Social Media Lynch Mob

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.

About Amy Tobin

VP of Operations at ArCompany, and specializes in PR & Integrated Marketing Strategy. She has extensive experience in Sales & Social Sales tactics, is the Founder of Ariel Marketing Group, llc, and blogs regularly there and on the award-winning communications blog Spin Sucks.

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Done...replied... Mr. Klepic didn't have to like what anyone was doing with the #Boston hashtag. He was and is entitled to his opinion and free speech. Perception is a tough lesson we all must learn, and we spend a great deal of time as humans resisting it, while living. We cannot please people all the time, and some people are just not going to like us no matter what we do. Mental disorders exist. :-)  However, do you! Keep moving forward. We just have to be a light as best we can in a dark and cruel world. Jessica Northey took another great step here and so did some others who deleted their posts, even though the moderators requested not to. There seriously needs to be education via some of these twitterchats about #fakefollowers, and when its appropriate to buy them for people do buy them. I won't be buying any,  Since it became a part of this discussion as to Ms. Porte Followers being fake; it's a great discussion to have. I fact checked other people with the instruments below, and they came up with a lot of fake followers too. I am not sure of the validity outside of twittercounter. Mr. Klepic tried to explain a little here and it sounded like a different language to me. Also, something definitely needs to be done about whomever lets people buy followers for others, without permission. As for hashtags, use them wisely, but don't get upset if people use them in a way you don't. Unfortunately, it is a part of the twitter trending culture. We can't change that. Also remember #SoMe is a creative space. Learn to guard your intellectual property.

Finally, in regards to bullying online...first we need to be clear it is not an inability to resolve conflicts. Misinterpretation happens, unless it is intentioned to be that way. If you post it or tweet it...own it and clean it up if necessary. Create Social Media Policies and Procedures to effectively deal with this or hire dedicated professionals to draft one for your brand or company. If it is truly bullying, by its very definition, document and seek proper authorities. Check the communication, civil, and criminal laws in your state. Protect yourself, brand, and company, and listen to your inner voice. It's your guide. ~ Peace, Tomeka


I've been hesitant to even comment because it just feels like it would be "poking an alligator."  

To be completely honest I don't understand what's going on here exactly, but think it's become an emotional train wreck as stated by various folks, from various positions. I won't even dignify certain things with a comment, or explanation. 

I believe that the spirit of this post was to step away from being a lynch mob, and encourage discussion, so how did it lead back to to name calling, and personal attacks? 

I have healthy and heated debates and conversations with people, all the time. Especially about music choices.  In fact that is one of my favorite things about Social Media, the lively discussions about hot topics. But going after people for personal stuff: not cool....not healthy...not productive...not for me. 

Originally, I liked a single post on Facebook. Although I will say when I think about it, wasn't my place to pass judgement on anyone for their usage of Social Media, that's not my brand, my MO and that's not my position of authority.  How you use Social Media is your business. PERIOD. And if it's working for you and your brand, FIST BUMPS! 

After I saw a comment that had a derogatory remark about Dabneys body, I removed my like immediately. That made me uncomfortable, and to her I am sorry that happened, I think I even wrote "smh" after I unliked the original post, meaning "scratching my head" or "why is that necessary" to Jure.  He knows. I even called him and we talked.  The post got deleted anyways. Thought it was over there....til I woke up a day or so later being attacked.  Did that make me happy, no. Did it make me want to attack, well maybe at first, then I remembered what I learned from my Gramma: "If it don't apply, let it fly." 

I think we all struggle with doing the right thing, and wanting to be liked. I can tell you that I don't do things to be popular. I do my business for myself, and my clients, then I shut the computer off, have a life and go to bed at night. I don't even think about any of you, or this, til I wake up the next day, and have to work again...and can assure you, I don't think about things like THIS crap. At all. 

And I know at the end of the day I am good person. I definitely don't deserve to be dragged through the mud, and neither do my friends or especially my family. Seriously....I am baffled at the ridiculous lengths to try to "expose" others some have gone. It's just pure silly. 

