Social Judge, Jury and Executioner: The Lynch Mob in Action

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Our concern about the injustice often practiced via the social media mob mentality was the motivation for this blog series from its inception.

Each week we analyze an instance, whether it is targeted at an individual or a brand, of social media trying a ‘case’ online and labeling a party guilty, or rarely, innocent.  We don’t watch these cases with a voyeur’s appetite, but because we are professional marketers who believe in the power and mostly untapped potential of social media.

We advocate for a professional standard of best practices because we understand that the social mob is not only dangerous and unjust, it is very bad for business.

Stories of Social Media as Judge, Jury and Executioner occur each week; we are never at a loss for content.

This week we are focused on a story of a personality, a personal brand, and numerous almost-victims of the mob.  Our aim is not to prosecute, but to explain and advocate for patience, a deep breath, and higher professional standards.

A Tragedy Brings out the Best and Worst

On Monday, April 15th, the bombs that went off at the Boston Marathon killed 3, maimed many, and sent the Twitterverse into a play-by-play tracking of the search for the suspects; we covered it all here last week .

In times of heightened emotion, the exchanges within social media often become tense. On April 19th, Jure Klepic posted the following on his personal Facebook Account:

Social Media Fairness

Jure Klepic is a renowned social media innovator and business consultant and Huffington Post blogger, and he IS known for being outspoken.  Tim McDonald, the Community Manager for Huffington Post and a Facebook friend of Klepic’s, shared it in on his own page in agreement.

In the interest of transparency I will tell you that I know Jure on a professional and personal level.  Tim McDonald and I were both very involved in the 12Most Community where I was an Editor for a period, although I’ve never met Tim in real life.

I do not know Dabney Porte personally, but I have been aware of her 2 Twitter Communities on #SMManners and #SMGirlfriends  for years.  In the former community, Dabney focuses on Social Media Manners.

The Debate on Professional Practices Needs to Take Place

There has been much discussion amongst Social Marketers over how to handle a tragedy on the networks; Jure obviously felt that Dabney’s use of the #Boston hashtag to talk about gaining new followers was offensive.

He got quite a few likes on his post, and when McDonald shared it on his own page he did so with the statement that if a brand had used the #Boston hashtag in such a way they would be criticized roundly. He mentioned Kenneth Cole using the #Cairo hashtag during the Arab Spring uprisings as an example of brands suffering a major backlash by Social Media users for abusing a very sensitive tragedy for self promotion.

Klepic and McDonald both saw Porte’s use of the #Boston hashtag as an abuse of a tragedy for her own self promotion.

Facebook Mucks it Up Again

Facebook raised the level of confusion when they removed Klepic’s post from his personal wall.

Their statement to him was that because Porte is an individual, she could not be attacked or judged in that way; apart from the initial post the dialogue in the comment section apparently became disparaging of Dabney.

I did not see nor can I locate a screen shot of that segment.  After Facebook told Klepic that he could not use Porte’s personal image, he reposted the same tweet, covering Dabney’s face with an avatar of Ms. Piggy, and to my knowledge THAT post still stands.

We do not condone the Ms Piggy imagery; the debate is a healthy one without the personal slights.  However, we do question Facebook’s rational on why the real imagery was bad, but the fake one acceptable?

Our confusion on Facebook’s stance that Porte is an ‘individual’ is compounded by the fact that she runs two Twitter Communities that she monetizes; she makes her living off of social media.

Is she a brand or a person in that case?  Apparently Facebook sees her as an individual.

I am baffled by Facebook’s stance because of a personal experience. Last year while I was President of a nonprofit, volunteer Board, I had a small group of people I had never met attacking my Association for a variety of things that had to do with the politics of our highly passionate group of alumni of Milton Hershey School.   Instead of attacking the Association, this group posted pictures of me that they photo-shopped with vulgar, misogynist connotations.

They created cartoons that implied similar things. When I reported them to Facebook, repeatedly, Facebook refused to remove them due to their stance on ‘free speech.’

I have had countless conversations with others who have experienced similar feedback; this confusion is widespread, and we would very much like clarification by Facebook on what is protected and what is not.

The Mob Steps In to Defend and Attack

The initial post made by Jure Klepic and then shared by Tim McDonald on their personal page made its way out of Facebook quickly.

Followers of Dabney Porte got ahold of it and went on the offensive in the name of defending their leader.  However, instead of only attacking Klepic and McDonald on Twitter,  they went after Jure’s position as a Huffington Post writer, and they went after Tim’s job.

This is one snippet of the tweets going out with the #HuffingtonPost and Huffington Post and Arriana Huffington:

 Social Media Lynch Mob

In addition, a couple of the more fervent ‘defenders’ attacked two people who simply Liked Jure’s original post.

They dredged up an embarrassing personal mistake by one person who simply liked the initial post condemning the hashtag use, and started tweeting disparaging things to NBC, apparently thinking one individual was employed by them:

 Social Media Lynch Mob

I spoke to the target of this tweet, as well as others, and I can tell you that the common response is that they were afraid to respond because they didn’t want to make it worse.

There were so many unknown attackers coming after them, again and again, trying to destroy their reputation, that they thought it best to just go silent.  That very silence is the inspiration for this post; debates and arguments will happen on the social channels – just like in real life.

But when people are attacked for a simple like and fear losing their income and reputation, its gone too far.  We need a dialogue on proper rules of engagement.

The Definition of Bullying

The sadly ironic twist is, of course, that Dabney Porte’s ‘defenders’ labeled Jure Klepic, Tim McDonald and the people who liked the original post bullies.  In these times that word has powerful connotations, and we need to examine what a bully is.

Was Jure Klepic’s original post calling out what he thought was distasteful marketing bullying?   My answer is a resounding NO.

I find, too often, that ‘we,’ as in the social media marketing community, look the other way when our peers use questionable and unethical tactics.  By standing silently, we have allowed the profession itself to suffer from a reputation standpoint.

Was the attack that occurred against Klepic, McDonald and the other ‘likers’ bullying disguised as an attack against bullying?  When one tweeter unrelated to the incident asked @justinliams that question, his response was that he was bullied as a child and the only way to beat the bullies was to come back stronger than they did.

So, in that line of thinking, anything, including their jobs, is fair game.  THIS is the mob mentality that we find so dangerous.

Did Dabney Porte deserve to be personally attacked with the Ms Piggy avatar or other comments about her appearance for using the #Boston hashtag for self promotion during the tragedy? No, but I don’t think Klepics original post was a personal attack, but rather a statement on marketing tactics.  And his original post is what the mob went after him for.

Going after someone’s job the way Porte’s followers went after Tim McDonald’s is the definition of bullying.

The Debate That SHOULD Have Ensued

Instead of the Twitter rampage that occurred, what SHOULD have happened next was a  professional debate on hashtag use and what the proper uses of it are in times of tragic loss; social media IS still in the very early stages, and a healthy discussion on proper behavior is necessary.

Many people don’t understand the ‘unwritten ground rules.’  It gets especially tricky among those who market and monetize their communities.

Jure Klepic, Tim McDonald, and Dabney Porte ALL make their living off of Social Media, their communities, and their expertise.  I would have appreciated seeing Dabney Porte and her supporters explain how they thought they were using the #Boston hashtag and why they believed it was justified.

Sadly, but not unexpectedly, that is not what happened, so instead we’d like to have that debate here.

The Professional Questions

There are questions that need to be answered for us to move past the mob mentality and operate as an ethical profession.  Here are the most pressing ones:

What is a Personal Brand and how is it different than a Corporate Brand? What are best practices for both in times of heightened tension?

What is protected speech, and what is bullying?

What are the best practice rules for hashtag use during a tragedy?

What about scheduled tweets/posts? Do you turn them off during a tragedy?

Where do we draw the line when we seek ‘social justice?

There are two key issues I see that hinder the Social Media Profession:

a) the tendency to Group think and react harshly to even polite professional dissent, and

b) the fact that many early adapters to the medium (i.e. many of those with huge followings) did not have strong business experience before finding social media.

In the corporate world you need to learn to negotiate delicate questions of territory and leadership.  Those who have strong managerial experience learn that they must become masters of selling their ideas; there is no crying ‘bullying’ when your counterpart out-negotiates you.

Robert Caruso is one of the few thought leaders in the social space who is regularly willing to call out unethical or questionable practices by Social Marketers.  I contacted Robert to get his feedback on these type of blow ups and he had what I thought was the finest quote on the subject:

Social Professionals need to lead and teach, not ignore and hammer.

If the professionals are not leading the way then the mob will most certainly take whatever path they deem is the one to justice.

I am sure that this post will stir up a lot of emotions both for and against the participants in this incident, but my hope is that it will also stir up a healthy debate that can serve as a guideline for how we behave in times of tragedy, and for how we handle the disagreements that ensue.

Update May 1 2013. When this post was originally published, it led to a healthy debate around the topic being discussed. Parties from both “sides” of the conversation exchanged thoughtful and mature commentary with each other. Unfortunately, that started to disappear and personal agendas were brought into the conversation, as well as non-topic discussions. Therefore, the comments are now closed to ensure further personal agendas are not promoted in any way via our forum. Thank you to those who brought adult and considerate points of view to the table, we appreciate it.

VP of Content & Strategy at ArCompany. She has an extensive background in Sales, and focuses on generational marketing and content. With Hessie Jones she founded ArCompany’s Millnnnial, GenX and Boomer Think Tanks and writes and speaks on those topics from an insights/strategy perspective.

208 thoughts on “Social Judge, Jury and Executioner: The Lynch Mob in Action

  1. BOOM, I am impressed with how you took the facts and presented them.  
    Too many times I am seeing people use the term “Bullying”, when they want to get their way and then the act in the very same offending maner they claim was given to them.  
    I believe that is a form of deflection.  
    We are starting to see more of it when people do not accept responsibility for their role and want to turn the tables and claim to be the victim.
    Now what needs to be addressed are social media sites that are not using a consistent definition or rule for removing posts.
    It smacks of hypocrisy when the party acting in a bullying manner, never has their posts removed.
    It also gets old when time after time, the same offending party sends out their pack dogs to tear people apart that do not agree with them.
    This will not change until people are coming from a self actualized position.  Those people are able to observe, identify and be solution oriented.
    “Self-actualized individuals are concerned with solving problems outside of themselves, including helping others and finding solutions to problems in the external world. These people are often motivated by a sense of personal responsibility and ethics.”
    My question Amy is “when will people start showing up in a unite front that we do not tolerate bullies, even when they hold up a victim banner wearing sheep’s clothing?”

    • AmyMccTobin says:

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment, and I agree: we all need to stop remaining silent when actual actual bullying is taking place. I also think we in the social marketing bubble need to be clear and outspoken about what best practices are.
      I believe there was some sort of document agreed upon somewhere at some summit, but it didn’t get enough attention. We need to keep talking about this publicly.

