Tag Archive | Internet Slander

Civility in the Digital Age! Can’t We Learn to Be Nice to Each Other?

Order today!

Order today!

We hear about bullets that kill people. Gun control is a topic that is not going away. However there is another type of bullet that can ruin lives in a different form–and can be just as deadly. Cyber-bullets.

Sadly, hearing about online attacks by and between kids has become almost commonplace these days. But attacks against adults are an epidemic onto themselves. As someone who was a target, I know this first-hand, but it’s amazing that far too few people understand the extent to which online hostility and attacks impacts adults as well.

Andrea Weckerle, both through CiviliNation, the non-profit she founded, and her new book Civility in the Digital Age: How Companies and People can Triumph Over Haters, Trolls, Bullies, and Other Jerks is trying to change that. (Disclosure: I serve as an Advisor to CiviliNation.)

Her book outlines the problems we see online (the real-life examples she provides are often raw and hard-hitting), and also offers solutions in the form of best practices and techniques.

She starts by explaining why measuring and monitoring one’s online reputation is important, and breaks down how to do that. She also goes into considerable detail about what types of conflict we’re likely to encounter online (these can range from one-on-one interpersonal conflict to conflict with people who are pseudonymous or anonymous, to online lynch mobs), as well as who the most common troublemakers are (cyberbullies, online harassers and defamers, trolls, sockpuppets, and a host of difficult people). Of particular interest is the information about anger management, which includes insights into how to manage one’s own anger online and how to deal with those who are aggressively spouting off, both which are super important in the hyper-intense online environment. The chapter on conflict resolution skills and strategies get into nitty-gritty how-tos.

But it’s the chapter “30-Day Pan for better Conflict Management Online” that provides detailed information on how to put knowledge into action. Day 1, for example, explains how to start your conflict inventory and assessment, while Day 11 and Day 12 discuss choosing an online monitoring tool and setting up an online conflict tracking system, Meanwhile, Day 17, covers how to determine whether you need to bury or remove negative information about you online, and Day 29 talks about how to simulate an online conflict crisis.

“Civility in the Digital Age” is a serious book, but it’s also very hopeful. In the last chapter, Weckerle quotes serial entrepreneur and environmentalist Paul Hawken who says “If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.” Weckerle writes, “Hawken’s words are relevant to the online world, where you see both the best and the worst of humanity expressed. But if you’ve read this book, it’s clear you’re not willing to turn a blind eye to the egregious behavior found online—you want to make things better!”

And don’t we all want to do that?

In my opinion, if you are online today, you need to read this book.

Order on Amazon today!

Sue Scheff: Online Resume – Online Makeover

onlineresumeWe watch personal makeovers on television frequently. There is a housewife that has spent all her time and energy raising her children and has let her appearance go. Or someone that had a bad hair experience and need a makeover (or correction). There are grandmothers that have devoted their lives to raising their kids and their kid’s children and yet never took the time to have a simple manicure.

Yes, makeovers are astonishing to watch on television and on some cable channels we can now watch business makeovers as the reality show world grows. A once dying business can be completely regenerated with the expertise of someone with today’s visionary trends and update that failing company into a booming business.

This is also true virtually! If you don’t have a positive, energizing, engaging and inviting presence online, who will be calling you? Who will be using your services? Who will be dating you?

Have you taken the time to consider a virtual makeover? Are you out of job, applying to college or even looking for a soul mate? Today there is more to your physical appearance and your paper resume; it can be about what Search Engines are saying about you.

Recently CareerBuilder shared these numbers:

•11% of employers plan to start using social networking sites for employment screening.
•Of the 45% of employers who conduct online searches of job candidates, 29% use Facebook, 26% use LinkedIn, 21% use MySpace, 11% search blogs, and 7% use Twitter.
•18% of employers said they found content on social networking sites that encouraged them to hire the candidate, while 35% of employers found content that caused them not to hire the candidate.

Take the time to read my previous article on improving your Internet Image. Let it be your own keystrokes that tell the World Wide Web who you are.

Have you discovered you need an online makeover or even need a boost to your virtual image? Are you unsure about using the Internet? Not computer savvy? You may want to consider an online reputation service. Although there are many to choose from now, my experiences are with ReputationDefender who is one of the pioneers of these types of services. They offer different packages to meet your individual needs.