Someone forwarded me this disclaimer Dabney wrote distancing herself from these people attacking others on her behalf, as you originally asked her to address above. For the sake of ending all this crap, and moving on, I accept it. 

As for the Boston stuff....dang my heart sure hurts for what happened there. I think everyone is emotional and we want to blame someone for the bad thing that happened. Our culture seems to want us to point fingers at others. But when we point a finger at someone else, must remember there are 3 pointing back at us. I really can't judge how others deal with tragedy. 

Maybe we just need our own perfect plan for how to deal with bad things.  I try to pray and meditate. Been doing that for a few years now. I actually prayed before I wrote this. I said, "God through me, not by me."

I am SO NOT perfect. I screw stuff up ALL THE TIME and I am my worst critic. I just try to be the best me I can be. 

So next time you want to be "Judge, Jury and Executioner" go look in the mirror. Start with that person. That's my plan.

well anyways...that's my 2 pennies.  



I tried to post this yesterday it didn't so I posted it on twitlonger...

I am trying again today...lets see if it takes:

My response as Tomeka Napper to @AmyMccTobin Bloq Post entitled Social Judge, Jury and Executioner: The (cont)

My reply in response to
@jureklepic @Float_Girl @DavidTraub
Out of reading this blog post...and all of these comments here...this is the best line I've seen yet Jure Klepic: "I think we again all turn this discussion into something that we should not..." Jure's absolutely correct. However, the blog post began that way, and some of the moderators here opened the door to this very fact. This blog post was not "fair" and one-sided from the beginning, as with Jure's original post, in my opinion, which was posted on his private FB page, but was public for those who could, to see. I got mad respect for all of you. I don't even know half of you, but I do know what marketing and bullying is and what it isn't; and this is exactly what happens when people hold on to a position.

This will be the only post and/or reply I will give. I will not respond or comment further. I do not gossip, and I do not participate in mediums that allow such a thing. I have yet to see, outside of a few here, one being one of the moderators, anyone truly try to answer the blog post topic without attacking this "person" whose ethics are being questioned here, personally. If you guys really want to have a true discussion, check emotions and feelings at the door and stop bringing things that do not belong here in this space. This post is a runaway train, and if the plug isn't pulled, it will continue to do whatever the powers that be intended for it to do (and I am clear ARC will probably not pull the plug on this article); but right ain't answering those dang questions 100% authentically. I can tell you that, in my--Tomeka Napper--voice and opinion.

Who am I? Well, I am a nobody to somebody though, who's not afraid. I follow the beat of my own drum. I don't respond to a lot of things because it is not necessary; and I do not believe in talking for the sake of talking. Every word we say or write creates something that either serves my/your/our highest good or it doesn't. I am only responding because I have seen the posts come over that she's not speaking to her community. I also saw it stated that Amy reached out and invited "her followers" or "people mentioned above to come here and share their thoughts, etc. Therefore, I feel the need to speak on my behalf, and my behalf only. I did turned down the offer and request. I am a "keep it simple on Twitter or get on a call kind" of girl, and I like to go straight to the source. But I am not anybody's fool, nor do I belong to a cult or any such thing. Oh and I am not a bully; but as with most humans, we all can become one when we have to defend ourselves from perceived and/or real threats. Also, let me be clear, I perhaps was the first one who stated to Amy the following on Twitter:" Ms. Amy, you seem to be a nice person. My answer is no. If you'd like to have a public convo...let's get all players on a call." I did so because she engaged me directly after I RT'd something (I choose) to RT from a friend of mine on Twitter about this. When Amy responded the following way: "Absolutely. A Google+ recorded hangout to discuss best practices & bullying - which was the point of the blog. I'm game." I then responded via Twitter: "I would never agree to a recorded Google+ hangout. This situation is beyond that." I also went on to share other tweets with Amy, along the lines that this blog was far from discussing "best practices." Not if people are gonna get personal, and bring in outside information that others maybe unaware of, about a "particular person" that just so happen to be the person this blog post is NOT about. There's not a person in these guys circle that doesn't know the back story with certain people here that has been brewing for a minute now; and quite honestly it really is between those respective parties. Yet, it keeps coming up and out.