    • hessiej says:

      prosperitygal I absolutely agree that bullying has now a pervasive definition that allows people to hide behind it and Cry Wolf. You cannot fight logic with anger and emotion, especially in the case where the lynch mob is only presented one side of the story. We would hope that we, who practice in social media continue to drive the debate on equal grounds so we can collectively develop true best practices. Trolls will prey on those who are willing to debate because it’s their opportunity to somehow twist the language and provoke further attacks. We definitely should not feed them more rope but we can use forums such as the post we’ve made here to bring “reasonable” voices into this debate.

      • @hessiej  AmyMccTobin You articulated that so well:
        “Trolls will prey on those who are willing to debate because it’s their opportunity to somehow twist the language and provoke further attacks.”
        Now is time to engage in more enlightened conversations that generate solutions, instead of being stuck in attack mode.  That is a sign of immaturity when you are only in an attack stance , unable to see any other side or admit when you are part of problem.

  2. Frank_Strong says:

    This sort of thing had been going on for such a long time — the negative posts and content always seem to gain a lot of traction.  I guess because it’s easy to attack people, and those attacks stimulate a visceral response.  There is nothing wrong with disagreeing with someone — but we can disagree without being hateful. Further, that would be a productive discussion that brings people together vice rather than galvanizing sides to oppose each other. Nice post, Amy. Preach it!

    • hessiej says:

      Frank_Strong Frank, online has made it easier to gang up on people. It’s easy to be a bully if you don’t have to show your face. The reality is words hurt more than punches and with social it’s ALL about the words.  It’s also hard to take out the emotion in order to have a productive discussion.

    • farahbelliard says:

      Frank_Strong I agree with you 100%. Being an onlooker, I don’t have a personal stake with either party. I agree that people should be able to openly discuss their dissatisfaction with another professional who is in the public eye, as long as it is done with a willingness to have open dialogue, and it is done in a respectful manner.
      Where I get concerned is when people catch wind of these types of situations and only get one side of the story. I would urge all readers, commentors, and the author to do some thorough fact checking.

  3. OneJillian says:

    I think people are swayed by their own aversion to be odd-one-out and follow along with the few fierce loyalists, and that’s what fills out the mob. It’s sickening to watch the mob take shape, but if you’ve watched the movie “Mean Girls” you can see why one person, after winning over a few key leading leaders, can manipulate a whole mob to their will.
    In the landscape of Social Media, we have to even add more questions: how personal can we be in our Professional Brand? Because we like to see ourselves as “genuine” and taking one comment over the line is what gets us in trouble. We have to decide whether we, as Personal Brands, can be our true, complete, unmasked selves, or if we need to tailor ourselves into our Brand, removing the extreme or offensive opinions and actions from our whole being, knowing we represent our Personal Brands 24/7.
    These are easy questions to answer in relation to a Corporate Brand. But Personal Brands are in a gray, undefined area right now, which you’ve uncovered with this post, Amy.

    • OneJillian Jillian you ask a great question that I had to ponder deeply after experiencing a gut wrenching attack in the online world.
      On one hand we are told do not engage the troll.  In my situation the troll was stealing my community. I had unknowingly let the wolf into my community and even more ( after the fact when you can see much clearer) partnered with them thinking two would be more powerful, as well as effective than one.  I was so naive and ignored many red flags.  Thinking it was my fear side trying to stop me from being open and collaborative.
      We all have opposing energies on the stick of life that are there for us to learn from.  I learned and learned deeply.
      For those who wonder,  I am happy to be a light of what beauty can come out of what appears on the surface as ugly is – well a LOT!
      I took responsibility for where in me, had I ever behaved like that “wolf”? I processed those experiences and am still clearing them out as the surface into my awareness.
      Because of being able to turn ugly into beauty:
      Today I am very clear about who I am online and what is important to me.
      Today I am listening deeply to my inner knowingness and when she evokes responses in me that I know now are warnings, I do not doubt them, try to reason with them, they are feelings for a reason and they are there to serve as my guidance.
      Today I ask myself the tough questions – where do I do what i see in others? ( then I do a process to allow me to release any charge or right and wrong to the situation-really powerful once you learn it)
      Today I know my brand is to be a wave that washes over rocks and makes a splash.  Those darn rocks we fuss about allow me to splash bigger for clients ( and get paid really good now 😉
      Yes, it takes a lot and yes it is worth it. Was it easy? HELL NO!  It shock my basics beliefs in humankind.
      When we can come out on the other side and see the love of the situation, see how it empowers us, to step into more of who we are, then we win ( as ego sounding as that is ).
      It all is really one big process – life.  We can take it on in small chunks or big chunks.  Boy that was one big ass chunk. 😉

      • OneJillian says:

        prosperitygal I agree, taht line has to be defined by the individual, but also to a certain point by the SM Pro community at large: when you make yourself a personal Brand, these are the qualities we’re applying to you, these are the perceptions that go along with that. 
        I think making clear distinctions between “person FOR brand” and “person AS brand” is essential for us in the public space to move forward. We should set a definitive social media policy, huh?
        Maybe i’m calling for regulation when really people should just apply a “common decency” filter to their own mouths though…

  4. Danny Brown says:

    The one big thing that stood out for me is no-one on either side asked that their communities reel back in the spiteful comments. Open debate and defending your friends is one thing; allowing hurtful and potentially dangerous comments to stand simply fuels the fire even further. It would have been nice to see those involved request their communities to keep things civil.

    • AmyMccTobin says:

      The lack of civility comes when there is no foundation for an argument. You and I have disagreed about tactics, but we were able to debate about TACTICS.
      And crying ‘bully’ will be akin to crying ‘wolf’ if we are not careful.

    • Danny Brown Marjorieclayman  did;), but we were in secondary attack, not the primary one.  If anyone talked to either party, were sought out and jumped.  We did discuss civility, it was met by deaf ears.

    • jureklepic says:

      Danny Brown I have nothing to hide and i agree with what you are saying here. I did make a comment in one of the thread that I shouldn’t. I did apologize for it as well and take responsibility. In any way the thread that i made a comment was general thread and I did not drop any names. I could / or should ask people to be respectful at least on my post that incl. individual in particular, but then again i have no power over telling people what they can say and what they can’t. It’s up to us individuals to be the judge on what we will say or not. I did not use any inflammatory language and directly linking name of an individual in.  Could I response to all comments that were after all been said about me? Yes I could in some cases i should, but there was no point in doing it, coz I would cause more harm to myself and everyone that was mention in comments.

      • AmyMccTobin says:

        jureklepic Danny Brown To me – the going after your position as a blogger, Tim McDonald’s JOB, and the other unnamed victim’s job and reputation that were really the definition of bullying.  THAT, and the fact that I would like a real discussion of the hashtag use during tragedies were the reason I wrote the post.
        @GeoffLivingston brought up a valid point about scheduled tweets and tragedies on his blog – that he continued because he didn’t want the terrorists ‘to win.’  I totally understand that mindset, as long as they’re not self promotional in nature.  However, in the comment section of that blog someone else pointed out that we, especially we in the US, want to choose WHICH tragedies are due reverence.  A perfect point in case was the collapse of the 8 story building in Bangladesh that killed more than 100 – no one clamored about scheduled posts then.
        Obviously, there’s a lot of discussion that needs to be had about best practices.

        • OneJillian says:

          AmyMccTobin jureklepic Danny Brown it think whatever conversations we have, given that ours is a fractured, young industry, might be moot in the larger SM community until there is a “governing/accrediting” structure in place for SM Pros. What say you? Social Media Professionals of America?  As yet, there isn’t a “badge” one can flash to be taken as a credible SM Professional. PRSA has APR accreditation, and IABC has its own process. Food for thought.

  5. […] Social Judge, Jury and Executioner: The Lynch Mob in Action […]

  6. jureklepic says:

    Amy, Thank you for the post. Again I will say it, my action or my original post was simple question or statement toward a behavior that i found somehow offensive and unethical taking in consideration that #Boston at the time of this accident was in major crisis. 
    I also think that people often forget ( and i am talking this in general not about any particular individuals) that there is no diference between offline and online world. It’s is one world integrated together. Our actions offline reflecting our actions online, jet people believe seems to live online world differently  What you see of me online is what you get of me when you meet in offline or like many like to say IRL. 
    No matter who the individuals would be that friday that made that tweet, I would still posted and ask the same question… There were no emotions attacked to it. 
    We could simple have conversation about the tweet and talk was it my understanding wrong or did i had some point in it. I could simple be that everyone would be against me saying Jure you are wrong, it is nothing wrong with that tweet and I would accepted it or carry on conversation. 
    But its much more easy to attack what we don’t like and make us look as victim. I could do the same after all the tweets went out, but I did not. There quite a few who reached out and offer there support and actions to help calm down situation. I said to everyone the best way to support me or anyone else is to stay away from the situation and event. I am grown up person who can handel it myself if i need to do so. 
    But the whole point of this story is, that today we all to often use words “bullying” when we simple dont like something. OF course if i see to you that i just got bullied you will feel sympathetic towards me and try to protect me. It’s human nature. But I think before we declare in our mind that someone is getting bullied we need to look in context first. 
    After knowing what happened  would I still do what i did. My answer is YES. I believe that should discuss or have conversation about tactics and marketing approaches that we see online, but we need to keep human, or we will be seen as Enemy to ourselves.

    • AmyMccTobin says:

      jureklepic   Here’s the thing: if we continue NOT to call out unethical behavior then it continues. If we all remain silent because we’re afraid of the ‘mob,’ then it will get worse.    Nothing would make me happier than if @DabneyPorte came on this post and explained her initial use of the #Boston hashtag and why she thinks it was appropriate.
      I don’t understand why we can’t have grown up conversations about tactics.  I also abhor the misuse of the term ‘bully.’  Calling someone out for bad marketing tactics is not bullying. Asking a company to fire someone who civilly disagrees with you is.
      And I don’t agree that ‘win at all costs’ is the right approach when you feel that you are being attacked.

    • jureklepic says:

      Sorry for typos i am typing from my Iphone who loves autocorrect everything LOL

  7. samfiorella says:

    Excellent post Amy. 
    I was called out for a similar issue (re: Use of Boston in a blog post) by Geoff Livingston over on my blog. The difference is that he posted a comment disagreeing with me, but provided his comments in an intelligent and professional manner. The result was a short and courteous conversation between two people with two different points of view. 

    I’m sure he still disagrees with my post and I still don’t see an issue with what I posted. However, I have respect for him for speaking his mind in a respectful manner. He offered his comments as a means to further discussion, not shut it down or personally attack me.  I have more respect for this behavior than those who took exception to my post turned to Twitter with thinly veiled criticisms in Tweets that did not mention my name directly.  
    Geoff’s comment is proof that there is a way to professionally engage with people you disagree with online. And the resulting debate might benefit everyone.