The last thing you want to do is ignore your online presence in today’s ever expanding Internet world.

 For more information: October is National Cyber Safety Awareness Month . I also recommend my recent book, Google Bomb which shares my story of Internet Defamation and how I almost lost my organization from a ruined online reputation.  My experiences can help you learn from my mistakes.

Also on Examiner.com

Face to Face – Talking Online – Taking it Off Line

facetoface1Source: ReputationDefender Blog


Taking it Offline: The Lingering Importance of Face-to-Face Networking in a Digital World

With the rise and blossoming of online networking sites like LinkedIn and ClaimID, many people, especially younger people, are doing the majority of their business networking online. This phenomenon is not anything new, and it has been covered in this blog and elsewhere.


But while it may be easier to sit in front of the computer screen and interact with your peers, it is hard to think that interpersonal relationships can ever be fully fleshed out (if you will) in the digital sphere. Face-to-face networking will never go away. The information on the Internet is not always accurate (although that doesn’t mean it isn’t relevant, according to Google’s algorithms), and there is a lot to be said for looking someone in the eyes.


Today people should try to balance their “new school” digital networking with the “old school” tried and true methods. The approach will literally double the amount of chances a person has to make an impact with a potential employer, and the effort required to do so is not unreasonable (point of fact, until a few years the “old school” method was the only game in town).


LinkedIn and other popular business networking sites thrive because they offer an alternative to actually speaking with a fellow networker. The information you put in the profile becomes the equivalent of a hand shake and a greeting. Thus, a user profile, for business purposes, should be looked at as an opportunity to distinguish yourself as someone others want to know and be connected to.


There are small and effective steps one can take to achieve this. Focus on brevity. 100 words is enough to grab someone’s attention and establish a positive image. If done correctly, a LinkedIn profile can, for practical purposes, be the difference between just another interview and a job offer. Conversely, a poorly written profile can have you knocked out of the running before you even get started.


Many employers look at LinkedIn as a sort of research tool. A resume can only say so much about a person, and employers are always looking to find out the little bits about a potential employee that are not immediately apparent. This fact has had disastrous consequences for some people whose Facebook and MySpace profiles contain otherwise unflattering images/language/etc. We’ve blogged that story here more than once.


Online business networking profiles are still just a piece of the puzzle, though. A successful blend of the old and the new networking techniques will counteract the deficiencies inherent in both approaches. A human touch in the new digital landscape goes a long way towards maintaining awareness and crafting image, while drawing in more localized business and opening channels previously untapped.

Sue Scheff: Teen Internet Addiction

cyberbulliesFinding a Healthy Balance

Warning Signs your Teen May Be Addicted

Psychological and Physical Signs and Symptoms

If you are worried that your teen may be suffering from an unhealthy addiction to the Internet, there are many physical and mental warning signs to watch for. Many of these symptoms are very similar to those of depression and anxiety, another very serious condition affecting teens today. If you feel your teen is suffering from depression, please visit my website resource on teen depression and anxiety.

  • Feelings of intense happiness and euphoria while using the Internet, and feelings of depression, anxiety or irritability if away from the computer
  • Cravings for the Internet – Never having enough time with it
  • Neglecting family and friends – spending more time with the computer and less time doing activities previously enjoyed.
  • Getting behind on homework or school activities
  • Lying about what they are doing while online
  • Complains of dry eyes
  • Complains of Headaches
  • Complains of Backaches
  • Changes in eating habits such as skipping meals or over eating
  • Neglect of personal hygiene
  • Problems with sleep

What Should Parents Do?

  • Examine your Internet habits. Do you spend too much time in front of the screen? The habits of you and your family impact your teen. Be a good role model!
  • Look for the above warning signs, and take action if you feel your teen may be at risk. Seek professional help.
  • Always keep the computer in a common area of the home where it can be monitored by you.
  • DO NOT BAN THE INTERNET. Instead, work with your teen on a time schedule that feels fair to the both of you.
  • Encourage social activity outside of the Internet. Because chatting, emails, and other online social media make it easy for teens to stay at home, open the door to more outside activity. Plan events with friends and family.
  • Learn more click here.

Sue Scheff: Cyberbullying Prevention

cyberbulprevVanessa Van Petten continues to bring valuable information for parents with today’s teens.  This week she has dedicated to helping prevent cyberbullying.

