Minimizing the Impact of Disinformation Online

Annie Howie • February 14, 2024

When met with disinformation about your business, brand, or even yourself, it is natural to want to snap to the defense. And in today’s digital-driven world, it is easy to jump to posting an emotionally-fueled response on social media.

In these moments, it is crucial to pause, digest, and thoughtfully respond. Having a toolkit in place for handling disinformation about your brand will help to ensure a swift and effective response without exacerbating the situation.

Counter disinformation with readily available facts 

The simplest and most effective strategy to fight disinformation is to promptly provide accurate counterpoints while correcting any falsehoods. A timely and transparent response demonstrates accountability and a commitment to truth, which will help in rebuilding trust. Sometimes, a clear and well-timed response is all that is needed to counter rumors. If you’ve attempted to educate those spreading falsehoods about your brand online and they continue to do so, consider flagging these conversations to have the social media platform review them. 

Attempt to find common ground 

Try to connect with opponents to understand their needs and points of view. For example, ask a member of the opposition to meet with you and listen to their concerns. You might find that there is common ground you can build on. Showing who you are and what you value can go a long way in building trust. 

Monitor online conversations and report misleading posts or comments

Being proactive with social media listening is an easy way to get in front of disinformation and possibly prevent it from gaining traction. Utilize a team like NP Strategy who can conduct social listening and track mentions of your company’s name or employees online. Timely detection allows you to respond quickly before conversations get out of control.

Regardless of the situation, always maintain your composure when faced with challenges or even personal attacks online. Responding impulsively could tarnish your reputation even more, so be cautious with what you say to your audience online and in person. Remember, you cannot control what others say about you online, but you can show who you are to help earn the trust of community members and stakeholders.

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