When I was a kid my mother used to always tell me – think before you talk. In today’s times, I am sure that parents will be telling their kids to think before they tweet. But I suppose Vijay Mallya didn’t share this word of advice with his son Sidhartha Mallya otherwise he wouldn’t have tweeted “The Controversial Tweet.” A tweet which not only gained brickbats from the Twitter community but also had a case slapped on him. Victim Zohal Hamid slapped a case of defamation on Sidhartha Mallya for the tweet. Since the case was already going on in the court, Sidhartha’s revelation to his more than 2.5 lakh followers was an immature act. But this brings us to the question that shouldn’t we think before we tweet.
Whether there would be a case or not is not yet known but a Twitter outburst has definitely occurred. Last year, Suhel Seth was dragged into a controversy where ITC had slapped a case and damage charges on his derogatory tweets. Though nothing much was discussed after the incident. A possible out of court settlement perhaps?
Another landmark case, which for the first time, saw the court delivering judgment based on tweets – the famous case between Lalit Modi and Chris Cairns. Lalit Modi during his peak in IPL, had accused Chris Cairns of indulging in unfair practices such as match fixing, etc. The tweets that were sent out by Modi not only damaged the reputation of Chris Cairns but were also baseless. End result the court cleared Chris from all charges and slapped a hefty fine on Modi over his tweets. If these examples were not enough then we have one more case of outburst between Lalit Modi and Shashi Tharoor, which also opened the lid of Pandora’s box. The controversy not only opened up some hidden truths of the cash rich game but also led to the downfall of Modi. All these examples have two things in common:
- You can’t tweet anything that may malign a person or a brand since it is a free world. Today online reputation is a matter of concern for everyone.
- It could be a punishable act too.
What do brands need to learn from this incident?
Brands need to be more active not only in building a community but also monitoring it’s online reputation. It can’t just close it’s eyes on what are people or its employees talking about, since it won’t take much time for a small incident to go viral. Remember bad news always travels faster! With this a brand should also educate its employees about the do’s and don’ts of social media. Besides this a company should also invest time in formulating a social media policy and educating the employees why this is important in today’s times. I think brands should build such kind of processes in its organization as it minimizes the risk of online reputation. And also the employee is aware that she can’t post or tweet anything about her employer for the sake of fun.
So do you think before you tweet or post content on social media? Or do you believe that since you are not an influential person, the brand would care less about your content?
Slider image courtesy: Dondy Razon