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Social media insurance- now there's a thought

In many ways it was bound to happen sooner or later. From a completely different perspective, everyone at this particular Manchester PR agency is preparing to open a new section on the Smoking Gun blog, categorised as ‘what will they think of next…’
Suffice to say though it’s interesting news regardless of your opinion. As reported on The Telegraph, a UK firm called ALLOW (specialists in safeguarding people against identity theft) has now begun offering social media insurance, for those times when companies misjudge, misfire, or simply set themselves on fire by way of poorly targeted tweets and foolish Facebook posts.
Apparently 4,500 organisations have signed up, with the payout for a claim not coming in cash, but instead delivered as reverse search optimisation (i.e. the suppression of negative online content), legal advice and deletion of unwanted statements. All of which will sound rather appealing to any business that has come unstuck in the real of social media, and it’s no surprise people in the corporate world seem to be viewing the offer favourably.
An individual policy also exists- as reported on Digital Trends (with more than a hint of cynicism)- and this arguably makes more sense. Offering to monitor and protect the information being banded about online about a person seems to make sense with the rising risk of hackers accessing vital information.
But just like most things there are two sides to this story, namely the potential ethical grey area surrounding reparations to a brand reputation. Social media is supposed to be a soapbox for opinion, more so public opinion. Already plenty of evidence exists proving how commercial users breach or at least stretch the guidelines- false accounts, paid for posts etc- meaning the information on offer isn’t necessarily without bias; staff and sponsored representatives go some way to balance out any criticism. What then for a system that specialises in silencing, or at least making those voices all-but inaudible if and when they do speak out? Needless to say then, here’s hoping the firm has some strict moral guidelines about what clients they can viably take on.

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