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Crisis Management – Protecting Your Reputation from Negative Content

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By Simon Wadsworth, Reputation Management expert and owner of Igniyte

Your reputation is everything. As the Latin writer Publilius Syrus once said, “a good reputation is more valuable than money”. Reputation is the esteem in which we are held accountable, especially by our family, friends, community, colleagues, customers, employees and peers. It can impact you positively or negatively in business or as an individual. Reputation is based on one’s decisions and actions and graded by other peoples opinions and experiences of you or your company.

Why is reputation so important?  

Considering your personal reputation is vital in every facet of life because reputation can either make or break you. That may sound somewhat dramatic, but trust us, you do not want to see first-hand how destructive a tarnished online reputation can be to an individual and business. Opinions matter and lots of factors can influence those opinions, including (but not limited to) press articles, statements, associations, online comments, actions and social media posts. The truth is, your digital footprint could be tripping you up, not just on a personal level but on a professional level too!

Key benefits of online reputation management

  • Builds trust in your brand
  • It helps to keep positive information and news at the top of searches
  • Creates brand loyalty
  • It keeps you relevant and in the public eye for the right reasons
  • Reduces advertising and marketing costs
  • It helps attract a higher calibre of employees
  • It helps you distinguish yourself from competitors
  • Provides your clients and customers with helpful information
  • Increases business reach and bolsters revenue
  • It helps to raise the value of the company
  • Exposes you to new audiences

Online reputation is everything in the era of the internet. 

In recent years, the explosion of social media has meant that nothing stays private for long and harmful content can linger on Google and other online platforms indefinitely. If there’s a negative event that occurred or negative communication that’s following you around, tarnishing your name, and you wish it would go away, read this article to learn more about protecting your reputation from negative content on Google and other places.

You now have the right to contact an online organisation that may hold personal details on you and ask to be forgotten. If agreed, the company will then cleanse their data systems of either your data or specific elements as requested by you and as appropriate. Of course, certain instances wouldn’t be possible until a certain amount of time has passed due to the Data Protection Act. For example, some records must be kept for six years for legal, HMRC or insurance purposes.

Protecting your personal reputation from negative content on Google search and preventing it from coming up in search results is a good place to start to help prevent ongoing reputation damage.

The Right to be Forgotten in More Detail

The right to be forgotten (RBTF) or the right to erasure, as it’s also known, provides EU citizens with the power to have their online data removed. A request can be made on Google for private and personal information relating to a person, be removed from internet searches and online directories in certain circumstances under the GDPR regulations.

Thanks to the regulations set out by the EU; the individual now has more control over their own personal data and how companies use it and what for. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was combined with the revised Data Protection Act in 2018 and replaced the original DPA of 1998. Much of the original requirements are the same. However, there are some significant additions, including the Right to be Forgotten (RTBF).

Google states on their website:

“When you make your request, we will balance the privacy rights of the individual concerned with the interest of the general public in having access to the information, as well as the right of others to distribute the information. For example, we may decline to remove certain information about financial scams, professional malpractice, criminal convictions, or public conduct of government officials.”

If you seek to have your data deleted from another type of organisation, you can contact them directly and inform them of what kind of data you would like removing. You can do this by contacting any part of the organisation. You can also make this request verbally or in writing. The organisation must comply with the RTBF request without delay and within one month of receipt.

There has been some controversy surrounding the right to be forgotten because some believe it impacts the freedom of expression, that it is tantamount to censorship and, in a way, helps to rewrite historical data. 

How can right to be forgotten help?

  • Removing harmful information that could impact future career, personal safety or finances
  • Removing defamatory, slanderous or embarrassing content in public view
  • Removing old, outdated and no longer relevant personal information
  • Helping to bring your character back into a positive light
  • Data that is no longer in the public eye but you wish for it to no longer be held with the controller of it
  • Remove data that has been stolen or changed

What exceptions exist to the RTBF?

It’s not always possible to have data removed, and these are some exceptions:

  • If it is part of an active and recent legal proceeding.
  • If it is required to be available because of the freedom of information act or freedom of expression.
  • It is significant to historical or scientific research and must be archived for these reasons.
  • It is of importance to public health.
  • If a conviction is not yet spent.

Many people don’t consider their reputation until they’re put in a position where they’re forced to. Whether you’re a prominent public figure, a regular everyday individual, a business owner, or an organisation member, reputation is everything!

Working with a reputation management company can help do far more than the basics mentioned above to help improve your reputation. Igniyte Reputation Management provides RTBF services to individuals and businesses who want to repair or protect their reputation and enhance their public image and brand identity.

www.gawdo.com

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