    • AmyMccTobin says:

      samfiorella Thanks Sam, and if it’s the Newsjacking Post I thought it was appropriate.
      I too, have had a different viewpoint than @GeoffLivingston  on his own blog (over the Guy Kawasaki Tweet during Boston), and again, Geoff and I had a respectful, mature debate. That’s as it should be… and WE  need to be the leaders of intelligent dialogue.

      • hessiej says:

        AmyMccTobin samfiorella This is a good case in point. I think relationship is what drives thoughtful and respectful debates. Unless we really know someone we seriously don’t know what the outcome would be if we choose to challenge them.

    • samfiorella Yes @Geoffliving is awesome that way, he operates within ethical boundaries.

  8. brandcottage says:

    For all the preaching that is directed at Brands about what to do and not do with social media, I find it hypocritical to see Personal Brands (especially SM people) expecting a different set of rules. The SM “experts” who  attack Brands when Brands over promote  or use trending hashtags to get in the conversation, should follow the same rules for their respective twitter feeds.  If a Personal Brand does not live by the same rules of the corporate Brands (trying not to over promote products/deals, over -using advocacy hashtags, using news trends for self promotion) then maybe the entire notion of Personal “Branding” is of little real merit.   Maybe people really shouldn’t be  Brands.

  9. DavidTraub says:

    My wife, Elizabeth (elizonthego) , is no stranger to Dabney and her swarm of “supporters”.  She has been harrassed by this group since last August.  Like others mentioned in this article, Elizabeth keeps a low profile and prefers to remain quiet.  Sadly, just today, an innocent person, a relatively new SMGirlfriends follower, was attacked by several of Dabney’s “supporters”, claiming she was not who she portrayed herself to be but instead was Elizabeth Traub.  My wife’s name was also included in these very public attacks on this individual.  This person is a professional and was extremely concerned about her reputation.  Dabney and her “supporters” made a huge mistake in attacking this woman publicly.
    David

    • Danny Brown says:

      DavidTraub elizonthego) That’s really sad to hear, David. It sounds almost cult-like in its approach – is Dabney sitting back and allowing these examples of harassment? That would seem completely counter to someone so heavily involved in a Twitter community about “social media manners”…

      • hessiej says:

        Danny Brown DavidTraub elizonthego) I’m appalled to hear this David. It seems more troubling as we peel away the layers. If this is something that is part of Dabney’s MO then it is indeed sad.

        • DavidTraub says:

          hessiej Danny Brown DavidTraub elizonthego)  It is her MO and Elizabeth is just one of many who have experienced her attacks.  It is sad.

        • hessiej says:

          DavidTraub hessiej Danny Brown elizonthego) I wish all her victims came out to tell their own stories. Maybe it’ll elicit some response to stop her from doing this.

        • DavidTraub says:

          hessiej DavidTraub Danny Brown elizonthego) Ageed.  Most victims feel they are alone in this and don’t want the constant negative attention.  It’s easier to just disappear.  But there is power in numbers.  Just getting everyone on board is the challenge.

        • hessiej says:

          DavidTraub hessiej Danny Brown elizonthego) It’s great that you were able to identify socksinthedisco. That’s a start!

        • hessiej DavidTraub Danny Brown elizonthego) socksinthedisco I was so fortunate that they reached out to me when they saw what was happening today.

      • Danny Brown DavidTraub elizonthego) Well Danny Dabney did not start Social Media Manners or SMManners, I did. Before she showed her true colors I asked her to help be a part of the group and write a book. She went behind my back and trademarked it, bought url  then used her bullying tactics to take over.

    • AmyMccTobin says:

      DavidTraub elizonthego) Wow David – I’d be interested to hear more about this, if there is hard evidence. It is also interesting to me that Dabney Porte nor any of her supporters came here to dialogue, even though I connected her via a comment.  I had not thought that perhaps the attackers are not real… IF that is so, it’s even sadder.

      • DavidTraub says:

        AmyMccTobin DavidTraub elizonthego)  Yes, we have lots of screen shots.  Dabney even sent out a tweet that put a shadow on Elizabeth’s character and included the hashtags for the PortlandPolice and the FBI.  This tactic, I learned when I contacted the FBI and Portland Police, is one of the top bullying techniques used on Twitter these days.  That tweet crossed a line for me and is when I got involved.

    • DavidTraub elizonthego) I am the individual that David is referring to.  I am fairly new to Twitter, and clearly did not know the dynamics involved with some of these individuals.  Today I was called out and smeared for having two Twitter accounts.  I had my original one, with my real name and picture.  I just started a blog recently, and started a second account under my blog name.  I was accused of being a fraud, of attacking Dabney and her “smgirlfriends,” and of being Elizabeth with some evil plot. Because my original account contained my real name and several professional contacts, this public smearing made me very uncomfortable.  I do not want social media to negatively affect my professional reputation, and I felt it was best to delete my original account completely.  I have not yet decided whether I will keep that account deleted.  The one positive of this bizarre and upsetting day is I met the real Elizabeth and her husband, who have been incredibly supportive through this social media “bullying” experience.

      • Danny Brown says:

        socksinthedisco DavidTraub That’s incredibly sad to hear. When your livelihood is threatened because your name is thrown all over the web via character assassination, it moves things in a very distasteful direction.

        • Danny Brown socksinthedisco DavidTraub Thank you Danny.  Yes, it is very upsetting.  It would be nice to use Twitter to interact with other professionals in my field, but at this point it seems it is not worth the risk of slander.  The reason I set up the second account with my blog name is so I would have a place to have more general social interactions, and to interact with a group I started (#meniereschat) without people being confused about my tweets being personal or professional opinion.

        • elizonthego says:

          socksinthedisco Danny Brown DavidTraub Aside from the likes of having been constantly harassed by only this one group of people, Twitter has been a very positive and rewarding platform.  It has not only grown my business friendships, but has built personal friendships.  Those who know you and see such tweets will ask questions. When you roll your eyes and explain it’s over and it is back to business.

      • hessiej says:

        socksinthedisco DavidTraub elizonthego) thanks for coming to our blog. I’m sure it’s been difficult for you. When this first started, Jure was simply trying to call out Dabney for inappropriate practice during the #Boston events.  I think we’ve uncovered something that should be STOPPED before anyone else falls victim.

      • elizonthego says:

        socksinthedisco DavidTraub elizonthego) When you were being accused of being me it was important to have a phone conversation.  I use to just watch and my heart would ache for others. Now, if my name is attached I will take it private. I know that pit in your stomach, by having a number of people coming at you at once.  Many have multiple accounts. I tweet mainly from my name/personal account and then business I have, using those business name as separate accounts. You did nothing wrong, which bring this to an interesting  turn of events. Why would a Social Media professional call out, attack, and create this kind of energy to an individual for having two accounts?

        • elizonthego socksinthedisco DavidTraub elizonthego) Good question Elizabeth.  I see that they are still discussing me as of an hour ago. They are bringing it up over and over to keep it in the feed.  I don’t understand. What they are accusing me of (being you), is clearly ridiculous, and their comments about me are slanderous. What is the point of all of this?

  10. DavidTraub says:

    FYI, I use quotes when referring to Dabney’s “supporters” because extensive research on my part has lead me to the realization that most of her frequent followers are not real (i.e., they’re fake personas). With the internet and all of the various search engines / tools available it is easy to vet out who is real and not real. I must admit, though, that a great amount of time and effort was taken to make these people look real; they do seem very convincing at first glance. The real test is to try to engage these folks in a live discussion — they never seem to be available to talk in person. One observation that I have made is that the same personas always seem to appear at once when the swarming (or mob) starts. It’s a very coordinated attack that occurs and it is very overwhelming (I have personally experienced an attack by her swarm of “supporters” myself).
    David

      • AmyMccTobin says:

        Danny Brown DavidTraub Does that mean 45% of her followers are FAKE??

        • hessiej says:

          AmyMccTobin Danny Brown DavidTraub I’d like jureklepic to weigh in on the Faker Scores.  Here’s another one I found. http://www.twitteraudit.com/dabneyporte

        • Danny Brown says:

          hessiej AmyMccTobin DavidTraub jureklepic In fairness, this isn’t a conversation about fake followers, I just wanted to offer an update on David’s point.

        • jureklepic says:

          hessiej AmyMccTobin Danny Brown  i will comment on fake followers and status people coz there is a bit of miss understanding.  Status people take in account last 1000 – 5000 followers and they analyze following / followers ratio. If the ration is out of norm 1:1 then they proclaim account as fake. 
          I can tell you that from personal experience, aprox 9 months ago i was running twitter ads on my account for gaining new followers. You bid on new followers and starts with $0.25 its the only legitimate way of buying followers from Twitter coz you pay for it. Of course i did some targeting. Anyhow at the same time the status people came out and i was looking into as well a bit. Problem i had with them was that was showing me extremely high fake score. Digging bit deeper i discover that problem with status people is that they only look into following / follower ratio. We all know twitter offers new accounts who came on twitter to follower suggested people ( thats advertising that i paid for) so of course in general i will have new followers who follow more them then they have followers and status people mark them as spam. So i use it with the grain of salt. 
          But there is a way around. You can check out tweetcounter and look in stat of how many followers person is gaining a day. 
          For example: and this is from my experience  as being twitter advertiser once. While i was running my ads with twitter i gain aprx 1100- max to 1500 followers a day. This is also reason why i got verified. Anyone who advertise with twitter at some point get verified at the beging of campagne. 
          So now when i see accounts that are gaining more then a daily norm when you dont advertise you might gain max of 300 followers/day if you follow 1000… i become suspicious from  where this followers are coming.  If you see someone gaining 800+ a day i can say with certainty that person has purchase followers, specially when the person is not verified… 
          Thats how i look in this matter… Now you can look for free up to 3 months back on tweetcounter and i think that if you want data for older you need to have pro account…. 
          But i can say that you are not wrong with person u mention coz i remember that there was suspicion increase  over 1200+ a day of followers laste year. 
          Hope this help.

        • Danny Brown says:

          jureklepic hessiej AmyMccTobin It was actually upgraded to 100,000 followers assessed:
          http://blog.statuspeople.com/Posts/Article/V/Fakers_App_Check_Extended_to_100000_Followers/46

        • jureklepic says:

          Danny Brown jureklepic hessiej AmyMccTobin i know that, but after the new API rules they limited them again due to the API calls issue! 🙂

        • Danny Brown says:

          jureklepic hessiej AmyMccTobin On a different but related note, why would you want to buy followers?

        • hessiej says:

          Danny Brown jureklepic hessiej AmyMccTobin My question too! Were you testing the validity of the platform Jure, because clearly, you don’t need them.

        • jureklepic says:

          Danny Brown jureklepic hessiej AmyMccTobin you mean why i did with twitter ads…. Coz i got some credit to use, and i used it for promoted tweets for a cause and promoted account… I am not ashamed of telling that. I was always open to this conversation, when i was asked. But yes i can also say that i got recently a gift of followers over night… someone purchased them under my account. apparently you dont need to autorize twitter account to do so. So did (i like Robert) cleaning shit from my account. I am also thinking of cleaning it even more down coz lots of accounts are dead and really there is no value in having tones of followers. I still have same engagement as i had before twitter ad campaign.