Hey all.....I have decided to delete all of my comments.....since David Traub and SocksontheGo did as well.  But, surely you all have screen shots.  I sent this to a good friend, an old college room mate - a news director at a major network in NYC - he called me laughing.  To quote him "spitting my drink" - I won't go into any other detail.  But, Amy, you should have made a couple short phone calls before you wrote this one sided fluff.  

Stayed up late, reading and reading and reading documents and looking at photos - soon you will all see it. Giving Dabney an A++ for saving everything - I can't even find my left shoe.  

If anyone needs me - I will be floating...far and away from this.  

Be well to all of you!!!!!  


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:

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..



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.


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.

AmyMccTobin moderator

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.


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? 

Danny Brown
Danny Brown moderator

@TomekaNapper And here was me thinking everyone had said all they wished to... ;-)

I'm going to reply to some of your points here, and then the comments will be closed, as it's clear that certain updates are drifting away from the topic being discussed.

1. Your use of "mental orders" is misplaced and, I have to say, comes across in a poor light. The fact people don't like others, or what they do, is not indicative of a mental order, and - for me - the smiley face on your comment diminishes the issue of mental disorder. 

2. No-one requested anybody to not delete their comments. I replied to another commenter that it was a shame to delete, as that defeats the open policy we have here to allow anyone to share their views (as you have done and others have as well). As per our comment policy, and our beliefs in general, we welcome open discussion - especially when it's kept on track...

3. With regards not getting upset if a hashtag is hijacked, tell that to those in Cairo who lost loved ones to a bombing, and see how they felt about Kenneth Cole's tweet. As you state, use hashtags wisely. To paraphrase you, though, I would also suggest "don't get upset when improper use [perceived or real] leads to criticism of your use."

And it'd be great to see community leaders not just request that crowd attacks stop; but remove consistent offenders from that community, to show they're serious about fairness to all. That's true leadership there. 

AmyMccTobin moderator

@JessicaNorthey Thanks Jessica... you have a good perspective on how to deal with it all. You're right - at the end of the day, eventually, we ALL have to turn off our computers, look ourselves in the mirror, and sleep well at night.



That is a very classy response to what has become an emotionally charged discussion.  I admire how you put the emotion aside and look objectively at the issue from all sides.  I will accept most of the responsibility for taking the discussion in a direction that was not on topic – I introduced a recent situation that the author of the article presented.  Even though my comments were presented in a civil manner (at least that was my intention) they unfortunately opened up a can of worms that led to many side topics and lots of emotional dialogue.  I’m a bit of a novice at responding to blogs (in fact, I think this was my first ever response).  Trust me, I’ve learned many lessons from the few posts I have made here.

I did see that Dabney posted her business policy on line.  Like you, I accept it.  I also noticed that Dabney reached out and publicly acknowledged the individual that was falsely accused of being a fake by someone tweeting into the SMGirlfriends chat.  There no longer is any confusion about this person being a real person.  That act demonstrates integrity and community leadership.  I applaud Dabney for righting a wrong.

At that, I think that I’ve exceeded my two cents worth of comments on this blog.  Take care all.