Partners for CyberBully Awareness Campaign:

Thank you to everyone who is already offered to join and spread the word about our anti-cyberbullying campaign here at On Teens Today:

Angeline of MomStyleNews

Vivien Bruss of Cool Moms Rule


Brenda Preston of Safewave

Sue Scheff of Help Your Teens

Myrna of TangerineTimes.com

Tara Paterson of the Mom’s Choice Awards and Just for Mom

Karen Pease


Sue Scheff: ReputationDefender Grows as Internet Abuse Increases

As a victim and survivor of the wicked web (at times), I was vindicated at a jury trial for damages when I was awarded over $11M for the defamatory comments posted about me.

I credit my attorney, David Pollack, for successfully proving to the jury how I was damaged (defamed) online.  Remember, free speech does not condone defamation.

What happens after the jury goes home and I have my $11.3M judgment? Well, you get a lot of media attention, new stalkers arrive, you become a Limited Public Figure (something I was not prior this major victory), and before you know it – you are the face of Internet Defamation Survivor. However what it doesn’t do is erase the ugliness the perpetrator did to you online.

For that, I sought out the services of Reputation Defender. O-kay, so you can’t literally erase all the unflattering online statements – but you can start filling the web with who you really are – and what you believe in.

I used ReputationDefender MyEdge – which is a priceless service for anyone that owns a business or has a reputation to protect. You can have a 20 year old reputable company literally destroyed within 20 minutes with a few keystrokes!

Here are some articles to help you find out more about how Reputation Defender can help you.

As a parent advocate, I always recommend MyChild – which helps parents monitor where their child’s name is being used! Remember, kids think that applying for colleges and filling out employment applications is far away – in a child’s mind, 2-4 years seems like a lifetime – but in reality – what goes online today – can haunt them tomorrow and years from tomorrow.

My Good Name Protector ReputationDefender Raises $2.6M In 1st Round

VentureBeat on Reputation Defender

ReputationDefender Official Blog

Teacher Fired Over MySpace Photo

Mahalo on Reputation Defender

Reputation Defender Official MySpace

Wired.com – Delete Your Bad Web Rep

Mashable.com on Reputation Defender

Fast Company on Reputation Defender

CyberLaw – Stanford.edu – Reputation Defender Article

Reputation Defender Turnstile

WRAL – Local Tech Wire

TradeVibes – Reputation Defender

There are many more…. I receive many emails from people all over the country and world that are being harmed online – many cannot afford the high costs of litigation. I always recommend Reputation Defender as an alternative or in combination with the legal route.

I am not a spokesperson for Reputation Defender, nor do I receive money or referral fees from them – I simply am a very satisfied client and want others to know there is such a service out there as Internet Gossip can be viewed as FACT. In many cases, that can hurt a persons’ reputation.

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Bullies in Cyberspace

By www.Education.com

Everyone remembers the school bully in their lives. Maybe they stole your bike, or bloodied your nose, or spread a nasty rumor that had you hiding out in the bathroom. Whatever they did, they made life miserable. But as bad as they were, you could identify them, predict their behavior and try to steer clear.

Unfortunately for your kids, that may no longer be the case. That’s because bullies can still be on the school grounds, but they can also be in cyberspace, lurking where no one can see them.

Cyberbullying is on the rise, and the bad guys are not always who you think. A bully can be a girl spreading rumors about a former friend, or a student trying to get revenge on a teacher who gave them a bad grade, or a group of kids playing a prank on an unsuspecting schoolmate. Cyberbullying is a complex beast. Often it starts with otherwise nice kids from nice families who go online to “have a little fun” at someone else’s expense. But it can get out of hand very quickly.

Bullies are resourceful. With all the high-tech tools out there, they can take their pick from cell phones, pagers, websites, blogs, chat rooms, IMs, or emails. They can go on a site and invite other people in to help bully their victim – by asking them to comment on their picture. They can create a webpage that looks like it belongs to the person being bullied, but is malicious. They can enter an email address and have their victim spammed with messages from websites they’ve never visited. They can put up embarrassing pictures, or even use a tool like Photoshop to adjust a picture and make it look different.

Read entire article here: http://www.education.com/magazine/article/Ed_Bullies_Cyberspace_2/