        • jureklepic says:

          hessiej Danny Brown jureklepic AmyMccTobin Let me say if you go and buy followers at least buy them from Twitter… But yes they are very pricy…. there is minimum spend, use to be 5K now is 15K/3months… 
          There is a diference btw doing ads on twitter and buying followers from websites that offer followers. On twitter they promote your account to new comers… Site that sell followers use a software that creates 10.000 – 1million fake account with fake email addresses add pictures on and start following, but twitter is doing a cleaning spring as well of fake account, just look how some people are losing the number of followers overnight…

        • hessiej says:

          jureklepic hessiej Danny Brown AmyMccTobin very enlightening Jure! This is a whole other world for me. Thanks for letting us know!

        • jureklepic says:

          hessiej jureklepic Danny Brown AmyMccTobin Hessie how do you think accounts like wholefoods, starbucks and other gain so much followers, they are doing Twitter ads campaign both promoted account ( followers ) and promoted tweets where your tweets is forced in a stream based on keywords targeting.

        • jureklepic says:

          Danny Brown jureklepic hessiej AmyMccTobin Danny just to clarify something… When i said I “paid for followers” i did not mean i went out and buy them. Twitter offers two type of advertising. Promoted accounts and promoted tweets. Promoted accounts is keywords targeting advertising on twitter. They suggest your account to be follow based on keywords that new users or existing user use in twitter search… But jokingly i always said you can buy followers from Twitter as well… Coz what else it is, they just use different name they chose to call it Promoted accounts. 🙂

        • Float_Girl says:

          AmyMccTobin Danny Brown DavidTraub Amy, do your homework on this. Check out the HOTSHOTS…..very bad number of fakes.

      • DavidTraub says:

        Danny Brown DavidTraub  Perhaps I should consider a career in detective work 🙂  Actually, I started investigating these accounts as a way to fight for my wife’s honor and character.  Thanks for sharing this imperical data.  David

        • Danny Brown says:

          DavidTraub Seems I was out of date (the original image was taken during the spat between Jure, Tim and Dabney). I just took this one now:
          http://flic.kr/p/ef2tC1

        • AmyMccTobin says:

          Danny Brown DavidTraub OK – I had to go and check mine – only 1% fake… whew!  Wondered if this was common and beyond the Tweeter’s control?  Now I’m checking everyone 🙂

        • DavidTraub says:

          Danny Brown DavidTraub Whoa, it’s looking much worse!  I wonder how her followers would feel if they knew they were interacting with fake people?

        • AmyMccTobin says:

          Danny Brown DavidTraub Danny – yours is 1% fake too:)

        • AmyMccTobin says:

          Danny Brown DavidTraub Hessie, yours are 1% fake as well.  Hmmmm…..

        • AmyMccTobin says:

          Danny Brown DavidTraub OK, SMGirlfriends = 64% fake.

        • hessiej says:

          AmyMccTobin Danny Brown DavidTraub Danny’s right! I don’t want us to put huge significance on the Faker score. But it is indeed telling This is indeed a scheme that she uses to go after people. Wow, the lengths people will go to.

        • DavidTraub says:

          AmyMccTobin Danny Brown DavidTraub  Bingo!  But those fakes sure do drive up one’s Klout score.  Just keep those fakes retweeting yourself and, wow, look at the Klout score soar!

        • AmyMccTobin says:

          DavidTraub AmyMccTobin Danny Brown Now I feel sick.    I have not used http://fakers.statuspeople.com/ until tonight, and I’m not sure of it’s accuracy, but if indeed the ‘attackers’ are not even real, or their a person pretending to be many.. OR, if people are building and monetizing huge fake communities….   how is any business or person to take the medium seriously?  
          I know, that’s probably an overstatement, and perhaps I’ve been naive  but THAT many fake followers in a community???

        • hessiej says:

          AmyMccTobin DavidTraub Danny Brown I think the bigger concern here is the use of those fake accounts to launch attacks on people. That seems pretty disturbing if this is indeed true.

        • jureklepic says:

          DavidTraub AmyMccTobin Danny Brown fake followers has zero impact on Klout scores David, coz there need to be an activity and with fake accounts there no activity  But you gain your Kred score a lot, coz for every new followers you get one point in kred. or use to be so in the past.

        • Danny Brown says:

          jureklepic DavidTraub AmyMccTobin I’d disagree with that, Jure. You can set up scripts to have them RT all your content, and that’d impact scoring and authority.

        • jureklepic says:

          Danny Brown jureklepic DavidTraub AmyMccTobin Then i take it back, I didn’t know that Danny. I know that people where buying RT’s like crazy but i did not know that you can do that with fake account. David ignore my part on Klout. But the Kred one is correct, Kred does give you points based on new followers.

        • DavidTraub says:

          jureklepic DavidTraub AmyMccTobin Danny Brown Thanks for the clarification.  What if someone creates a false persona and actively tweets from that account?  Would that influence Klout score?

        • Danny Brown says:

          DavidTraub jureklepic AmyMccTobin Yep. If the account is public and active, it counts towards their measurement.

        • farahbelliard says:

          Danny Brown DavidTraub AmyMccTobin Well, Britt Michaelian is not getting bashed about her fake followers and her stats are worse… take a look. http://flic.kr/p/ef3hGC

        • RobertM.Caruso says:

          AmyMccTobin Danny Brown DavidTraub you must combine fakers app with http://twittercounter.com 6 month report or fakers is worthless. Twitter Counter will show the clear purchasing by day and supports what the Fakers App shows.

        • elizonthego says:

          AmyMccTobin DavidTraub Danny Brown That is where the problem lies in giving meaning to good sound business. My clients being managed on Social Media are given realistic measures, and highly monitoring of fake follows etc.  There are those who are able to fill you up with quick follows, but no ROI which is often reflected on the business and the practices of the branding agent.  If you have gained 100 new follows, and engage those real people, you learn quickly when taking the conversation offline, of who is legit and who is not.  It’s going to get stronger, and ROI’s will get stronger when the falsifying of numbers is dealt with.

      • Float_Girl says:

        Danny Brown DavidTraub  I checked out a few from the Forbes article…..you know, some that you all quote – check on their fakes.  Check some of the people replying here.  I don’t buy this stuff.  The ONE fake folower I have…is my brother???!!! hahahaha.

  11. David Griffith says:

    There’s a chapter of a new book in the comments string.

  12. JasonPromotesU says:

    What an amazing post. It is so sad, that we as people can not exercise freedom of speech on social media without being attacked by those that continuously PLAY victim to a bully when in fact they are the bully themselves. You may ask who I am speaking of? The name is not of great importance to be mentioned but I will say it has been mentioned here tonight. With that said, I was a victim along WITH many over the past of couple years by a person. It started out with me being lured with promises into making it big in social media if I stuck with this person. Months went by and I felt so comfortable and trusted this person. I was told things like if you give me your Twitter password, I’ll help you with your following and help you grow big in social media, so I did along with giving them my email password as they bought me my own domain name for my birthday so they could connect my new email address to connect with current so I wouldn’t miss incoming email as I wanted to keep it organized. Couple months passed, and I even started working for this person and posting content and engage for them via their Twitter account which they gave me access to via their Hootsuite account. After discovering some very disturbing incoming DMs, I couldn’t help but to approach this person about what was going on. Not only did I approach this person but I reached out to others to ask their opinion on what I should do. Within minutes, my name was being publicly mentioned not for a day or week BUT nearly 6 months to a year as this person I worked for accused me of hacking into the account and sending continuous DMs to others posing as her from that account. It ruined me as a # was created about me and gained lots of attention and traction resulting in me almost wanting to commit suicide due to what I had worked so hard for over my first year of being on twitter. I lost 100s of followers, lost my only income. I had hit rock bottom and didn’t know what to do. I went silent out of fear because I was lost. Luckily, with strength and others that knew me VERY well, knew this wasn’t possible, even a HUGE mom community rallied around me. Finally, the bullying and lies against me settled down but not before rising again to include others that have been mentioned here tonight. It seems to be a continuous pattern against these innocent people. In closing, I am proud to say, if anything I have gained many close friends and relationships have been built with those involved from this behavior this person continues to spread across the social webs. Good Night and God Bless!

    • AmyMccTobin says:

      JasonPromotesU Wow Jason. Having lost 2 friends in the past month to suicide your story touches me deeply.  I am glad  that you are through it… and good night and God Bless to you.

      • JasonPromotesU says:

        AmyMccTobin Thanks Amy. I appreciate the chance to finally share my story. I kept saying I wouldn’t BUT with so many being hurt, it’s time we stand for one another and put an end to this terrible behavior

    • farahbelliard says:

      JasonPromotesU Hey, Jason! I remember this…

      • JasonPromotesU says:

        farahbelliard Yes and you stood behind me. Just sad seeing this person hide behind fake accounts they create but all we can do is pray for them

        • farahbelliard says:

          JasonPromotesU farahbelliard I did for a bit, but I was swayed eventually, to unfollow you and block you, Jason. For the sake of complete disclosure. Now, I wasn’t FORCED to do this, I made the choice to do it on my own. I don’t blame Dabney or anyone else for the choices I made. I was scared, and I didn’t want to fall victim to any crap.

      • jureklepic says:

        farahbelliard Hi Farah, nice seeing you… i see you remember many things. Then you might remembered and clear confusion with your friends, that my comment to “300 pounds ass” was not part of Miss Piggy Post but was in the comments section in very first status update that i did that friday without mentioning or drooping any names. After you warn me on my statement i did acknowledge the mistake and my inappropriate comment. You acknowledge that.  Just maybe as you were the part of this very conversation you might make that clear as seems like i was drooping names and miss Piggy comments at the same time. Thank you

        • elizonthego says:

          jureklepic farahbelliard I follow your post Jure and did not put that comment together with your post until it was mentioned.  Like  gentlemen you were a class act in your public apology of how that statement was taken.

        • farahbelliard says:

          jureklepic farahbelliard I can vouch for the fact that the two posts were not related. When I saw the comment, I was the one who told Jure that while he has a right to express his disagreement with the hashtag use, a persona attack was just not a good look for him. He agree and apologized. As far as I’m concerned, it was dealt with.
          There were many people commenting on the thread, however, who made disparaging remarks, and I just don’t think that it’s appropriate to do that. I believe that if you have a legitimate beef, you deal with that, but personal attacks are just not okay, coming from anyone.
          I also think that the Miss Piggy post was distasteful and poking fun, and I said something about that, too. Both posts have been removed, as far as I know.

