Archive for the ‘Bullying’ Category

Expressing what you think of others online

July 4, 2017

Trump

Sometimes when you make your feelings known about others it can end up saying even more about you than it does about them:

Trump tweets

Be careful what you say online..

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full-service agency that offers Social Media Consultancy from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

Defamation and your reputation

August 11, 2015

Defamation

This week we had to deal with a potential defamation scenario for a client because of some of their online activity.

In this case they had received a solicitors letter accusing them of defamation because of something that they had posted in a personal blog post. This whole area is very interesting because it deals with the most valuable of assets,”your reputation” and it also had the element of online, which makes it even more intriguing.

Your Reputation

Your good reputation is one of the most precious assets that you have and it is in your interest to protect it at all costs. A good reputation is built up over time and it comes about from how you conduct all aspects of your business including the delivery of your products and services, how you treat your customers, your suppliers and your team and how you interact with the general public.

A good reputation will win you business, it will attract customers who will want to do business with you and it will give suppliers, banks, investors and landlords that necessary trust so they are happy to deal with you. If something does go wrong, as things often do then a good reputation will protect you because people will know that you are to be trusted and that whatever has happened you will sort it out.

A lot of the work we do with clients can be described as reputation management. We work hard to ensure that all the great things that our clients do are publicised and if potentially damaging incidents occur then we make sure that these situations are carefully managed so that any damage is limited.

A reputation often takes many years to build, but this can be destroyed easily in just moments by circumstances.

Defamation

Because your reputation is such a precious asset it is only right that their is legal protection available to you, should anyone ever defame you.

We have found that defamation can be quite a misunderstood term as many feel that it applies whenever someone ‘says something bad about you‘  which is certainly not the case.

A few elements must normally be in place for something to be deemed as ‘defamation’:

Precise information – You must know exactly what has been said or publicised about you and be able to demonstrate this.

Clearly identified – The parties claiming to be defamed must be clearly identified in the offending publication.

False statements – It can only be deemed as defamation if what has been said is largely untrue. You might not like what is being said about you but if it is true this is not defamation!

Publication – It is only deemed as defamation if the publication of the remarks was relatively wide. Being overheard by a few people would not be enough.

Defamation

Online dimension

The online environment makes this whole area even more complicated.

Does a post on a blog or on someone’s social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn carry as much weight as an article in a newspaper, some other publication or a comment on radio or TV? If I have 6,000 followers on twitter and someone else has 100 is a false statement by me a bigger misdemeanour?

It’s all a question of distribution and how many people may have seen or heard the false statements and then someone has the tricky job of assessing how much potential damage has been done by the false statement.

Another tricky dimension with the online environment is that if others make defamatory comments about someone on your ‘platform’ (blog/discussion board) then you could be liable as you did not remove the offending posts.

Defamation is a notoriously difficult area of law so even when all the elements are in place anyone considering a case in this area must have deep pockets and lots of time on their hands before considering legal action. (Check out some of the cases that have been tried in Ireland).

Our client

With the scenario that we had to deal with this week none of the critical elements were in place so our client had nothing to worry about and certainly nothing that would damage their own reputation – in fact it was quite the opposite.

In this case one of the people involved had written a blog post about the personal impact of an incident whereby they had been seriously wronged. They never once mentioned who the offending party were in their post and they were 100% truthful in what they had said.

Ironically the offending party ‘recognised’ themselves in the post and cried ‘foul’ and immediately ran to their solicitors who were happy to claim defamation, which it clearly was not. In this case the solicitor should have known better than to make such an incorrect and unprofessional accusation – is this a defamatory comment?

I’m always amused to see how it’s nearly always the ‘offenders’ who get most vigorous about protecting their rights!

Your good reputation is hard earned and it is a precious asset of huge value to your business. The best advice is to manage your reputation carefully so no one ever has a reason to say something bad about you.

If someone is making false, damaging accusations about you then you do have a legal mechanism but make sure that all the right elements are in place before going down this potentially costly and distracting road.

Your good reputation is everything.

