What does a US cop and NZ politician have in common? …. alot more than you might think.

Can a Washington DC cop and a New Zealand politician teach us a lesson or two in Social Media. The world has heard by now, about the New York cop who took afront to a few snow balls landing on his vehicle. How he then jumped out of the vehicle and started brandishing a pistol.

Hmmm….snow balls against a loaded pistol…. the snow might have started to turn a shade of red had not the uniform kind not turned up.

So lets look at this from a social media perspective…..

You start a rave, a wave a buzz and a following. Maybe you posted a video, caused some online heated discussions, sent an email that went public or even maybe a mobile phone voice message gets posted. What seemed ok in one setting suddenly turns ugly, someone objects and voices the opposites, name calling starts and a viral headache starts to swirl through the snow storm.

What do you do..try and create the bigger snow ball and compelling argument, maybe you whip out your online pistol, call in the legal team …if so be very very careful how and where you aim…the fall out may have ramifications on line and offline that you could hardly imagine.

I think of an artist who thought he would take a short airflight, no big deal, been there done that many times. Waiting for the plane to taxi he noticed looking out the window his guitar on the luggage trolley. Gobsmacked he saw the loading crew then begin to toss his guitar case around. Now to cut a long story short and 12 months of wrangling with United Airlines for an apology and new guitar did not deliver the satisfaction Dave desired in his off line world. So the only thing he felt he could do was write some songs about his experience. Publishing the first 3 minute song did the unthinkable that even he could not imagine …very quickly the share value of United Airlines dropped by $US180,000,000. Now when did this go live July 2009!

So back to our Washington DC cop….
Lesson # 1 – Watch before participating, it may not be what it seems.
Lesson # 2 – Check your attitude and mood before going in all guns blazing.
Lesson # 3 – The words and acts may not actually appear as they do on first appearance.
Lesson # 4 – If you are about to fire your bullet, take your finger off the submit button, wait, wait and wait some more. Then review.
Lesson # 5 – Your position and outfall may have long term career implications.
Lesson # 6 – If in doubt ask your mother, colleaque or valued friend.

Here in New Zealand we have had a recent volatile trigger happy politician almost have himself booted out of his party by the name of Hone Harawira. In November Hone Harwira’s “white motherf***ers” email to Buddy Mikaere brought the Maori Party leadership to the verge of expelling him.

15 years ago alot of the volatile stuff was hidden, whispers or shouts behind closed doors and never surfaced, but today it is virtually out in the open and can spread virally within minutes around the world. However sometimes trigger happy people never seem to learn, they shoot their mouths off clearly showing an inner character that lacks good judgement, a lack in a good grasp of the English language, poor choice of words and clearly demonstrate they are a bully at heart.

Hone Harawira’s latest indescretion, “No shit folks – either this gets sorted out, and quickly, or I go apeshit on Monday – the day before the launch”. He said that while in general he expected to get “shafted” by bureaucrats, ” I don’t expect to get shafted over a project I was leading for the minister. he went on to describe “and expose this as a sham” if they did not make changes he wanted.

So in conclusion, being a bully is simply not acceptable Mr Hone Harawira online or offline and for anyone caught in an online snow fight, be careful what you submit the snowball may only grow bigger and it will never melt.

Posted by Kevin Andreassend Tweet Twin Co Partner

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