As I shared with Amy on Twitter, unfortunately, the way this article does not lend itself to get to any kind of truth or help to define #SoMe ethics. It's biased and flawed, which was specifically stated by the title and in the second paragraph by acknowledging that the moderator knows both Jure and Mr. Tim on some kind of level; and this was all prior to any of the comments. If ya'll really wanted to answer these questions, perhaps some of you would not be taking this opportunity to be posting some of the things you are posting here. No one is responsible for grown people. Grown people are responsible for themselves, and when one can't do that, then there is the law. I am not here to debate who's right or wrong, or even discuss the bully term. People are entitled to do what they want to do. For everything else there are direct and implied rules, and when we all step out of line or go down a certain path..most of us find out "what happens next," whether we like it or not. As Jure said...he posted his post and that's that. He knew what he was doing when he posted his post, and sometimes this is what happens when we post or say anything. As I stated in a FB post myself, my clients, mentors, and leaders would be on my butt, if I stated something like Jure did...the way he did it. And oh, you can bet I've gotten the calls and emails before when I've done what he did or said something that was perceived as inappropriate, whether I meant it or not. I learned many lessons this way, which is why I am very careful about what I say and don't mix words. I learned a long time ago, "anything you write or say has the potential to become newsworthy so if you're gonna say it, you better be able to back it up, honey." I also just recently stated, "no one presses the send or tweet button, but you." What's ethical or not lies with the brand or company and their Social Media Policy & Procedures, which is clearly missing here, and I might be speaking prematurely on that. As for defining personal brands, I've been a brand since I was born. Now what? True communication does not lie in words on paper, text messages, emails, tweets, or posts--for translation and interpretation can get lost. Why, might one ask? Simple, we all read things in the space that we are in. That's why it's important to try hear or face the other person head on, to get their true verbal communication for that, is where it lies.

In closing, if you really wanted her opinion---in my opinion, not hers...because I am a grown woman...can speak for myself...and am noooooooooooo stranger to it---you would have asked her BEFORE you wrote the post...and still proceeded to write the post the way you intended to write the post. Don't write the post and then ask her to come in and respond...that's crazy. I wouldn't do it. But hey, that would be me telling someone how to write their stuff, huh. Hmm, go figure. I know for me and in my company, I am not responsible for what people do, especially those who are not employed by me or work for me in some capacity. "Brand Responsibility and the send button lies with each individual," ~Tomeka I am about to demonstrate here.

Oh and Mr. Traub. Hi. We all see your posts on Twitter. However, in a massive tweet fest that went on between 3.17.13 and 3.18.13...where a whole bunch of stuff was said, and you apologized to the community...that "person" whose ethics are in question here in this blog, did in fact requested people to not say negative things about you or Elizabeth, or anyone anymore. She was clear and specific and made a bold request. Again, people are grown. That situation you're speaking of in your tweets today was with a specific person, you guys could be addressing that person directly or privately. It's a choice.

Danny Brown
Danny Brown moderator

@Float_Girl Yes, all comments are stored in the admin area. Shame you wish to delete (or anyone wishes to delete); that kinda defeats the object of you having the option to share your opinions too. 

Let's clear one thing up around everyone suggesting phone calls, etc. And this is my point of view only, I don't speak for @AmyMccTobin who wrote the piece.

Amy shared both sides, and called out those that were uncivil to Porte with their jibes about weight, etc. And rightly so.

This is a corporate blog about best practices; not an editorial or media publication. Opinions are shared by the authors when they post their own articles. Since opinions are exactly those - and the floor was left open for anyone that wished to join the conversation - no calls were needed.

Ironically, when asked to take part in a public call amongst the people debating the topic here, the invites were (for the majority) not taken up. That's obviously a choice, and one that will be respected here.

But let's not suggest this is a "one-sided piece of fluff" when both "sides" were criticized by Amy, and the opportunity to put "the other side" across was rejected by some of the parties being discussed.

Latest blog post: Open Source Guilt & Passion


@JustinIiams Hi Justin. I welcome all your feedback. I am very sorry you feel the need to continuously call out people including me, when I NEVER even mentioned any names. Very unprofessional if you ask me but since it has come to this, I will respond. The reason I came to you was because I confided in you asking for your opinion on what I should do upon discovering bad business practices BEFORE I quit and not even fired. That was my choice after many told me what to do. I just feel you need to get the facts straight and realize the wool was pulled over your eyes. Furthermore why are you stating your side of the story? Shouldn't this come from person it involved directly? Thanks for allowing me to respond and have a wonderful day.