    • elizonthego says:

      JasonPromotesUWOW!!!  There is going to be much healing in your life. Releasing the power of fear into the air. This is so heart felt. I am starting to read all of this and know your story well.  The best any of us can do, is to turn this around into learning, teaching and healing. Elizabeth

    • hessiej says:

      JasonPromotesU Jason, thank you so much for bringing your story to us. If it gives you some solace, this will only help to others come out as well! I don’t begin to understand what you’ve gone through but you’ve given context into what others must be experiencing too. Thank you again!

    • DavidTraub says:

      JasonPromotesU Wow!  I knew of your history with this person but not at this level of detail.  As with Elizabeth, the silver lining in all of this online bullying is trhe wonderful friendships developed with others who have been victimized by this person.  Stay strong!

  13. farahbelliard says:

    For the record, I am not on ANYBODY’S side on this. I fell that AmyMccTobin didn’t get the full story based on what I observed, and it is obvious that this issue goes way deeper than a few FB posts. The deeper part, I cannot involve myself in because I wasn’t there.
    I’m just stating this publicly so that nobody gets the wrong idea. If they do, that’s another story. I do my best to be fair and impartial all the way around because it makes no sense to take sides without having the whole story or being a witness to the whole thing. I can and will ONLY comment or respond to what I personally have knowledge of. Whether it be damning to Dabney, Jure, Elizabeth, Jason, or anybody else. Truth is truth.

    • hessiej says:

      farahbelliard AmyMccTobin Farah, the intent of the post was to provide a viewpoint into the events. We would welcome both sides of the story to get a good picture of how each side perceived the events. You’re absolutely right: we have to look at the facts and that’s why we’re welcoming ALL comments to uncover any misunderstandings or untruths.

      • farahbelliard says:

        hessiej farahbelliard AmyMccTobin Absolutely. This is a necessary dialogue, and I hope that the air is cleared all the way around. Not sure if everything can be cleared up out in the open, but at the very least if all parties involved can get their side out, speak their peace and then let it go, it won’t have to turn into World War III.

        • hessiej says:

          farahbelliard hessiej AmyMccTobin I hope that happens Farah. We don’t intend to belabour the point but just some clarity, as you’ve mentioned.

    • jureklepic says:

      farahbelliard AmyMccTobin Farah Thank you and did not even expect from you to take any sides. I think there is nothing that i will hide. As I said before would I do it all over again, YES i would. I would question the practice of anyone if I believe is unethical or misused. Secondly i would not put it up for the second time if facebook decide to take it off, that yes was wrong with me, but again i did not drop any names. I can’t control the tone or directions of people comments, but i can certainly say something as author when the comments cross the line. And I would do that and i will in the future if i need to. I am not saying that i am going to call anyone out tomorrow or day after.
      Really is that Dabney names was only visible in the post that was removed from Facebook, i did not tag her name to the post, mention her name in the update neither did i tweet out or mention her name in comments. 
      I did not went out and tweet her clients or brands that she works with… Her supporters did just that with me, from accusing me that i had a DUI and that I was locked in prison to very core of calling me bully and i bully people on social, while they were doing exactly the same to me just in worst way that i did. I dont appreciate that and i never will. 
      Farah if you think that i did something more then i am saying, please feel free to let me know…

      • farahbelliard says:

        jureklepic farahbelliard AmyMccTobin Jeez, Jure. I had no idea they did that to you, and that is just a bad, if not worse. I don’t agree that it should be an eye for an eye.

        • jureklepic says:

          farahbelliard jureklepic AmyMccTobin Farah, i have no hard feeling, i know how human anger works, you know i told in a comment i was angry and i made that comment on weight that i should not. But i did not repeat that for days… Let me say about DUI, also shows pure human decency, this was told to someone in confidence and no matter what happens btw two people, this are personal things that should never been used as weapon of attack… Special not when 3rd person do the attack with info that were so personal… This is where i have hard time, anyone could call me out or comment, indeed some of her friends did and i replied back, i did stay away from any personal feelings i explain why i did what i did and move on. But we all learn from our mistakes, i hope others too.

    • DavidTraub says:

      farahbelliard  Farah, your comments here tonight have been very fair and balanced.  I, for one, appreciate that.  Unfortunately, Elizabeth and I, as well as several others here tonight, have a very different experience with this person.  The things my wife has had to endure the past several months weigh heavily on us.  As you can see, others also have had difficult times.  I think, though, we’ve all been very civil in our discussion tonight, given the experiences we’ve all had.

    • AmyMccTobin says:

      farahbelliard AmyMccTobin Thanks Farah, for weighing in, and I welcome any clarification if I got the facts wrong.  I did mention that Dabney Porte had been disparaged with the Ms Piggy quote and  some other statements, but I did not want to get into the mudslinging in detail – which is why I did not put up a screen shot of the many, many tweets that were sent to Huffington Post and Arriana Huffington herself.  I was trying to give a fair background of what happened and then allow for a civilized dialogue on this blog.
      Instead, some of the same people are tweeting to me telling me I am a Cyber Troll, and one person started tweeting to Huffington Post again.  This was not supposed to be an expose, but a grown up discussion of what is the right thing to do in times of tragedy, and what bullying actually is.

  14. elizonthego says:

    Oh wow, this is overwhelming to read and yet very important. This space is important to business, both personal and corporate brands.  I saw Jure’s original post on his facebook and  I think the reality of his post is it turned very emotional as many have been subject to Dabney’s business practices, obviously myself included.   Business practices, which if there is a threat of being exposed,  is turn into personal attacks and a 3 ring circus of the same people always jumping in on the character and honor of another.   There is often 2-8 3rd parties who speak the same language and know the details of your life.  In today’s incident, an innocent person was accused of being me.  A real person, who comment on this thread.  I did reach out to her and had a phone conversation. Her story is no different than many who have had similar experiences of being attacked publicly.  I have been silent, and David has stepped in. I do not respond.  I love a good debate of differing opinions. I think Jure was aware, in those who follow, that that happens often. I read many posts, and will often post my opinions, yet there is always a healthy respect for each other.  I think more posts like this need to be written, as this is a space we all embrace and build business from. Yet, like many their income is produced out of reputation and being called out as a bully and fraud can be damaging. I have had several tweets attaching my name to the FBI and Portland police.  Everything a bully does, they call out in other people.  I am thankful for the many who have come along and encouraged me to stay active in Social Media. Upon discovering the business practices of Mrs. Porte I too was called out as a bully, evil…..you name it. That being said,  the idea of misusing a hashtag was used to bully a dear friend of mine out of social media by this person, who claims to be leading a community around Social Media. It will only stop, when we realize who is behind the screen. Blessings Elizabeth

    • hessiej says:

      elizonthego It’s amazing how it’s come to that –>having your name involving the police and FBI. But given the circumstances and what I’ve read tonight I can’t say I’m not surprised. Yes as DavidTraub said there is safety in numbers. This blog post has reached the right people tonight.

  15. ShellyKramer says:

    Well said, Amy. Well said.

    • AmyMccTobin says:

      ShellyKramer Why thank you Shelly.  

      Sadly, some of these very people want to go back and forth with me on Twitter and refuse to come and discuss at length here.  At the end of the day I think that those of us who use social media to market for ourselves and our clients need an agreed upon list of best practices.  Perhaps there is one somewhere??

      • Float_Girl says:

        AmyMccTobin ShellyKramer I find it tragic as well..  If you are going to go back and forth, do it here, email, or on the phone.  But, Amy, I think people think that you are doing all of this to gain traffic – as I stated and was told otherwise – and they don’t want to give you the “numbers”.  Best guess.  Not sure how you get to the other side of that because there is some great info out there to shut this down.

  16. ajenkins says:

    We often talk about the need for brands to be transparent and own any perceived missteps they may have made. Increasingly in social media we are asking the same of individuals, especially ones with substantial audiences (fake or otherwise). I wonder what would happen if we consistently, yet professionally, invited the key players to join a Google Hangout for an open and constructive debate. We can seek a third-party, neutral moderator and ground rules that the moderators would mutually agree upon. It may be naive to think we could start a groundswell of interest in seeing such a debate/discussion while avoiding adding fuel to the fire but maybe it is worth pursuing to build momentum around the discussion of best practices. 
    While not a social media example, David Letterman campaigned everyday for weeks to get Oprah to appear on his show to discuss her feeling slighted by him in the past. Eventually, she appeared and they talked it out. Could the same kind of thing happen here if we asked nicely and regularly? Furthermore, could we make #SocialJJE a trending topic around the discussion?

    • DavidTraub says:

      ajenkins  I know that Amy reached out to several of the SMGirlfriends community and invited them to join in the conversation last night.  All refused her invitation.  Not sure how others on here feel but I can say from my point of view that trust would be a huge influencer in any decision to join such a debate.  Quite honestly, my wife and I have epast xperiences that would have us shying away from such a forum.  I do, however, appreciate your comments and efforts to engage in a civil discussion of the issues.

  17. Float_Girl says:

    Wow. Let me just chime in as a person who has known Dabney for 12 years.  I turned against her, as you all have, and joined up with many of you.  I realized it wasn’t bringing me any good juju, PLUS it seemed like a couple of you only befriended me to get info on Dabney. Then something happened.  Dabney thought that I was talking about her with a friend – which I was not – and I blew.  I called her and we SCREAMED for an hour. Then slammed our phones down.  The next day, we did the same thing, but that time we did NOT hang up as enemies.  We are friends again.  I let the group of Dabney “Un-supporters” know that I had no intention of talking badly about Dabney anymore.  OF COURSE I have inside info on her life.  I was the closest to her for many years. OF COURSE, we all have skeletons in our closets – she does, I do, YOU do, we all act inappropriately at times.  What I realized was it isn’t OUR job to bring her down.  It isn’t OUR job to smash her, talk about her, gang up against her or take clients away from her.  Why do you all think you should?  Do you have screen captures of what she has done to you?  I called her out on A LOT that Elizabeth had told me she had done – She sent me photos (not screen captures, real deal Vegas), letters from Jure, from Britt, Jason, from many – all when you were all friends w/ her – slamming each OTHER??!!!!  WOAH.   She surely has a lot on all of you, as well.  She won’t use it – she should. You all would have to FINALLY let her go.  Out of your mind.  She should.
    Why can’t you all just leave each other alone.  Elizabeth, Jason, Jure -she hasn’t costed you clients, or money or anything from your livelihood.  You just simply don’t like her.  Her personality is STRONG.  She is informed when she is speaking so you feel she “knows it all” – been there.  Done that.  I love her – but she isn’t easy We have had our share of disagreements. Elizabeth, I got to know you a bit, and you are the EXACT opposite.  Quiet.  Demure.  NO WAY would you 2 get along.  But there are plenty out there for both of you.  
    Amy – I’m not sure what you are even writing this for – bottom line, the very thing you are accusing her of, #Boston, is the very thing you are doing to drive people to your website, fb, twitter, and more.  It couldn’t be more obvious.  And, I have been WAITING for someone – ANYONE – to comment besides the people who think Dabney screwed them and are out to get her?  Where are they?  I don’t know you, and I dont’ want to know anyone who would want to simply gain exposure at the expense of writing about someone.
    The Ms. Piggy comment?  I said it from a tweet when I was against her.  I apologized to her.  Jure needs to as well.  When you start picking on someone like that, it is nothing short of bullying.  I bullied.
    Be brave.  All of you. Call Dabney.  Let her have it.  Tell her what you think. Tell her it all.  LOUD , yell if you have to. Let her answer you back.  She is the most confrontational person I know, and would welcome a discussion on what she has done to any of you.  Even when I was on the “team against” I didn’t here ANYTHING credible. I wanted to – ohhhhhh I wanted to.  I wanted to be validated in my “unfriending” of her.  But she didn’t cost any of you anything.  Nothing.
    Thank you for letting me write this.  The typos, the grammar, the run on sentences – be nice.  I had only a minute to spare.  I have a client who had followers bought for them and the fake followers are sending spam.  I have to deal w/ that now, too……Social Media is cray-cray.

