrust (a.t) nym.hush (dot) com Thanks in advance. M

Tig2
Tig2

I've seen some of it happen and the article points out one I hadn't heard of yet. The pure viciousness of the "online mob" for lack of a better term, is just amazing. I've seen flame wars, but nothing even remotely like this. And the process that you are in is exactly what reputation management does. Cleans up the mess made by the mob. Sometimes I really wonder about some people.

Tig2
Tig2

Or my maiden name. You need to blog more! Or try Googling Tony the Tiger. Bet you get something then!

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

The Scummy One, I got hits back like "Captain Scummy" (maybe my next name change -- lol) and a few TR threads.

Tig2
Tig2

Until I started actively blogging, a search on my name yielded nothing of interest. Now the return is a bunch of TR threads and some track backs. I can live with that.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

my moniker is ammo enough! :D But have fun... I did find that rather amusing.

Tig2
Tig2

But they exist. We had a yoda here for awhile that would create user accounts that had names very similar to mine. It took forever for him to run out of similar names. And it bothered me that he was able to scam some people into thinking he was me. Generally someone would say something. But it was bothersome. And why he was doing it? Who knows?

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

I'm no angel, I get into fights all the time. Quite often because I misunderstand or am misunderstood. But I don't enjoy hurting people, even when I'm fighting, I don't do it for pleasure. How people could do things like this baffles me.

brian.mills
brian.mills

I went to high school with a kid who had the same first and last name. He was a year behind me and had the same freshman English teacher as me. I found out because my cousin was that teacher's aide and when she saw my name she thought I'd failed freshman English. :( My parents also got a call from someone I share a name with at some mortgage company, and apparently I ran for sheriff one county south of where I'm from. Then there was the weird artist guy who my old pastor's daughter found on the internet and at first thought was me because his domain name was my name. Oh the joys of having a rather common name...

Tig2
Tig2

That they would do you the courtesy of asking. I don't have a problem with being Googled. But I have seen the search results for myself. And while I have lived in a number of places, I've never lived anywhere that I have shared a name with someone.

TonytheTiger
TonytheTiger

and found "me" once. on a town blog asking if anyone knew how to contact me. "TonytheTiger" A lot of people must use that handle in various places. This is the only place I use it. "I" was on page two of the search results. One question: What happens if someone googles your name and gets the goods, but it's a different person with the same name?

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