Geoffrey Stackhouse, Managing Director, Clarity Solutions
The European Union’s new Right to be Forgotten laws have created a massive opportunity for individuals to rewrite history by selectively deleting anything they don’t agree with.
But before you rush in with your virtual red pen and lodge applications to get rid of all those inconvenient truths, spare a thought for pianist Dejan Lazic who has discovered just how dangerous a game it is to play.
Seeking to delete a long forgotten Washington Post concert review, he has now created another 6 million articles about that review and his actions. And that’s in just two days.
In the process he has exposed hundreds of millions of people to the original article who never read it and frankly didn’t care. Lazic has also been widely criticised in the media and in forums for attempting to impose media censorship.
Best of all, the world now has a clearer picture of his overinflated ego given his reference to seeking the 'truth'. At least the 'truth' about how fabulous he is.
It's not just 'artistes' who have precious egos. As someone who's worked in media, PR and corporate training I've seen outrageous temper tantrums from CEOs, analysts and lawyers who have taken umbrage at a journalist's 'truth'.
So what do you do when you don’t like what’s been written about you and how can you deal with unfavourable media?
Is it plain wrong? If it is, contact the journalist politely and give them the correct information. Ask them to correct the mistake online, but think at least three times before demanding a retraction. Everyone makes mistakes;
Has it damaged your reputation? The threat of legal action may mean the allegations will be broadcast further and the story will go on for years.
Let it go. Complaining about one negative story is likely to be seen as trolling if you have many positive stories out there about you. If one story matters, many stories matter more.