LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Google bombing, truth remix, motive laundering; these are all terms created in the book, "Digital Assassination" that detail how reputations can be destroyed online.
In 2008, Tyson Foods was involved in union negotiations in Shelbyville, Tennessee. Talks were progressing smoothly. The union requested a different holiday from Labor Day.
Somehow, that got warped when it hit the internet, so that it made Tyson look like it wanted to put an end to Labor Day. Suddenly, Tyson was being attacked online, in blogs, and other social media outlets. They then found themselves "Google bombed."
If you googled Tyson, you got all the negative publicity over a false claim, that Tyson wanted to eliminate Labor Day.
The controversy peaked in early fall, when in one day, Tyson got 17,000 e-mails in one day!
Tyson addressed the problem immediately, and began a systematic process of improving its image on line. They offer a lesson to us all.
Richard Terranzano, co-author of "Digital Assassination," says that the first step in preventing an on line disaster, personal or business, is to get educated about the various forums available out there. Find out what the different quirks are surrounding Facebook, or twitter, or linkein, or blog sites.
He then recommends a regular series of posts, highlighting the two or three things you want people to know about you.
Josh Carroll, an information security specialist from central Arkansas, goes one step further, and recommends that on line users zero in on sites involving their particular interest or career.
Terranzano maintains that a consistent, positive message is like insurance against attacks. If it's not there, then all you'll get is the negative.
Carroll reminds us of the golden rule of going on line: "Never ever post anything to a website or social network that you wouldn't want read by your mother, your boss, or your pastor.