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It’s time Twitter started protecting its users! #Simples

It’s time Twitter started protecting its users! #Simples

There are a total of 58 million tweets posted per day making Twitter a huge part of everyday life, including mine. Every little detail is an opportunity to tweet and let the whole world know what you are doing: “Today is a beach day #Summer2013”. Even though these simple posts can be seen to be harmless, it is becoming more common for certain tweets to lead to cyber bullying. Unfortunately, this is sadly going unnoticed.
These so-called twitter ‘trolls’ are becoming an existing problem in society today, with police having to investigate a number of new cases related to this issue. After a noticeable increase in abusive behaviour towards women on the micro-blogging site Twitter, a petition was put together, which has already gained an impressive 129,474 supporters. The aim was to try and make Twitter recognize that more needs to be done to make users feel safe and comfortable using this particular social networking site. This petition was for Twitter to create a report button on every tweet to improve the reporting system and to raise awareness for this type of behaviour, especially towards women.

This follows the recent attack on Caroline Criado-Perez, who has appeared in the media campaigning to get women to feature on banknotes. Shockingly 50 abusive tweets an hour were reported over 12 hours, which has made the use of a new ‘report button’ even more vital. This is just a simple example of how random people use twitter as a way of attacking well-known people and think of it as getting their voice heard. When in reality Professor Mark Griffiths (Nottingham Trent University) sees this as having a ‘physically devastating effect’ on the victims — and I think I agree.

Twitter is a space where people publish their opinions, responses and retweets at their own accord, that does not mean random people have the right to attack other Twitter users without their being a tool to use to report this kind of behaviour. Victim of cyberbullying Caroline Criado-Perez tweeted “I’m reaching the end of my third day of rape threats. What is Twitter doing about this?”

This is a question that Twitter needs to resolve sooner rather than later! Fingers crossed this report button actually works.

How O2 avoided an online PR crisis

Back in the day, life was that little bit simpler: You only had one phone number per friend to remember, there was never the threat of ugly pictures of yourself popping up on the Internet (you didn’t have the Internet!) and what’s more a customer complaint stayed between the company and the customer.

Then came along the digital revolution, and the rest is history. Now, if a customer needs to complain they have a choice of soapboxes to stand on. Customers are not only making the business aware of their issues but thanks to the multiple public platforms available to them, they are also broadcasting their complaint to other members of the public. It’s very interesting to see how a company chooses to respond to these very public complaints, in my opinion, it could be exactly what makes them or breaks them.

So, when O2 services went down last week it was only natural that O2 customers turned to Twitter to vent their frustration. O2’s response? They replied humorously:

How O2 avoided an online PR crisis

 

Now, this was either very clever of them or very stupid, and I suspect for the first hour everyone was holding their breath. But after responding to hundreds of angry tweets in this manner, others started noticing and joining in the fun.  However, there was still a tiny bit of resentment on the customers’ part

How O2 avoided an online PR crisis

The risk paid off, turning their company crisis into a great PR opportunity. The O2 Twitter account soon became a must watch online with the bitter anger the customers held a day before now turning into ‘love’:

How O2 avoided an online PR crisis

With followers even trying to help them trend for the right reasons, not the hostile signal failing ones:

How O2 avoided an online PR crisis

You might be wondering how on earth did this work in their favour? And here is my theory, the customers sending in angry messages were expecting to hear back the usual pitch about contacting customer services, which in most peoples experience doesn’t get you anywhere. When O2 replied with the random humorous (but argumentative) messages, it threw people off course; they didn’t know how to respond. We all know what it’s like when you are trying to be angry with someone but they keep making you laugh…you’re not angry for long, are you?

So, there you have it – how to dodge a potentially fatal company crisis with humour. Brilliant.