Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communication specialist, Social Media expert, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps brands(Profits and Non-profits)with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa)
Social tools like social networking, professional networking, blogging and micro blogging tools are great. They make communication and relationship building so easy in our today?s world. They have transformed the way we build relationship and carry out our advocacy and campaign management amongst many communication routes available today.
But as great as they are, casual use of them without strategy or decisions may lead to untold damage which may not be envisaged. One thing that still makes this avenue a big deal is the fact that you can still pay for your ignorance ten or twenty years down the line as long as the piece posted online is still there. Some have even argued items deleted online can still be found with the right software long after it had been deleted.
The essence of all this is for us to be cautious. In a casual discussion the other day, someone asked if he could be penalized for retweeting an item that does not originate from him. My candid advice was that even if you are not the author and you have written the caveat ?Retweet is not an endorsement?, you can still be held liable or suffer for sharing stuff you do not believe in. But a colleague argued then that there is a law that protect the person who retweet/repost such piece online. My usual advice is it is better to be saved than to be a victim.
To justify our point on this, there is a very good case study making round the internet which can serve as a point of reference for us all. According to this report, a Nigerian former Minister of Health (Prof. Muhammad Pate) might have been deprived of ?a global opportunity just because he retweeted an article from The New Yorker.
We learnt that decision to drop the former Minister was not because he did not have the right qualification or fit for the top job but a causal look at some of his tweets in the past might have been responsible for his disqualification. In this case we need to note he was not the author of the article in the The New Yorker which seems to agree with our position earlier. But his supposed ?sin? was the fact that he retweeted the article.
According to the article above, the Minister might have complained of racism, bias but the fact that the job will be going to another person is a reality. Also note that the retweet was not done this year, so the reality is that because there are no immediate reprimand do not mean you can not suffer for your misdeed in the years to come.
What lessons can we learn here?
1.If you do not strongly share the feeling, don?t? Except you are very sure the feeling resonates with your values and you are ready to bear the consequences it is better to read and move on.
2.If possible avoid controversial issues: There are opinions which may not worth your future sacrifice. So think and consider if this stuff you want to repost, retweet is worth the sacrifice it may require in the future.
3.Be assured the original writer may not be there for you: In most cases, the real writer of the piece may not have anything at stake in the long run, so it is your responsibility to share or ignore.
4. Be cautious if you do not have full information: there are several angles to any story. It may excite you to read or hear about any breaking news or article online. The fact is it may be ongoing story that needs further clarification which the writer will add later. If you are carried away by half information you may pay heavily for this. This may not be the case in this case study as we do not have full information as well but what we offerjust a professional advice.
Do you have any experience or points you want to share, please use the comment section below