…or how integrity is becoming endangered.
Whether it’s the news, mainstream media commentators, and even your favorite Youtubers, integrity is important, but for some it’s sacrificed for ratings, clicks, likes, and shares. In the beginning, you have to make a name for yourself. This is when you need to ask yourself important questions.
What do you want to do? How much do you show?
This is something that is very important to ask yourself before doing anything on the internet. Some people debunk, some vlog, some commentate on the news, some report the news, some just want to have fun, and others want the stir the pot, light a fuse, and see what happens.
If you vlog or are a shit stirrer for drama and views, how much of what you are doing is factual? I mean; if you vlog, obviously you are telling people what happens to you on a regular basis. How much do you edit out? Do you show all aspects of your life or just the high points? Are you bold enough to vlog on the days you’re feeling like crap and having a bad day? I have seen some vloggers only upload the happy and wonderful things in their life. I have only seen a few show the other.
If you stir shit on the internet, how much of the information you are putting out there is truth? How much is something you pulled out of your ass? Drama is just that, but there are truths that can start it as well. Spreading lies will come back to bite you on the ass. If you are willing to put lies out there, prepare for the worst when people who have been watching you and like you find out you’re a liar.
If you are like me and report/commentate on the news, you have to make sure your sources are all listed and you have to have more than one to make sure your ducks are in a row. You also have to separate your news reporting from your commentating and editorial pieces.
If you take on pseudoscience, flat earthers (Yes, they exist.) and other conspiracy theories and dangerous health practices, you need sources like peer reviews and studies to back up your refuting and debunking.
If you make content just to have fun, then have fun. Just don’t hurt others in the process. Don’t spread rumors, and don’t start shit.
Goofing up and owning up to it
In the course of building a name for yourself, a brand, or cementing your reputation, you WILL make a mistake. You’re human. It’s happens. The important part is how you handle the mistake or being called out for the mistake or lie.
- Admit you made the mistake, apologize, and correct it. By mistake, I mean an inaccurate piece of information, a rumor you started that was debunked, and even trying to debunk someone and realizing you were wrong. There is nothing wrong with admitting you were wrong, absolutely nothing. As a matter of fact, those who admit their mistakes, correct them, and apologize are more credible than those who don’t. People will respect you more for admitting your mistakes.
- Sticking to your guns, even when it’s been proven you were wrong is not a good look. Clinging to your lies like a miser clings to money bags shows you don’t have the self-respect and integrity necessary to admit your goof or admit you lied. This places doubt in those that like you, your fans and followers. They begin to doubt if anything you said was accurate or true. They begin to question you and fact check you. They lose any respect they had in you, and you effectively kill your brand.
In the case of your facts being inaccurate, once that has been established, post a retraction and correction immediately. Don’t wait, and don’t delete the inaccuracy. If fact, link to it and explain your mistake and correct it. Don’t blame your sources. Just make the correction and apologize for the inaccuracy.
- Lashing out when caught in a lie is even worse than the above. It usually comes hand in hand with #2. This will make anyone left that was on your side to walk away and stop paying attention to you. This is bad PR. This is how you sink yourself faster than a ship taking a direct hit from a torpedo.
TL;DR here: OWN YOUR MISTAKES AND APOLOGIZE!
Until next time,