Frequent readers of this blog know that dealing with online attacks and rumors is one of my favorite topics. It appears the concern is going a little more mainstream, because here is an excellent story on the phenomenon in the Seattle Times.
Some excellent tips in this article useful to crisis managers and communicators. These include the use of “truth filter” sites (this is what I called them in my book in 2001) such as www.snopes.com and wikipedia. Also discussed is the use of a rumor response section on a website. While there is certainly the point of not wanting to feed a rumor that may be weak or dying, in my view, more mistakes have been made in not addressing these quickly, aggressively and directly enough so they take on a life that was not necessary. “A lie repeated often enough becomes the truth.” And I’ll repeat that a few more times.