    • DavidTraub says:

      Float_Girl  Randi, Elizabeth and I have honored your re-kindled relationship with Dabney.  You have known her for a very long time and we understood the internal conflict you struggled with when you two parted ways.  Elizabeth only knew Dabney for a couple of weeks and early on realized that she was not the kind of person she wanted a relationship with.  You, of all of us on this thread, know about Dabney’s, uh, shall we say, unethical business practices.  Elizabeth couldn’t align herself with such a person and tried to go away quietly.  You know the rest of the story.  As we have repeatedly told Dabney and her “supporters” all we want is to be left alone — stop following Elizabeth into every chat she goes in to; stop tweeting above every comment Elizabeth tweets; stop sending private messages that cast a shadow on Elizabeth’s character to people Elizabeth engages with; stop bullying acquaintances of Elizabeth.  We just want to be left out of her world.

      • Float_Girl says:

        DavidTraub Float_Girl TOTALLY agree, David.  You know that.  But Dabney didn’t cost Elizabeth business.  E is totally amazing at what she does and D does her own thing.  I see what is going on.  I really do.  Why does this keep going on?  Because people keep bringing D’s name up and E chimes in.  Let it go and when you do, you won’t be a part of it….so it goes and it goes.  With all due respect, David, I do not know you.  I know Elizabeth.  But I think you are quite honorable to be taking up for her.

        • DavidTraub says:

          Float_Girl DavidTraub  I would counter-argue that D keeps bringing E into the fray.  For instance, yesterday’s shameful attack on Amanda socksinthedisco , accusing her of being the “evil Elizabeth”.

        • Float_Girl says:

          DavidTraub Float_Girl socksinthedisco I will look into that.  Last I knew, D was with her dog who is very sick and as of this morning under the knife.  I would be shocked to hear that she, indeed, did that.  Her own daughter was calling my home last night in tears about the dog.  It was all we thought about….all that was happening.  I will say this: some of D’s followers do things, as do E’s,, without consent.  I find it appalling.  (Like I am doing right now!!! HA!) Look, for all the faults you all have on Dabney, there are good.  She is a human being. In yesterday’s reading in Mass, we are told to love everyone no matter what.  Not just the good stuff.  We gotta love the trash, the bad, the ugly.  It’s life.  We are flawed people.  We sin, we drive each other nuts, but we must all love each other.  It is what it is.  I think at this point, everyone is looking for traffic to their blogs, their fb, their twitter, and their paper (huff post). Dig deep.  Is it worth it in the end?  Who are you REALLY saving?  Be well, David.  You are a good soul and I appreciate your kindness with all of this…..Life is truly hard and navigating it is nutty.

        • Float_Girl says:

          DavidTraub Float_Girl socksinthedisco just looked into this and then checked my phone log….I can send if you want? D was deep in the tragedy of her dog at that hour of “attack” – the girl Jett? who was tweeting to her – is an sm someone.  If you know me, you know I am all about the dogs – people call me when tragedy strikes and that is what I was dealing w/ all the Portes.  There was no tweeting going on…I think Jett needed to do some research.  She was clearly wrong!!!

        • Float_Girl DavidTraub I don’t see how things are being “let go” on the other end.  I am new to Twitter, and was new to smgirlfriends.  I had no knowledge of any of this previous/ongoing drama. Unfortunately, two of her “followers” and/or alter-egos decided to involve me in this yesterday.  I was publicly berated for having two screen names (one personal and one professional), and accused of being Elizabeth.  I was concerned enough about my professional name, that I closed that account for the time-being. I must also note that I did not know, and had never spoken to Elizabeth or anyone else in her family prior to yesterday. The “evidence” that was touted was that I apparently had followed David on one of my accounts. I have followed a lot of people that I have seen in chats and/or saw tweets I liked. I doubt anyone on Twitter can say they actually “know” all of their followers or follows.  The whole thing is ridiculous.  I have been nothing but nice/professional to others on Twitter in general, and smgirlfriends specifically.  Obviously Dabney followers need to bury the hatchet if they are so quick to scream conspiracy.

        • Float_Girl says:

          socksinthedisco Float_Girl DavidTraub HI SOCKS!  Please see what I wrote above -what Jett did was clearly wrong.  I AGREE. Not sure why / don’t know her / don’t care. Just know Dabney wasn’t part of it, that I know for a FACT. Can send you my call log if it makes you feel any better – was on phone w/ her re; her dog.

        • Float_Girl socksinthedisco DavidTraub Jett brought Dabney and smgirlfriends into the mix by attaching their names in the tweets.  I PMed Dabney about it on FB.  We were “friends” via facebook until yesterday, when I removed her.  She had access to all of my personal information via FB, and can clearly see I am a real person, not at all related to Elizabeth.  I would think if my name and/or group was brought into drama like that on Twitter, I would make some sort of statement about it.

        • Float_Girl says:

          socksinthedisco Float_Girl DavidTraub Can’t speak to you on this….have no idea.  I am just on here to simply light a small fire – I just don’t get all this.  What else besides not like her? She #Boston? We all did. I learned a ton from that. Because some freaks called huff post to get someone fired? PLS. It’s MEDIA.  Freedom of SPEECH.  He would never have gotten fired.

        • Float_Girl socksinthedisco DavidTraub This has nothing to do with me liking/not liking anyone.  This has everything to do with me being the latest example of online bullying.  If someone in your group unjustly accuses and smears someone in your or your group’s name, it is your responsibility to speak up.

        • Danny Brown says:

          Float_Girl socksinthedisco DavidTraub Hi Randi,
          While we encourage healthy debate, we don’t condone the type of name-calling the post highlights. Let’s not use the disparaging term “freaks” about anyone, thanks.

        • Float_Girl says:

          socksinthedisco Float_Girl DavidTraub #TrueStory.  YOU! are SPOT ON, Socks!!

        • Float_Girl says:

          Danny Brown Float_Girl socksinthedisco DavidTraub my apologies..just found it kind of funny, found it even sad, that Tim or anyone would think he could lose his job because people were calling in on him….he knows better.  Or should.  I used the example of Matt Lauer before – I will again – gossip out there saying he got Ann Curry fired.  My sources at NBC tell me the calls coming in for HIS job are numerous.  Still see him sitting there.  As will Tim, churning out more good stories for Huff!!!  Cheers!  It’s just about 5.

    • Danny Brown says:

      Float_Girl Hi Randi,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and alternative thinking – that’s the beauty of an open forum like this, all thoughts and viewpoints are welcome. They just need to remain civil and respectful (on both “sides”).
      Amy reached out to several of the folks mentioned in the post (as well as those who took her to task for writing it), and invited them to come onto the blog and share their thoughts. She also suggested a Google Hangout, which was also turned down.
      No-one is preventing other viewpoints to be shared – as is evident with your own thoughts being replied to now.
      With regards this being a “traffic generator” (paraphrased), if that was true, I would have the entire blog and all its content removed (not just this post). Our goal isn’t traffic for traffic’s; our goal is to open dialogue on the issues that keep brands fearful of jumping into the social media space, as well as analyze how the human psyche and behaviours adapt to the “power” this medium offers when it comes to anyone’s voice having the capacity to be seen by literally millions.
      Thanks for the thoughts, sincerely appreciated.

      • Float_Girl says:

        Danny Brown Float_Girl Great.  I am a bit amateur at this – as many know – I was one of the very people who would have put my 2 cents in against Dabney a month ago.  But, like I said, I called her.  Screamed.  Called her out on everything I had heard and in return I got months of emails between D, Jure, Britt, Jason and more…..This story is deeper than just the #Boston hashtag.  This is for sure.  It’s unfortunate.  I feel sadly for everyone because it seems people can’t get past it and no one is dead.  no one is sick.  no one lost a  job.  no one is on the street.  no one was fired.  it’s just dumb.  and the only people commenting are the very people who really just do not LIKE Dabney.  As I said, I know her well.  She is not easy.  BUT, will listen to what you all have to say.  Why didn’t Amy Tobin call her.  I can give her D’s number.  Get her side? Get the paperwork I saw? There are 3 on here that had a protective order against another on here. Dig a little deeper, maybe?  Or let it go and delete it all.  Amy needs to reach out to Dabney, not the groupies. Let others live.  That’s all.  Everyone on here are good people.  Nice people.  Why sink below that?  Cheers, my new friend.  Be well.

        • Float_Girl Danny Brown This comment contains some serious generalizations.  I am not a groupie or a hater.  I have no alliances or loyalties. I would have loved to not have been dragged into any of this. I do not; however, appreciate being publicly attacked and leaving that unchecked.

      • hessiej says:

        Danny Brown Float_Girl Randi, you’ve given so much clarity to the situatio. This post was meant NOT to call out the perpetrators, NOR was it meant to draw attention and visibility for our blog. We are all practitioners in this space and we ALL know that in order for it to evolve we have to lead in thinking and in practice. When things like this happen, and we choose to sit in the side lines and let it happen, we all lose. As Danny said, we don’t want to suppress discussion but rather encourage it … from BOTH sides.

        • Float_Girl says:

          hessiej Danny Brown Float_Girl Hi Hesie!  I would LOVE to chat with you about what I know HOWEVER, I don’t think we should drag this on any longer.  I think we should let it go? Do you want Dabney’s number?  She will enlighten you to her side.  Both “sides” have SO MUCH on each other, it’s INSANE.  It’s so ugly.  Look into it.  I guess, I spoke up because I saw what I saw…..I don’t think her “groupies” have seen the hard evidence I have seen, which speaks volumes….D could come out w/ it all, but won’t.

        • hessiej says:

          Float_Girl hessiej Danny Brown Hi Randi, if she’s willing to speak, we’d entertain the idea. Absolutely. Thanks again for your candor and your viewpoint. Well-acknowledged!

