What We Can Learn from Black Mirror About Online Reputation Management
Anyone who is a fan of Black Mirror has certainly seen the episode named “Nosedive.” I am not one for conspiracy theories, but I do think there are a lot of similarities between that show and the direction that we are traveling at this time. Just think of all the social media platforms and how people are striving to be a star of each platform. This should be all the proof you need to see we are heading dangerously close to this being a reality. Below I am going to show you more examples.
While the rest of the world was focused on who what going to become the next president of the United States, a company quietly released an app called “Peeple.” It is described as being Yelp for people. So, pretty much the same premise as what we saw on Black Mirror. The entire point of the episode, as well as the newly released app, is to rate interactions with every person that you encounter. In turn, they can rate their experience with you as well. While this is not the only service that has you rating experiences with people, it is the only app that rates the experience based off of no tangible interaction. Meaning, if you are reviewing an Uber Driver or a delivery person, you have cause to rate them. The Peeple app is something that you rate your overall experience based on them walking past you. That means, that you can essentially rate them based on the clothes they are wearing and nothing more. While that is a long way from the “Nosedive” episode, it does lend itself to becoming a reality. The only thing we are missing is to base our socioeconomic status off that rating.
In actuality, this is the app that the show was meant to be about. It is supposed to be a parody of this app, but there are more and more apps popping up all the time. Like “Peeple,” “RateMe” is geared to rating people based on private interactions. This means that you could rate a date or even your teacher. While there are apps for both, RateMe was the first to do it.
What We Can Learn
There are many takeaways from most any episode of Black Mirror, but this one is really pertinent to the world of Online Reputation Management. Every day, we encounter hundreds of people. You don’t really know them or what is going on in their life. Do we, as a society feel that it is fair to judge these people based on a single encounter? Most people would say no. However, as a society, we are more than happy to get on the internet and rate our experience with a company, even if it is after a single interaction. This may not be who the company is, they just had an off day.
Rating sites like this are good for customers but can be skewed much like Black Mirror skewed social media as a whole. Generally speaking, there are two types of people that review places and products. The first is “the fanboy.” They will hardly ever say a bad thing about a company or product that they like. Even if they do, it will be in a positive light. The other is the person that has had a terrible experience. These people are hard to change back to a customer after they feel they were wronged. Somewhere in the middle lies the truth of the encounter. Make sure that when you are reading about people, places, and products that you take this into account.
No one knew what Lacie (on the show) was going through in her life. All they knew is that they had to rate her for others to see. This is much like the people who are filming people on the street. They will get that all important first account look at something happening. They provide no context and completely belittle the person for acting a certain way. If the tables were turned, they would likely react the same way.
If for whatever reason you ever find yourself in a situation that you have negative reviews on one of these sites, you need to find an online reputation management company that knows how to fix it. These experts know roughly how Google works and will try their best to push down negative reviews. It is important to know that time is of the essence. Early intervention is the key to success in most ORM campaigns. I hope that you never have to go through this in your life. I have seen many people that have, and it is not something I would wish on my worst enemy.
To avoid anything like this happening to you, make sure that you try to have positive interactions both in your personal and business life. In this new age of people having access to review sites, each interaction could lead to a media firestorm. Once the media gets ahold of it, things become more difficult. Remember, you are in control of how people review you.