16 June 2011 3 Comments

Social Media downside and other issues: Rep. Anthony Weiner

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps 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) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

Social Media in Nigeria, Africa and elsewhere in the world is a powerful communication tool. But like I maintained in a previous post,social media has it challenges. Social Media can be compared to a wild animal. If not tamed, it can tear its owner. In ability to do this well often leads to brand destruction. Rep. Anthony Weiner is a fine politician (Democratic) representing a district in New York. He is A true product of New York’s hardworking middle class. Anthony Weiner knows the challenges most families face, and has worked hard to make sure that all New Yorkers get a shot at a good life. He has succeeded in building a flying career, brand that is enviable. Today, Mr. Weiner is a subject of sex scandal. He had been accused of sending a close-up photo of a male crotch sent from his Twitter account to a female college student. This became a public discourse for over three weeks. Unfortunately he kept denying, saying his twitter account was hacked. Rep. Weiner, Social media and governance, Social Media and government, Social Media and leadershipSome consider this offence as ‘intellectual prostitution’

The beginning of all this denial was provoked by the fact that Americans know he has every opportunity to report the incidence to Internet cyber security or US Police. If that claim had been true anyway. Another annoying fact was Mr. Weiner consistent ‘front’ was that the seventeen year old girl involved (Clarence Thomas) was a college student and constituent member. A politician of Weiner’s status was expected to be a role model coupled with the fact that his wife is not one year yet and his wife is pregnant. In addition to this he committed the act within a professional/official environment.

When Mr. Weiner was interviewed by some journalists, he denied the fact that he was in the picture ‘purportedly’ sent through his twitter account and that he was not the person who ‘tweet’ that stuff. Weiner told journalist that the said ‘tweet’ was a spam or something. But after a while, The Washington Times of June 15 stated Rep. Weiner eventually acknowledged he  was denying the  act after three weeks of intense debate and denials. He is today asking for forgiveness and understanding.

Watch your back on social media participation: social media is a public domain. Nothing is private anymore. Take serious consideration in ‘friending’ those who may not contribute to your success even if you are popular brand/figure. Also note, it is not everyone on your friend’s list that you should build intimate relationship with. Know how to classify your friends. The classification may be intimate, acquaintance, crowd etc. Rep Weiner did not do this. According to online source, he was sending all manners of pictures to most women he met online. The moral, it is not everyone that is your friend online is really your friend.

Do not lie, transparency is key: No brand can deny a case in the public course today. If a brand makes mistakes, it should acknowledge, asks for forgiveness from the audience and work hard on regaining its image. I am of the opinion if Rep. Weiner had acknowledged fast, the trouble would not have aggravated to this level. As of the time of posting the blog, there is a rumour he is considering resignation. The damage is already done, his political career may not remain the same again. For long Rep. Weiner kept denying that he was responsible for the ‘tweet’. Today it has been proven he was the person behind the tweet. Be transparent, that is key in Social Media.

Be responsible: No brand can be out rightly successful without a measure of responsibility. Rep. Weiner was accused of using his official time to text, engaging in this irresponsible act within a professional environment-national Assembly complex. Stop non- polite jokes. At a certain level, a brand must be responsible in its action, speech and behaviour.

What do you think?

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