The internet will make you accountable for your actions

I wouldn’t normally advocate reading The Sun, but as much as it pains me to do so I need to make a point.

A woman has apparently initiated divorce proceedings against her husband after spotting his car outside another woman’s house, on Google Street View.

“Top media laywer Mark Stephens” was quoted saying, “I suspect the husband’s lawyers will claim it was an invasion of privacy that will cost him his marriage and Range Rover.”

He may well lose his marriage and precious shagg wagon but it’s not Street View that’s brought that cost upon him, he’s done that all on his own.

And here, my patient readers, is where my point comes in.

The internet is an open and democratic medium. Get filmed, photographed or otherwise captured doing something you shouldn’t and you could well face the consequences.

It’s not the fault of the internet, of Google, of ISPs or of web site owners. It’s your fault.

Moaning about having your ‘privacy invaded’ because you got caught humping your cleaner thanks to the internet is akin to complaining that you got caught speeding because you happened to have been followed by an un-marked Police car.

The solution is quite simple: don’t do anything you wouldn’t want anyone knowing about. Especially cheating on your wife!

And guess what, the same applies (even more so, in fact) to companies.

On an almost daily basis my twitterstream contains tweets pertaining to bad customer service. I always worry for those companies. I wish, for their sake, that they’re monitoring Twitter, and the rest of the web.

If not, they are potentially letting their reputation sink lower and lower. As tools like Twitter, Facebook and Get Satisfaction gain traction, more and more people are making themselves heard. Word of mouth as a communication medium has rocketed to new heights.

So, if you’re a business do two things right now.

  1. Smarten up. Don’t do anything you wouldn’t mind the world knowing about.
  2. Keep an eye on what’s happening to your brand online. Failure to do so could result in a seriously damaged reputation.


5 responses to “The internet will make you accountable for your actions”

  1. ThomasWigley Avatar

    I agree mate. People should realise that its not the internets fault. People are too liberal with the content that they put on the web – but then moan when the sh!t hits the fan.

    And companies who dont respect the power of social networking and review sites should just shut up shop right away…idiots.

    Rant over…..

  2. Seth Simonds Avatar

    Aww man, he’s losing is Rover? hehe.

    I have this odd feeling that his wife had very specific reasons for checking THAT address in Google. One doesn’t just troll streets for nothing…right?

    I definitely think the same warning applies to companies. Some will catch on but still fail because they don’t have the right people executing their plan.

    I’ve also seen some “power users” on Twitter slash at specific brands on the spur-of-the-moment simply because they can. What if I throw you out of my hotel for being rowdy and you drunk-tweet that my hotel is terrible and cost me business? What then?

  3. Rick Avatar

    Well said! Even in the big city, you never know who is just around the corner.

  4. Philip John Avatar

    Seth – Interesting scenario. It’s very similar to the “Ranger Station Fire” which was very nearly a PR disaster for Ford.

    They were being attacked, partly unnecessarily and managed it by putting everything out in the open and being completely honest about the whole situation.

    It’s that old saying – the truth will out.

  5. […] from the start I’ve been fairly dismissive of privacy concerns over Google […]

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