        • Float_Girl says:

          hessiej Float_Girl Danny Brown I will MAKE her talk to you…she should.  May end all of this?  Kumbaya and all that. let me know.  Email randi222@gmail.com

    • AmyMccTobin says:

      Float_Girl Thanks for being willing to participate in a discussion here.
      I wrote the post for two reasons: because it is obvious that a need for best practices is necessary.  The #Boston hashtag use was the start of all of this, and as I said, I do not condone some of the things Jure said regarding Dabney personally. However, I do think that we need to have guidelines as to the proper use of hashtags during tragedies. I did NOT use the Boston hashtag or ANY hashtag to drive traffic, and rarely use them at all.  I used this story as content for this blog because I think misusing the tragedy and then the bullying and accusations of bullying that ensued are very important issues.
      All Tim McDonald did was share Jure’s initial post and state that he thought the hashtag use by Dabney was unacceptable. For that people contacted his EMPLOYER and called him a bully. Repeatedly. And they tweeted to Arriana Huffington herself.  Is Tim not allowed to have a discussion on marketing tactics without reprisals toward his employer?
      What about the DUI comments?  All that individual did was like a post.  Tweeting to the Voice and others smearing her name?
      The point of this post was to have a mature discussion on what our manners should be on Social Media during a tragedy, and when we disagree.  I’d like us to have a discussion of all of the Professional Questions I posed at the end of the blog – THAT was the entire point of this blog.
      I respect your friendship with Dabney – and I respect your willingness to come here.  And I stand by the foundation of my post, which was an attempt at clear, mature dialogue on how to use Social Media professionally.

      • Float_Girl says:

        AmyMccTobin Float_Girl I did not know people tweeted to huff or their leader.  Had no idea.  Was it Dabney herself?  She has some followers who do what they want (me, on here, included) and unfortunately she gets the brunt of it.  If she did use the #Boston to gain supporters, I did not see that.  She has always, for 4 years now, focused on news worthy stuff (and not!) to the tune of a hashtag.  That is how she meets people.  That is how we all meet people.  My entire tweet life is people who bash Obama.  I LOVE IT, I asked for it, I sought it out.  I lost 22 friends in the WTC, if someone #NYC 9-11, I would join that group.  My friend lost her son in #Newtown – I sought out people there.  It is what it is.  
        As for calling the huff post,, that is the life of being in the media.  I worked for many years for a major television network, my own father started 2 cable channels, I have 2 brothers in MGMT at 2 major cable networks in NYC and a husband with a major television network. I know the media business. He would NEVER have lost his job over that.  Come on.  Look at the BIG WIGS taking pot shots at the president. MEDIA.  It’s what goes on.  You think Matt Lauer dosen’t have people calling everyday to ask for his job to be deleted????
        Anyway….call Dabney.  Hear her side.  I ask you.

        • DavidTraub says:

          Float_Girl AmyMccTobin Here’s something that has always perplexed me: why is it that Dabney’s “followers” are always the one’s fighting her fight, swarming in and pouncing on the person?  And how do they always seem to know so much about what is going on in Dabney’s world?  For instance, why did OhMyJett feel that she needed to attack Amanda (socksinthedisco )?  It’s very strange.  The actions by her “followers” makes SMGirlfriends appear kind of cult-ish.

        • Float_Girl says:

          DavidTraub Float_Girl AmyMccTobin socksinthedisco yes, David.  That, like Ms Piggy, is what I called her followers – a “cult”.  I don’t disagree – they all love love love d and have been some how inspired by her? as I have been by E and Jure and Britt and Robert and more….- I think too many people have too much time on their hands to go chasing people around.  Clearly, what I think I have today by engaging in this.   I don’t know why Jett gets involved.  Who cares.  It wasn’t Dabney.  Her dog is dying.

    • jureklepic says:

      Float_Girl Randi Hi. I am only going to reply to you on few points that include me in this conversation, as i did with entire post here before. I have no idea from where are you coming or getting an impression that Dabney cost me any clients. My comment yesterday was in the line of ” i did not tweet her clients” related to all the tweets that went out not from Dabney but her supporters to HuffPo… I think this was out of line. As for your comment on me talking to Britt and few others, let me clear here something for all of us. I think Dabney has a struggle seeing people ( incl me) talking to other people. Just because Britt, Jason, Michelle, Jessica, Elizabeth or who ever tweets each other or people ask how you doing, doesn’t mean that there is a conversation going on about Dabney. 
      I hope you know what I mean. And here we are because of that… Birtt, Michelle and Jessica where included in some tweets for no reason, I never talked to them about my initial post I did it myself. I dont need anyone instructing me what i should do, jet they all got slamed down because they like the post. I am not saying Dabney did it, might be that some “supporters” just generalized the entire thing. As to your point, I think Dabney could say something about it to their supports if she did not agree with what they were doing on the web to support her. If she was thinking that Tweeting HuffPo or NBC was inappropriate then say so. Didn’t happened instead they were tweets out there saying thank you fo supporting me. 
      I think we again all turn this discussion into something that we should not. The post was not written to slam down or lift up Dabney indeed. The core of the post is (from my understanding reading it) do we have right to question marketing tactics of social media professionals publicly or not, and if defense like this are right to do or not. This includes everyone in, not just Dabney, lets not now generalize everything and make only Dabney as the one who should be questioned all the time. 
      I dont know you personally, but again thank you for allowing me to say this back at you. 
      Jure

      • Float_Girl says:

        jureklepic Float_Girl Jure..you are AWESOME for responding! I don’t understand what you are saying, however – nothing you are saying makes any sense as an answer or reply to what I said – Look – bottom line -you were good friends w/ Dabney. What I read in the middle of the night shows full on that you know about these people.  I will say  no more on that.  Bottom line – you write great stuff – I love your links – you don’t need to sink to that level of making fun of people to get attention.  People like you anyway.  All you have sucked in w/ your Piggy stuff are Dabney haters…which there seem to be many. Many who can NOT stand her strong, personality.  Hell, I was one of them 2 months ago.  A year ago.  3 years ago. 8 years ago.  She isn’t easy.  But she is obviously touching many. leave her alone.  you all need to be peaceful.  Don’t preach it.  Do it.  Peace Out, Jure!  I look forward to your many POSITIVE tweets!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. […] crowds jump on the opportunity to attack someone for dissenting. Amy Tobin of ArCompany wrote an excellent article outlining a case where a large community of followers joined to attack a person who publicly called […]

  19. […] crowds jump on the opportunity to attack someone for dissenting. Amy Tobin of ArCompany wrote an excellent article outlining a case where a large community of followers joined to attack a person who publicly called […]

  20. DavidTraub says:

    There has been no public apology to Amanda ( socksinthedisco ).  Therefore, I have decided to post directly onto the #smgirlfriends chat and request that Dabney publicly apologize for the actions of her community followers.  She needs to undo a wrong.  She needs to be the leader of her community and step up and tell her followers not to engage in this type of behavior.  She needs to restore Amanda’s good name.

    • DavidTraub says:

      Very strange.  Posted 30 minutes ago and absolutely no response.  I was polite, factual, and clear on what the expectations were from the community leader.  The SMGirlfriends site always has tons of traffic.  What does this response (or lack thereof) say about this community?  They wrongfully attacked one of their new followers and don’t have the decency to step up and admit they were wrong?  Very odd.

    • DavidTraub says:

      O.K., now it’s 2 hours since I tweeted into the #smgirlfriends chat — a total of 5 tweets have been posted by various followers, none responding to my request to address the bullying that took place on this site yesterday.  I find it interesting that this community, which touts itself as an anti-bullying group, goes silent when its own followers engage in online bullying.  Even more tragic is the fact that one of the individuals being bullied, Amanda ( socksinthedisco ), was a recent new follower to #smgirlfriends.  Even more tragic is the fact that Amanda alerted Dabney to the bullying and nothing was done about it.  Again, I ask, where is the leader of this community?  True leaders step up when adversity hits and boldly handle the issue.  All I have seen so far are Dabney’s followers chiming in.  That’s not the picture of true leadership.

      • hessiej says:

        DavidTraub socksinthedisco We have welcomed Dabney to this blog to bring clarity to the situation. It doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. I hope for all our sakes that this blogs sheds some light into the events and mitigates future occurrences. Knowledge, if anything, is power.

        • DavidTraub says:

          hessiej DavidTraub socksinthedisco This blog and all of the comments (and absence of comments) have been truly illuminating.  The most glaring illumination is the silence from Dabney, a self-proclaimed highly influencial SM consultant.  A simple acknowledgement and apology would lend some credibility to her name and what she stands for.

        • hessiej says:

          DavidTraub hessiej socksinthedisco If there’s one thing I’ve learned through all this, social media needs finesse. We’re all figuring it out but as we try, in it brings about uncertainty and evidently fear. I really do hope we start establishing some decent practices soon.

  21. […] crowds jump on the opportunity to attack someone for dissenting. Amy Tobin of ArCompany wrote an excellent article outlining a case where a large community of followers joined to attack a person who publicly called […]

  22. AmyMccTobin says:

    Hello all – we are grateful for the engagement that this post brought, and there has been serious, mature discussion on here. However, I fear that it is getting a bit too personal and out of hand, so please, no name calling.  The discussion IS and always was meant to be about Social Media Best Practices, and about Cyber Bullying. We are not trying to ‘catch anyone out;’ we are trying to come entertain a civilized discussion about how we as social media professionals should conduct ourselves online.

    • DavidTraub says:

      AmyMccTobin Understood.  I am passionate about justice and feel a great injustice occurred.  However, you are correct in stating that this is not the forum to bring this issue to.  I will delete my comments if you so desire.

      • hessiej says:

        DavidTraub AmyMccTobin David, no need to delete comments. They are there to ensure that the whole story is told. Thank you for doing this! It’s important!

      • AmyMccTobin says:

        DavidTraub AmyMccTobin I wasn’t directing that only at you David, but at the entire discussion. Don’t delete anything… I just want us to stay focused on the original issue.

  23. elizonthego says:

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful to bring together a host of thought leaders and write a collaborative  “Social Covenant” one in which we held community and social leaders accountable to?  It would give new community leaders a bench mark for starting and growing the success of their communities as well as offer a consistent thread of ….go to “here” to learn how to operate in this space as a community. Addressing the use of hashtags, code of ethics, confidence and such.

  24. LeeReyesFournier says:

    Amy,
    I agree with you. I actually speak on the subject of what I call AntiSocial Media. I am fascinated by the rescuing bullies who feel justified in attacking the so-called bully in such a hostile manner. I counsel people to not get involved and to allow the person being bullied to deal with it. Adult bullying is different than the bullying that occurs with kids. The bystander effect is a serious issue in the latter but for adults, who should be responsible for themselves, the need for friends to jump in to the fray is unnecessary and will only make things worse. As a therapist I have worked with kids who have been bullied and champion any education to stop this. As a blogger, I feel lately like I am an alternative school and everyone brought a knife.

