Despite assertions to the contrary, I do not sit around plotting to ruin people’s lives with SSD. Actually, people seem to do a pretty good job of doing that on their own. This isn’t a gossip site, so the bar for what gets posted is pretty high. Generally, the personalities you read about on SSD make a living by showing off their mug at every opportunity, They’re always so pleased to see their latest accomplishment posted on the site, but they get upset when their buffoonery makes it as well. It’s not like we publish every little rumor. They’ve got to really work for the recognition.
It’s not just individuals. We write about companies as well, and sometimes those companies, including our advertisers, get themselves in a bind. I know many of these folks and it can be tough. There can be pressure, internal as well as external, to ignore something, or to say something. Sometimes, I hold off because I’m not comfortable with the facts. Other times, the facts are laid bare, for all to see, and are so obvious that my integrity would be questioned if I didn’t post an article.
Regardless if the subject is an individual or a brand, rarely am I judgemental with those in industry, even when I probably should be. I do have a habit of holding government and its officials to a higher standard though. After all, they serve the public trust and use our tax dollars.
I hear the complaints all the time about how unfair a story was, but generally, what they’re really mad about are the comments. Those are an interesting barometer of how much someone messed up and they can strike a nerve. Comments are both the strength and the weakness of social media. I do monitor them and some are deleted due to their sheer spite. Although, many are left in place, perhaps to fester. Comments is where people lose focus. They confuse comments made by semi-anonymous posters, with SSD’s position on the matter. Often, we don’t have one, or we keep it to ourselves.
Over the past month, we have published two posts in particular, which raised controversy. In neither case was there any external pressure before we published. The decision was completely mine. However, in both cases, once the stories were live, there was a great deal of pressure to alter them or delete them altogether. In both instances, we were accused of trying to ruin someone or their business. The thing is, we were just sharing the facts. People were mad at SSD, for sharing the facts.
The bottom line: If you get yourself in the headlines, you’re now the news, and SSD runs the news.