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Free Speech – It’s a Beautiful Thing?

How wonderful to live in a country where you can speak up without fear of reprisals. Your free speech rights are protected by the courts and the power of the Federal government. It’s a beautiful thing – or is it?

If all things written or spoken were actually and factually true, then yes, free speech is a beautiful thing. But when it’s used to damage with lies it’s not so pretty.

Take for instance the internet, a vast communication avenue. Is what you read on the net true? If you haven’t already found out, not everything you read on the internet is true or accurate. Yet many people use information from the net without taking the time to check out the source or accuracy of the information.

For example, a few years ago the members of the U.S. Congress bowed their heads in silence to reflect on the passing of the great patriot and comedian, Bob Hope. When Bob Hope’s publicist told Mr. Hope about it, he was rumored to say, “Gee, I didn’t know I was dead. I’d better check my pulse”.

Someone had put this out on the internet and not even the U.S. Congress took the time to verify the story.

A person’s reputation can be destroyed or badly hurt by a negative article that comes up whenever his name is Googled. Welcome to the 21st Century of the internet. Take as an example, Sam’s Super Subs has franchises all over the country. A franchisee violates the franchise agreement and buys cut rate meat from a local butcher friend in violation of the quality standards that Sam’s has set. The franchisee loses his license and is not happy. Disgruntled, and without a leg to stand on the franchisee decides to take his revenge by using the internet to post negative blogs and articles on numerous websites. Because of the high ranking of these sites these negative posts are the first things that appear when someone Googles Sam’s Super Subs.

The executives at the Sam’s home office now have a PR nightmare to try to handle. One way they can fight back is by using an internet service called Reputation Management. This employs a systematic approach that will slowly but surely relegate the negative posts from the first page on Google to the tenth page where it’s very unlikely that they’ll be read by anyone.

Reputation Management can be the fastest, most economical way to handle negative blogs and articles about you or your company. It’s worth knowing that there’s a service available that can allow you to control what people say about you or your product or services on the internet.

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