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Reputation Management and Crisis PR services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

The Pencil is mightier than the Sword: Je Suis Charlie

January 15, 2015

Chalie Hebdo

The New Year has started with a strange turn of events, where moral and pseudo-religious outrage has turned into a horrific and tragic attack on not only the press, but free thinking and the right to believe differently.

Wednesday the 7th January saw an attack on the offices of the publishers of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine that has a track record of poking fun at authority, politics and religions. Much has been written by people far more eloquent than I am in regards to the rights and wrongs, the justifications and unjustifiable following the attack (and subsequent incidents in France).

My position on the writers, cartoonists and editorial team is simple, I believe that they were right to challenge, to fuel debate and to publish what they did. My stance on the attacks is that they are wrong.

Je Suis Charlie

What I would like to do, is draw attention to the manner in which the world reacted to the attack, in a collection of defiant and beautiful powerful messages. As someone who works in a creative industry, one where people differ frequently, where passion and commitment cross paths with opinions and counter opinions, I saw a unified movement, where once again, the adage that the pen is mightier than the sword was proved correct.

The powerful imagery that has emerged has been incredible, moving, supportive and full of emotion and empathy once again capturing our attention about these issues visually.

Reaction to the initial attack quickly moved from an informative/news based set to messages of support, loss, horror and disgust, and the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie began to emerge. Within three days it had been used over 5 million times, peaking at approximately 6,500 times a minute. But in my opinion, the most poetic and the strongest reaction happened by artists and cartoonists, the very people who the attempt to silence was aimed at.

Their dignity and solidarity was incredible, and it made the power of their message stronger through its absolute rejection of intimidation. The acts of violence are a stark contrast to the peaceful counter demonstrations, but I would argue that they are a more powerful and (hopefully) successful act, using nothing more than ink and paper to deliver a wholly defiant two fingers in retaliation.

Some of the images below are the ones that I feel best show the levels of emotion and defiance. It’s just a shame that such work has to be created in the first place.

Thank you for reading ..

#JeSuisCharlie

Je Suis CharlieJe Suis Charlie

Je Suis CharlieJe Suis CharlieJe Suis CharlieJe Suis CharlieJe Suis CharlieJe Suis Charlie

Jonathan

Jonathan Leahy Maharaj leads our creative Graphic Design Department in Fuzion with offices in Cork and Dublin, Ireland 

Bossy women?

June 18, 2014

Bossy Women

It’s been bothering me…….

I’m forever promoting women and will go out of my way to help girls of all ages reach their full potential.  I think women are absolutely amazing and genuinely believe that if there were more of us in government, on boards and other positions of leadership and decision making, the country would be a much better place to work and live in.

I know Sheryl Sandburg, Facebook CEO (whom I adore btw) has a new campaign, about banning the “bossy” word when it comes to girls.  Sinead O’Connor (whom I don’t adore btw) has joined the campaign by renaming her new album “I’m not bossy, I’m the boss” – and she sure is, in the amazing photo-shoot that was released recently.

Sheryl Sandberg - Bossy womenSheryl Sandburg’s belief is that by calling girls bossy in the playground you can hinder their growth as future leaders – as being assertive can be seen as a negative trait for girls to have.

But you know what, based on my own experience as a woman in business, in this instance I’m not sure I agree with Sheryl or Sinead!

I do think there is a breed of women in business that feel they have to be aggressive or bossy to get ahead.

I feel some act this way because they have an over inflated opinion of themselves; paradoxically others behave this way because deep down they are insecure about their own abilities – or perhaps they just act this way because they know they can get away with it.  Basically most feel they have to over compensate for being female by acting this way.

This is based on my own experiences which go back to the 1970’s when I worked as a very small kid in my parents’ restaurant back in Kerry.

I know even my colleagues when they come out of a meeting with a particularly tricky client/prospect, who is being difficult for no particular reason – nine times out of ten the tricky person will have been a woman.

In general guys are far less complicated, with far fewer agendas.  That’s my opinion!!

