Thursday, November 11, 2010

How Not To Respond To A Hoax

This lesson in publicity 101 comes from Ryan Maloney, a.k.a. 'Toadfish', a longtime character on the Australian soap opera 'Neighbours'

Suppose someone put up a facebook page claiming that you had died in a drowning accident. Would you:

a) Be slightly annoyed, but ignore it, figuring they'll get bored eventually

b) Post a lighthearted note on the page, noting that you're still alive, but indicate that you get the joke

c) Post an angry, flailing, abusivee note on the page, demanding its removal but indicating your powerlessness to do anything about it

Well, let's see what Ryan did:

Okay, so you've taken option c), and it's become apparent it hasn't worked. Would you:

a) Remove your original post, and go back to ignoring it?

b) Double down by posting more abuse?

No surprises for guessing the decision he makes again:

...and again

...and again

...and again

...and again

Oh Toadfish, when will you learn. Repeat after me, the number one lesson of bad publicity on the internet: Don't feed the trolls.

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