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I blog about social media because it is the wave of the future, and it is here now.  Surely you’ve already heard about a recent incident where a woman “tweeted on” a conference attendee, got him thrown out of the conference, and then got fired from her position as a result. It may not seem like a big deal as you read that last sentence, but there’s more to the story.

Mark Schaefer wrote a deep, powerful post this week on his blog, Business Grow, summarizing and philosophizing on the incident, which was complicated by the fact that a “cyber bully” group got involved and threatened the woman’s employer with compromising its list of customers if she wasn’t fired. Basically, the company had no choice but to fire her, because the cyber bullies did, in fact, compromise the company’s online infrastructure, making good on their threats.

info marketing cyber bully

Social Media News For Information Marketers

Schaefer comments:

“This is an ugly, ugly episode. But here is the single statement that chilled me to the bone: “The hivemind’s judgement is final and there is no appeal. No forgiveness, no forgetting remember?”

An unknown number of anonymous cyber punks speaking for the “hivemind” dictated the actions of companies and helped crush personal careers. What kind of a world is this leading to?  The “unforgiving hivemind” is now our judge and jury?”

Hivemind. It’s a new word to me, but certainly not a new concept. I find myself thinking about Roman gladiators fighting to the death as huge crowds cheer their demise.  Long before social media, hivemind was alive and well, with its chilling “group think” behaviors and consequences at work.

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