Despite the multitude of websites that show people when they are acting like fools online, including We Know What You Are Doing (learn more) and the newly created Fire Me, individuals continue to make mistakes online that affect their job security, relationship status, and online reputation.
Even though today is April Fool’s Day and you might be tempted to prank your friends, family, and coworkers, you should first consider how your seemingly innocent prank will affect your online reputation. To keep from suffering permanent online reputation damage, avoid these pranks:
The Bait and Switch
This prank made Nick Astley’s 1987 song “Never Gonna Give You Up” relevant, as internet users tried to “Rickroll” their friends by tricking them into clicking on the singer’s YouTube video. If you’re thinking of trying something similar, either by sharing a fake news headline or promising a nonexistent photo, reconsider. If someone you do not know, such as a professional you have connected with on Facebook or a family friend, falls for your prank, there is no guarantee that they will laugh it off and move on. These individuals could react by unfollowing you or viewing you in a negative light. While you might not think it is a big deal if a family friend stumbles upon an inappropriate picture because of your “bait and switch” and subsequently believes you to be unprofessional, this could be a problem when you reach out to them about a job opening at their company.
We get it, you’re awesome. You’re so awesome that your friends and family probably check your Twitter feed every 60 seconds to make sure they have up-to-the-minute updates on your personal life. While a Tweet like “I’m getting married”, “Today I quit my job”, or “I’m pregnant” will surely get your friends and families’ hearts racing, you could come to regret that Tweet. Google publicly indexes some of the most popular Tweets, which means your prank will continue to fool Google searchers for years to come. That’s not ideal when a potential online data searches for you online and finds a recent Tweet announcing your marriage. If you must attempt this prank, try texting your friends and family so that you can do a better job of containing the message.
April Fool’s Day is a good time to enjoy some cheap laughs, but a negative online reputation is no laughing matter. If there is negative, inflammatory, or misleading information about you online, you need reputation management. Repuatation911 can help you take control of your online reputation with our proven reputation management techniques. Learn how we can help YOU by calling 1-866-MY-REP-911 or filling out the form on the right side of this page get your free reputation report.