Business bullying: When Facebook turns bad

Corporate Accountants senior partner Bob Lamont.
Corporate Accountants senior partner Bob Lamont. David Sparkes

WHEN Mark Zuckerberg invented Facebook, I wonder if he had any idea that it would become the voice of the marginalised and intellectually challenged.

Those who get off on bullying, defaming and disseminating whacko ideology - very often under the gutless shield of anonymity.

Last Tuesday, The Observer ran with the story of a Calliope woman Emma Thompson, who has lost her business because faceless, gutless, moronic bullies ran a campaign vilifying her because she had the audacity to offer clothing choices to overweight women.

>> Comment online? You may be a neurotic narcissist

I mean, what sort of lowlife would post this rubbish: "There's no room for fat people in this world… if you're too fat then go back to the gym."

It really says more about the tenuous grasp on sanity the writer has than the targets of his or her rant.

Psychotic narcissism? Or is it an example of the increasing incidence of businesses using negative, often anonymous, defamatory posts to try to halt the impetus of competitors?

I know through clients how much hospitality businesses in this country fear the various sites that offer punters the opportunity of reviewing food, service and quality of accommodation. 

I have heard of all-too-common instances of people threatening a bad review unless they're given a heavily discounted meal or free accommodation.

I've heard also of businesses writing bogus bad reviews themselves to steer possible customers away from competitors.

Darryn Smith

And I have even heard of IT businesses which make a living out of bagging hospitality businesses on behalf of paying competitors. Lovely stuff!

Many users of Facebook think of it as a tool to go all warm and fuzzy while sharing the minutiae of their lives.

My wife is one. She uses Facebook to keep up with her friends (both fair dinkum ones and those who are really just cyber "friends"), and her grandkids.

But even the most naive users must now have come to the realisation that Facebook is an incredibly efficient tool for spreading unmitigated evil.

Last Monday, one of the morons running the show in the so-called Islamic State issued a fatwa directing his evil mates here in Australia and elsewhere to kill Australians, civilians, police and defence personnel alike, using bullets, knives, rocks or cars.

This sort of crazy would not be heard from except for the reach of the internet. Nor would we live in fear of this sort of thing if it wasn't for the reach of the internet.

But my real fear is that the evil will escalate. How long will it be before the internet is used to ferment violent anti-Muslim payback?

Hopefully our leaders, ethnic, religious, secular will be able to diffuse what I fear is likely to become tit-for-tat terrorism fermented by Facebook and its like.

Bob Lamont is director of Corporate Accountants in Gladstone.

Topics:  bob lamont facebook gladstone business good business opinion

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