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:

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 righteous.  You all call me a bully because I was the one who had the balls to call you out.  Because I was the one who used more force than you all have used in the comments and shouting your "truth" behind the curtain of "She's picking on me" when in reality, you were the ones who poked Dabney with the pencil when the teacher wasn't looking.  and then when the teacher was looking, we were the ones who looked like bad guys.  If that's the case, then so be it.  I'm good with that.  You'll all be plastics to me who were the cool kids who got away with everything because you "seemed to be good honest kids".


@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.


@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.


@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. 


Latest blog post: Social Media: The True Impact

AmyMccTobin moderator

@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.

Danny Brown
Danny Brown moderator

@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  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.


@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.

Danny Brown
Danny Brown moderator

@TomekaNapper Hi Tomeka,

Thanks for sharing your TwitLonger post here, as not everyone would see it otherwise. While @AmyMccTobin may respond to your thoughts (although it seems as if you have both covered the discussions already on Twitter), I just want to address some points you make.

1. You're correct we won't "pull the plug" on this article, since it raises some important questions overall about how people are using their "persona" online, and the communities that build up around that. This is a company blog, not a media publication - as I replied elsewhere (to @Float_Girl, I believe), it's an opinion piece. If this was a print or online version of a print publication, it's a fair assumption to expect parties to be called. But if we're seriously going down the path of bloggers having to call someone on every single topic being discussed, then we may as well end any opinions now and leave the web to red tape and sanctioned "reporting".

2. We have an open comment policy here - anyone can share their thoughts, as long as they're respectful. If you'll notice, both myself and Amy requested everyone stay on track and not delve into a "he said/she said" school playground type of argument. The majority of commenters have respected that; if that respect for all sides is not continued, the commenter will no longer have the option to share their point of view.

3. I'd disagree completely on the "only face to face or verbal" conversations offer truth. Pathological liars fool expert psychologists face to face; lie detectors are fooled by cunning and well-practiced breathing routines. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a foolproof system to stop lies and mistruths. However, with the web and the ubiquity of search and archives, words on a blog post, or Google Hangout, etc, are there for all to see. It encourages accountability, and we're all for that.

Again, thanks for your comment and thoughts.

Latest blog post: Comment Policy

AmyMccTobin moderator

@JustinIiams Justin, thank you for coming onto the blog to discuss these issues, although I am 100% with Danny - no name calling and no profanity please.

Here's the thing:  I did most of my research piecing together the screen shots of Twitter, and I tried to state the facts as they appeared - I have yet to see anyone state any inaccuracies in the piece.  The point of the piece is not about the history of SMGirlfriends, and who was and was not friends - frankly, that all looks incredibly highschoolish and is not what ArCompany is concerned with.

The point of the piece is simple: What is appropriate behavior on Social Media during times of tragedy, in particular the use of the #Boston hashtag?  Secondly, is attacking someone's employment OK?  What did Tim McDonald do apart from disagree with a marketing tactic? For that, he was labelled a bully and tweets were directed at Huffington Post and Arriana Huffington herself?  You don't consider THAT bullying?

As far as the DUI issue, none of us condone drunk driving, but ALL of us make mistakes. Is it fair to attack a person's reputation AND career opportunities because she liked a post?  I didn't put her name up here because I didn't want to draw more attention to her. And you slandered Jure saying he had a DUI when it was factually wrong - is that ok?

How on earth did Michele Price get drawn into this?

I don't want to be patronizing, because I sincerely appreciate your willingness to dialogue on here, but this is not high school.  People's careers and livelihoods are at stake, and in addition, our reputation as Social Media Professionals is as well - the entire industry.

So many people sit silently by and watch this sort of thing but are afraid to speak out because they don't want to answer a torrent of tweets when a gang decides to target them.  At some point we have to draw the line.