    • DavidTraub says:

      LeeReyesFournier  I agree with your position regarding bullying and assisting others.  However, let me ask you this question: if your wife was being harrassed online for several months by someone and then something occurred that crossed the line of civility, would you jump in to protect and honor your wife?  That’s my situation.  I remained on the sidelines and let my wife deal with the bully.  When a tweet went out that implied the Portland Police and FBI were investigating my wife I jumped in.  That, to me, crossed the line of civility.  Eager to here your thoughts.

      • LeeReyesFournier says:

        DavidTraub David, I would ask you if your wife asked for you to step in? When we rescue we devalue the power of the “victim”. I understand the feeling of watching your loved one be bullied or victimized but you could have supported her in a different way. Empowering instead of rescuing is the answer to stop the enormity of what is going on now. If we just let the main players play it out, while supporting the people we love, then most of these kerfuffles would die sooner. Instead, we have side players starting blood feuds and the such. I’m sorry your wife went through that.

        • DavidTraub says:

          LeeReyesFournier  Yes, my wife and I discussed it before I entered the fray.  Chuckling a bit at your “devalue the power” comment — you obviously don’t know my wife 🙂  She is a strong person and very confident.  My intention was definitely not to start a fued but, rather, put an end to the ongoing bullying.  I am a fan of face-to-face conflict resolution but social media, as you point out, has changed the dynamics of human interaction.

        • elizonthego says:

          LeeReyesFournier DavidTraub I thought I commented here earlier.  I invited my husband in to take a look at what was going on. And now thanking my husband David for his thoughts on this matter.

    • Amy Tobin says:

      Thanks for stopping in Lee, but I’m a bit confused. If, for example, many people are cyber bullying an individual, how do they deal with that? For instance, if the attackers are tweeting to your employer? What would your advice be to the one being attacked?

  25. JustinIiams says:

    This is a rather long comment and after this, I will not respond to those who choose to argue.  This is my truth, my experiences, and my side of the story.  Dabney didn’t ask me to comment here or alter any of my words.  In fact, when I called her about this post, she didn’t answer and I later saw it was because she was with her family worrying about the family dog.  You can choose to read it, or choose to respond.  Either way, I’m done with this whole debacle because obviously neither side will yield and therefore, it is all moot. 
    Hi all, Amy I’ll address you first- While you are a blogger and I appreciate someone’s input, the thing I don’t appreciate is the apparent lack of “contact” from those who you screenshotted. You blurred out Jessica’s handle in my screenshot but not mine. this leads me to believe that you a)have a dog in the fight, b) are afraid to give a whole story, or c) were just too lazy to do your due diligence. can you clarify for me which one it was?
    I haven’t received a call, DM, email, or anything from you.  In fact, I haven’t gotten anything more of a response than from tim asking “What do you mean?”  You could have asked me my stance and my feelings and I would have given them to you. Since you didn’t contact me and ask, I’ll just volunteer it for you.  Also, when Dabney saw what I was tweeting, she called me and asked me to stop….  In case you missed those tweets, here’s a screenshot of them back to back:  https://www.diigo.com/item/image/2v91k/tv2x
    It wasn’t until I asked you publicly to have a number to call you that you actually had words with me.  again, bad reporting job on your part.  you should have taken the proper time to get all sides of a story before you just posted it.  at this point (and reading the one sided comments except for one) this is nothing but a traffic generating post that is being shared and many people are just taking it FWIW and not doing their own due diligence to actually ask around.  You asked to talk “On the record”…  funny that wasn’t asked “BEFORE” this was posted.  hmmmmmm
    Many people know that I’ve always been a supporter of Dabney.  So when someone who was a friend of Jure’s and Tim’s screenshotted the posts and then sent them to me, I read, read, and read some more.  I have copies of those screenshots if you’d like.  Just let me know where to email them so you can see a little more of the story.
    My timeline is open if you’d like to go and look.  and no I don’t delete my tweets.  That’s just bad juju.  if you posted it, own up to it.  I’m owning up to it.  I thought that in my explanation of being bullied was enough to show you why I stand up for others…  Guess not.  So i’ll sum it all up here.
    In junior high school and high school, I was bullied incessantly.  my junior year, I was nearly drowned in the pool.  from 6th grade to senior year, I was picked on about my weight, playing soccer, and having acne.  but a couple bullied in particular went past words.  in jr high, one of them kept at it…  ripping my books, my shirts, pulling my hair, punching me in the face, punching me in the gut…  one day, I finally fought back.  I gave all the torment back to the bully.  Guess what happened…  he stopped.  High school, the bully who nearly drowned me, who shoved me into lockers, threw me into trash cans, hit my car with aluminum bats, slashed my tires, broke into my locker and broke my walkman.  kicked crutches from underneath me when I had a broken ankle…  this one was the worst bully of them all.  I always tried to talk away, I always tried to kill them with kindness, I always tried to be the bigger man.  But being the “bigger man” in these instances ended up making me feel like a little man.  When I finally stood up to that bully and gave him an A+ ass whippin, he stopped.  Sad that it took that to make it stop…  Words didn’t stop it, involving the school didn’t make it stop, and involving police didn’t make it stop.  It took me using more force than he had exerted to finally make him stop.
    I give you that story so that you can understand why I went nuclear on these folks.  Because Dabney playing nice hadn’t done any good.  I’d venture to say that if I came across any of them on the street, they’d look the other way.  It’s easy being behind a keyboard and saying whatever you feel.  I get it.  Do you understand why I’ve called them all plastics???  Ever see the movie “Mean Girls”?  They way they’ve all gotten together and formed a mob of their own is no different than in the movie.  
    Also Amy, you neglected to report the history behind all of this.  Let’s go back three+ years to the inception of social media manners.  Michelle Price (@prosperitygal) and Dabney both started it.  I was there…  I was one of the first people to participate in the chat.  They would take turns hosting the chat each week.  After a while, it became obvious that on the weeks Dabney hosted, there was much more interaction and had many more participants.  And then Michelle wanted to do a chat with #usguys about shunning.  When they asked the community if they liked the idea, it got a resounding NO.  It wasn’t until many people publicly asked her NOT to do it, that she backed out of the community never to be heard from again with the hashtag #smmanners.  So Michelle as you’ve already said in a comment that you were the founder…  Yeah BIG HONKING BULLSHIT
    Jason I’ll give my side of the story involving you now.  at first, you seemed like a legit guy.  likable with your Carolinian drawl and apparent laid back attitude.  THEN, when Dabney hired you to do work for her you failed time and time again to follow thru.  how do I know?  Because I was the one who got the call to come in and do the work you didn’t.  I got paid for the work too because I did it and I did it well.  Yep, she felt bad for you and CARED about you.  enough to spend her own money buying you a domain, email, and mentoring you.  I saw your growth online and it didn’t start until she taught you how to do this business.  not before, but AFTER.  But when she couldn’t rely on you anymore, she chose to not use your services anymore.  It doesn’t end there tho.  I still remember the hysterical phone call I got from you telling about “Scandalous DM’s, her shady behaviour, and being a dirty person”.  What you didn’t know at the time was that I had access to all that as well.  so I’m gunna call bullshit on that right now.  So when she didn’t use your services anymore, you went ballistic.
    NOW, we’ll address the stalker issue because I was the one that found the problem and fixed it so you didn’t have access to her accounts anymore.  You not only had hootsuite on your computer but your phone.  so when Dabney changed her passwords in the hope you wouldn’t have access, you still had the tokens on your phone and computer.  that’s how you were able to still have access even after you had been fired and passwords were changed.  so let me ask everyone here…  If you hired someone to do work for you and then fired them because they didn’t hold up their end of the agreement, how pissed off would you be if said person still snooped around???  pretty shady behavior if you ask me..

    • JustinIiams says:

      Elizabeth…  Let’s just say that some information should be
      left private and that is the ONLY reason I haven’t engaged with you publicly.
       You didn’t break any legal laws, but other “ethical ones”.
       Do you want to just leave it at that?
      David, I would have responded
      quicker but I was taking care of the final arrangements for my dad’s funeral.
       Sorry I couldn’t make it, but family is more important.  I’ll be
      back in the #smgirlfriends chat soon.  Also, Dabney was taking care of a
      dog that was in for surgery.  If that’s a problem for you that two of us
      were absent when our family needed us…  well, then you are beyond hope
      and saving.
      And lastly I’ll address Jure
      and Jessica-  Want to know why I went ballistic and called you out openly
      about the DUI?  Because I lost a good friend a year and a half ago to a
      DUI, and in high school I lost two friends to drunk drivers.  YOU made the
      choice to drink.  YOU made the choice to drive.  You both should be
      shamed by having a DUI.  not only that, you should have been transparent
      about it.  taken your lashings and let your following know about it.
       Have I made mistakes in my life?  YEP!  Did I cop to it when it
      happened?  YEP!  Did I enjoy a second of it?  NOPE.  
      Did I enjoy growing up and
      having parents who were/are slaves to alcohol?  no.  Am I a DD for my
      friends on a regular basis?  Yes I am.  WHY?  Because I’ve lost
      too many people to drunk driving and experienced the loss that alcoholism
      creates.  Jessica the fact that you said you were “on a fishing
      trip” when you were actually locked up is how you say it…. Oh yeah
      Pathological Misdirection…   How much do I hate those who drive drunk???
       I’ve called the police on my own family because they insisted on doing
      that.  So don’t feel so special that I called you out publicly for that.
       And Jessica, you have tweeted many times in the past to The Voice on NBC.
       I love that show.  I didn’t realize that some of the coaches had
      DUI’s.  Had I known that, I wouldn’t have watched or supported the show.
       But I won’t watch it or be a fan anymore that I can promise you.
      Jure, in your initial post
      you publicly called out Dabney.  Then when it got taken down, you replaced
      her avatar with Miss Piggy. and the following text 
      “Jure Klepic
      So apparently Facebook is
      very respectful and cares that individuals are not bullied on Facebook. I
      posted yesterday a public tweet of an average individuals who is not public
      figure and facebook took it as harassment after the average individuals reported
      as being bullied. So point of the post was that way to many professionals are
      abusing the social instead of using it… So goes to this particular average
      individuals… I am reposing the disturbing tweet of an average individuals who
      received worldwide attention for building communities on social media…. Mhhh
      is this action bellow really the way to build communities?” 
      I have the screenshot for
      proof too Jure.  SO, how is this not abuse/attack/bullying???  AND
      THEN, the comments that followed are those not attacks/abuse/bullying???
       AND I called it on twitter BEFORE this post.  I said “And sad
      that when a bully is called out, they cry foul and suddenly become the martyr.
       Here’s that screenshot for ya to see when I posted that tweet:
       https://www.diigo.com/item/image/2v91k/2bgo
      And Jessica…  I still
      remember you helping Dabney with a #slumberparty and getting a necklace valued
      at around $2K….  You took it without complaint…  as a gift.
       But yet you feel it’s ok to keep bashing her?  Yeah that’s really
      nice of you.
      In the end, I won’t hold my
      breath for you all to change your ways and quit acting so uppity and self