Online Criticism Isn't Just Easy, It Sticks Around Too

from the they-ruined-my-pants dept

We've noted before how some business owners feel extremely threatened by criticism on the web. The idea that anybody can become a critic and have a platform to broadcast their opinion is a scary one for businesses that don't treat their customers well. But there's another related issue here: web criticism sticks around. One blogger has noted that a post he made about how he was frustrated with his bank continues to attract comments from other annoyed customers. It's much like our post on Amazon Prime from February 2005, which thanks to the magic of search engines, continues to attract new comments every day from people upset with the way Amazon bills for the program (with some of them blaming us for it). His point is that not only does news travel quickly online, it sticks around -- just ask the maker of Kryptonite bike locks. Perhaps this is part of the reason some businesses freak out so badly when they're criticized online, and will fuel further calls from some quarters to moderate or censor user-generated business reviews and comments. But that's not a solution; the best way to deal with it is to treat your customers well.

Filed Under: criticism, user generated content
Companies: amazon

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  1. identicon
    John McAllister, 7 Aug 2007 @ 2:06am

    Criticism certainly hangs around.

    In 2000, I published a series of articles on my website concerning a very dangerous building site and the failure of the developer to make it safe. By the end of the year, I had removed the story but it remained on my host's server.

    Two years later, the property developer had the nerve (and stupidity) to threaten me with an action for libel.

    I seemed that the search engines had maintained their references to the pages (or the developer didn't want to make a fuss while the buildings were still standing).

    In this case, the property developer was badly bitten... he didn't take into account the fact that web publishers have the perfect means to riposte!!

    Check out the site at if you want to laugh... yes, I did register HIS name as a domain, and published his lawyer's letters and republished the articles and promoted them to the top of Google.

    There is a postscript. After two years, I allowed the domain registration to lapse, then... the developer abused me in the street, calling me names (how satisfying!). I re-registered the domain... righteous revenge is so sweet... for web producers!

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