I understand that you feel you were supporting your friend, but it went way too far.  I also know that if we weren't all sitting behind keyboards it would probably have gone differently.  Can you imagine picking up the phone to call Huffington Post to report Tim? For what? For disagreeing?

I hope the result of all this dialogue is that everyone takes a step back and thinks about a professional code of ethics.  


@JustinIiams Justin let be clear on something. I never had an DUI so if you have proof of that please send it my way, would like to see to what you are referring about me and DUI. Sorry have no idea. 

I agree i replace the avatar but in no way i did link Dabney names to it, would you mind showing me where the Dabney name is in it? I cant control the comments that other do or made, but in all fairness no one was mentioning Dabney's in the comments... 

So again as for DUI that you are making public statement and accusation please make sure you have all facts together before accusing  me of felony act. 

DUI convictions are public records, please go and do your homework... 

Sorry Justin but DUI slander is something that I will not allow you to make on me! 

Latest blog post: Social Media: The True Impact


@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. 

AmyMccTobin moderator

@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.

hessiej moderator

@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!

hessiej moderator

@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 blog sheds some light into the events and mitigates future occurrences. Knowledge, if anything, is power. 


@jureklepic @Float_Girl 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!!!!!!!!!!!

hessiej moderator

@Danny Brown @Float_Girl Randi, you've given so much clarity to the situation. 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. 

Danny Brown
Danny Brown moderator

@TomekaNapper The points you raise here have all been covered elsewhere, so I'm not going to repeat these answers when there is no need.

One thing we can certainly agree on, lies happen everywhere - it's up to those watching to glean the facts and see the truths behind the words (or non-truths).

For me, the fact open dialogue was offered when requested, and turned down even though it was asked by several people that felt they were being wrongly portrayed, is a huge missed opportunity by those folks and perhaps a reason why misunderstandings continue to happen from these communities. 

Thanks for all your thoughts on this topic, and the ones around others.


Yes, let us all get accountable shall we, and own how we are participating and/or contributing to this Lynch Mob in Action mentality.

As a person, who has been bullied in the past, was a bully, survived an attempted suicide as a preteen, and is the former Advisor to a National Bullying Association that I helped become a success, I am in no way shape or form minimizing the term “bullying.” If I keep it strictly about this blog, along with Mr. Klepic’s original post with the tweet and picture on his wall, and some comments below; it’s all bordering one or several of the 13 forms of bullying, whether this was anyone’s direct intentions or not. The Miss Piggy avatar further perpetuated the situation because it's someone we know. What happened next maybe perceived as a “lynch mob mentality,” and though everyone is responsible for their own action; this is what happens when people to defend whomever they think is being bullied. To be respectful, he’s not the only one who does this and he won’t be the last. Our society as a whole participates in and loves this type of banter in some way.

Being truly authentic and accountable lies in who we are being, and what we are saying to others and ourselves out loud or silently. We are not perfect, but #SoMe & new technology that captures everything is forcing us all in a way to be pristine…on and offline. Again, I am not here to debate right or wrong. I am speaking directly to actions taken. This could have been cleaned up privately or publicly with the appropriate people involved, yet a whole blog post by Amy of ARC/Co., later...we are now, trying to get clarity. Ha! Got it. Ok! Lord knows I don’t want to start thinking about how much traffic this post has generated.

So  @Danny Brown let me rephrase: True communication does not lie in words on paper, text messages, emails, tweets, or posts--for translation and interpretation can get lost. Why, might one ask? Simply, because we all read things in the space that we are in, and we can lose the human connection through the absence of verbal or face to face communication…that only lies in the present moment. Oh, and Mr. Brown people can still lie with words, blog posts, and Google hangouts, recorded or not. :-)