In the past year I have experienced some really unreasonable, aggressive and yes bossy women who want to push their perceived superiority onto other women – and I often find – this type of woman will bully other women but not men!!

In the company of men, eye lashes are fluttered; they take men’s opinions more seriously and treat men with more respect.

In fact these women are some of the most sexist people I have come across and do nothing to really encourage other women in business, at a time when we should as women in business be supporting and encouraging each other.

Some women have incomprehensible agendas going on – where they don’t want other women to get ahead, even resenting their ability and/or success!!!

On a real positive note, I know thankfully these women are in the minority.

Mad Women - Jane MaasSome of the most positive experiences I have had in my long working life have been around my engagement with amazing women in business, like the team I work with now in Fuzion – great and caring professionals who would bust a gut for their clients and their colleagues; my very best buddy, Ciara, who I met through work and is as close to me as a sister and so many really great friends that I have made through work.

My greatest business heroes are women – the trailblazing original “Mad WomanJane Maas and another New Yorker, Rose of Tralee founder – Margaret Dwyer.

I am also part of an amazing organisation called Network Ireland, for women in business and through this organisation I see first-hand women supporting each other, inspiring each other – even starting businesses together.

So what will we do with these bossy/aggressive women?

It’s not enough to ban the word – as it isn’t banning the women themselves!!!

First of all try not to take it personally – which is hard not to do when you are in the middle of a situation!

Kill them with professionalism; ever so nicely challenge them on their behaviour and finally try to have the least amount of engagement with them as possible.

If that fails – think Karma!

If you do bad onto others – it will probably come back and bite you in the ass in the future and when you least expect it!!

Deirdre Waldron - Fuzion PRDeirdre Waldron is a Partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design firm with offices in Cork and Dublin

 

Erin, Ciara and Cyberbullying

November 1, 2012

Teenage DiscoI remember being 13 – it was one of the years I enjoyed most in my life!

I was hanging around with a cool gang, I was discovering Deep Purple, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, I played football day and night – it was a time when we were gaining independence but without  too much responsibility and the “big” school exams were still  a few years away.

And of course there were the girls, the first disco’s (Highfield Rugby Club) …life was great!

Erin Gallagher - victim of cyber bullyingHow could the age of 13 end up being so different for Erin Gallagher in 2012?

I struggle to get my head around how she felt and how social media, something I enjoy so much could play a part in making her so miserable that she took a decision to end her beautiful life.

Just like Ciara Pugsley a few weeks earlier, taking her own life was her best solution to cope with what she was going through.

Social Media?

Of course social media isn’t to blame.

However social media unfortunately provides bullies (let’s face it – they have always existed) with more ammo, with a thicker skin and the ability to bully from a distance and often with a degree of anonymity.

This is why we have a responsibility to step up to the mark and go further than ever before to make sure that bullying is highlighted and that the bullies are stopped and exposed.

Parents & teachers

It’s no longer enough that we can plead ignorance and dismiss Facebook and the other social media platforms as being something for the young folk.

It’s no longer enough to ban our children from using the platforms – they will anyhow.

To protect our vulnerable children we need to jump in ourselves, learn and understand how these powerful and very useful social media platforms work, discover the risks and plan so that these can be managed and minimised.

Lead the way

We owe it to our kids to show them how to:

  • Set up their personal accounts properly
  • Maintain their privacy settings
  • Connect with “friends” safely
  • Think about what they post
  • Post appropriately
  • Spot and deal with inappropriate behaviour
  • “Unfriend” and Block certain users
  • Report Bullying

All of the functionality and procedures are in place to make this possible – learn about them.

Please download our “Safebook” poster , which is a simple aid for parents and teachers to help promote the responsible and safe use of Social Media and assist them in a bullying or inappropriate situation.

If our child is drowning they must know how to help themselves and must know when to ask for help.

Ciara Pugsley - victim of cyber bullyingWe owe it to the memory of Erin and Ciara, their parents, friends and families to take responsibility and help to make our exciting new world a great place for every 13 year old.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion provide Social Media Training and Consultancy in Cork and Dublin


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