The Social Media Bullies: Individuals and Corporations

Posted on September 3rd 2013

The Social Media Bullies: Individuals and Corporations

human behavior and social media rudenessWhat’s up with the rise of the social media bullies?  We’ve all seen and/or experienced poor behavior from individuals and corporations alike. And if you haven’t, consider yourself blessed!

The more I see and experience this poor behavior, the more I shake my head.  Talk about the de-evolution of humanity. I think we’re here to lift each other up, to communicate and evolve.  These bullies seem to get their power out of attacking others to justify their own behaviors, beliefs and supposed expertise.

The thing is, we ALL have different perspectives. It’s part of being human.

So here’s my question. Why do you think that  some people  use social media to be just plain mean, rude, condescending or nasty?  What about the big brands that basically deny or avoid any conversations about poor customer service, poor products and more. Many times they even attempt to  bully solo customers into submission. Or worse yet simply delete any conversations they might have that are public?  That’s just plain wrong in my book.

Bullies Behind Avatars

I’m a firm believer that everyone has the right to  believe what they want to believe. We all have our own model of the world and that’s a good thing. My job is to accept what others believe and focus on my own models.

I do not believe we have the right to attack others personally or hurtfully when our models or perspectives differ. We ALL have a unique set of mindware programs that guide us to see our own unique perspective  of this thing we call life.

So what is it about social media that brings out the ugly nature of people? Have you noticed that much of this behavior comes from people a) hiding behind a cartoon avatar b) refusing to share their name and/or c) with few if any followers?

Is it because people can  share their venom  more widely on SoMe and they’re just plain mean or nasty in the first place? Or is it because they are empowered to  act out their buried pain from the safety behind an anonymous avatar?  Or is it some combination of the two? Or something I haven’t even thought about?

Brands are Being Bullies Too

My guess is that this behavior from brands is simply an extension of their individual leaders. How often do you have a really poor service experience, post about it on social media and then have the organization pop up to distract, deny or even try to make you as an individual out as the cause of the issue?

Then there’s the trend for some corporations to be more ego-driven and less customer-driven. We’ve all seen that behavior in the form of greed, denial and more. I even had one social media gooroo from a large corporation tell me he couldn’t respond to my issue because customer service issues were not appropriate conversations for social media.  Huh?

Do these corporation really believe that they can continue to bully or ignore customers and grow?  And if that is working for them today, how long will it continue?

What Do You Think?

I’m shaking my head with a heavy heart thanks to the poor behavior of some individuals and organizations on social media. I was brought up to be respectful even to those whom you don’t agree, care for or like. Respect has nothing to do with agreement – it’s a basic human right in my book. Does social media and free speech include being bullies? I just don’t think so.

This downright negative aspect is so counter to the power of social media to support and enhance communication and  relationships between men, women and businesses. So what do these people and corporations hope to gain by their disrespectful behaviors?

What do you think?  And how do you respond when one of these nasty bullies decides to swoop down on you?

I’d love to hear your perspective!

Photo courtesy of and Victor Habbick.


Rebel Brown

CEO, PeopleWhoKnow

For over twenty years Rebel has guided hundreds of businesses to profitably thrive in changing economies and markets. She shares simple yet powerful models and practices that shift the way you see your business and your world - empowering you to create innovative strategies that fuel bottom line growth. Thanks to Rebel's client results, she's been named one of the top 100 Women in Computing, featured in major media and her best selling book, Defy Gravity, was named one of 2010's Top 10 Books for Growing Businesses.

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