In my opinion, whether she comes over here and shares on this blog or not…let me be one to say this... It was a very public and humiliating FB post coming from Mr. Klepic on his personal page, of this lady he knows of directly or indirectly in some fashion, whether he chooses to be friends with her or not. They were not friends on Facebook, so she would not have immediately seen the post, but people who are friends with them both saw it too. Now we can sit back, call me crazy and debate whether her specific tweet caused him to press the send button. It’s his FB page! He and he alone is accountable for it. The way I look at it, if you’re gonna post something like that about someone you know of, and the people around you know…at least make it fair and be direct with it. You were not direct, Mr. Klepic with your post, and I don’t really see it being said here. If you were bold enough to put it on your wall so people could see it. You could have put it on Twitter, in the venue where it was happening in that moment, and given her the opportunity to respond powerfully, either publicly or privately on it, however one chooses to respond. Best practices means looking at us, our businesses, our corporate and personal brands and showing some corporate and social responsibility on and offline. ALL OF US! Rhonda Abrams speaks directly to this in her book The Successful Business Plan. A healthy debate of this topic starts with creating #SoMe policies and procedures for your companies/brands as to how it will be seen online.

There is no mistaken Mr. Klepic, Mr. McDonald, and Ms. Porte are Influencers in some way, as with all of us at times. They just have a level of influence in their professions and a higher number of followers (real and fake) than some of us do. :-) From where I sit, I consider them leaders, whether they see themselves that way or not.

It’s done now, and all there is to do it is clean this up. “Technology can not undo hurt feelings.” ~ Esurance In this quote, I am speaking to civility and the understanding that sometimes we all do things that can be perceived as distasteful and hurtful. No doubt this is damaging…to both parties! We are human.


In regards to your #3. One of my mantras is being the "possibility of clarity," Let me clear up why I said what I said. You are right. A pathological liar does not know they are pathological liars...some may...most don't. If you are going to speak to accountability, let's do that shall we. I'll do my best to keep it about the actual topic here, and Mr. Klepic's original FB posting of her misuse of hashtags as an abuse of Social Media. I also love elephants in the room. I feel that this post is just rehashing stuff that happened in the past, and is not really addressing things directly.

True communication lies in living…in the present moment, and one can choose to be in communication or not. It is a distinction I do not have to prove for many great thinkers have stated it throughout our history. My mention of it earlier briefly was not clear enough so let me be very clear and accountable. Mr. Klepic's original FB post(s) spoke about people who were (in his opinion) misusing the #Boston hashtag. If you didn't get who he was talking about in his post right before the one you guys mention above, which is where the "300 pound *ss" comment was made along with many more. Ray Charles definitely got it in his second one, when he actually posted the tweet, which showcased her picture, and others liked it and commented on it. I already talked about it on my FB wall, so let’s talk about it for real and be accountable. I will say, Mr. Klepic did apologize as he mentioned here to Ms. Farrah, but did he apologize publicly to the person he said it of…whom I am sure he now know, knows he said it. In this case, this is where the “bullying” term gets real interesting. “It’s the pot calling the kettle black,” and what I mean by that is…we cannot ask people to stop doing something we are doing ourselves, whether we think we are doing it or not.

Most individuals who have commented here have had some type of relationship (business or personal) with her, directly or indirectly, and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure that out. Others have been involved with her in a way that potentially was friendly, including Mr. Klepic, at some point, etc., and been on her #DivaDustLine, since ppl like to poke fun at it, a time or two. In the past, I've seen some people here interact with her or the communities she manages online, with the exception of some. And though Mr. Klepic did his best to be civil, and tried to keep this about his post on April 13; my point to which you're speaking of directly with #3, falls along the lines of authenticity (again) and accountability when it comes to "true communication.”

Ha! FB is a free platform, and we all know sometimes "free" is jacked up. I knew when I saw the public post on his personal Facebook page (not a Fan or Business Page, etc.), Mr. Klepic had crossed a line that he was going to stand his ground on and own. Why else would he have made such a bold statement? This is #leadership101…don’t say things you don’t mean or intend to stand behind. I am clear, Mr. Klepic, as a leader, meant to say what he said or else he would not have said it. Next question, why was his original post actually removed and the Miss Piggy one wasn’t? People reported it. I don't know why the second one wasn't removed either. Not going to debate it, take it up it FB. 


For you Mr. Danny Brown, I will reply. Only because I did say I wasn't going to respond, but through your comment, I see I need to add some clarity in my communication on points #1 & #3 of your reply. Your points are correct, but still flawed for me; and yes, we can certainly agree to disagree.

In regards to your #1. If we are going to play the "blogger" card and political correctness when it comes to a "company’s public blog post," then there is really no need to call people out and/or ask them to join the conversation. Or redact a twitter handle name as done above. I'm just saying. When I see a redaction it tells me a couple of things; but mainly it says that either a conversation took place (perhaps) with that individual and they requested their name be redacted. Or the blogger made a choice to block out that person's name specifically; yet, continuity was not given across the board for whatever the reason for tweets that are public. This reminds me of when the Chrysler executive, tweeted Donald Trump that he was "full of sh*t." Both of those guys owned their tweets, but bloggers linked directly to the material. There no censorship or redaction going on. Most bloggers I follow speak their truths and they censor nothing really. They may make a request to hear comments below, but most naturally let people respond, should one choose to do so, on their own. This whole public suggestion of asking those of us who turned the opportunity down to join the conversation, after the fact; was not authentic ( #imo), which is what made me respond initially as I stated. It sets up the notion that one was given an opportunity, when in fact that, this isreally not the case. Or, if one doesn’t respond, then it gives the appearance of inauthentic participation-which is my idea of a “true bait and switch smoke screen” when it comes to challenging conversations with people we know...not just the ones we know of or don't know at all. Yet, if one does, then all parties just go back and forth over some words and something that happened in the past.

Hence, my point to have an authentic conversation. Courtesy could have been extended or continuity granted, in my opinion. If people can choose what they want to do, surely so can companies and mainstream bloggers. But she linked Mr. Klepic's and Mr. McDonald's twitter pages, but did not link to Ms. Porte’s twitter page for whatever reason. Why wouldn't she link to Ms. Porte's twitter page, since her use of the #Boston hashtag was, and is still in question here? Which also brings me back to why this conversation isn't being had on twitter, since that's where it started in the first place, which is also why Mr. Klepic had a moment (as we all do sometimes) and posted his annoyance (I think).No worries though, I got Ms. Amy’s communication on that via our tweets as to why one must post here (which I am doing), and do not need to be reminded.

Possibly, I can get what Ms. Amy was trying to do and that, this was her choice of course; but let's be real and be fair in the name of authentic conversations. This is initially my issue with the blog post, how she arrived at some of her statements and opinions, and the lack of continuity across the board for someone who's speaking to best practices, whether she called anyone or not.  Also, it doesn't make a difference if this is a company blog or a media publication (though I understand their perspective roles). This is a hot, hot, hot button topic, just based on the names of Mr. Klepic and Ms. Porte alone, along with some others who have commented here; who are also people who participated in his original FB posts. The blogger could have done whatever she chose to do to foster an more empowered and authentic conversation between all parties, if the she truly wanted to show all sides equally. Like set ground rules that don't fall under your "red tape and sanctioned reporting." Hey, and had any of main mentioned parties turned down the opportunity, if offered, well, heck. You could still have written the post the way you wrote it and added, "The parties declined to answer." I do not claim to be an expert, but I do have degrees in Entertainment Business, and this is straight out of "Online Marketing/Publicity/Leadership 101" (metaphorically speaking) and case studies I’ve read, debated, and have experienced. I got your communication on #1. We can agree to disagree.


@JustinIiams apologize accepted Justin. I said in other comments "being accused of having a DUI" is out of order, i was referring to a tweet that was sent out to all of us that Monday. Glad we clear that out! 

Latest blog post: Social Media: The True Impact


Jure, from other comments I read it appeared as if you said you had a DUI.  I must have read wrong.  For that I apologize.


@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. 


 @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.

hessiej moderator

@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.


@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.

hessiej moderator

@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!


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