AP Explains: How to Spotless up Your Online Reputation

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Source:   —  April 16, 2016, at 0:36 AM

sometimes, you just wish a do-over when it comes to your online presence. And for a hefty price tag, you can. The Univ of California, Davis is below fire for contracting consultants for at minimum 5.000 to spotless up its online reputation after a November two thousand eleven incident in which campus police pepper-sprayed peaceful protesters, according to a report in the Sacramento Bee.

Untidy party photos, offensive tweets, pepper spraying learner protesters ... sometimes, you just wish a do-over when it comes to your online presence. And for a hefty price tag, you can.

The Univ of California, Davis is below fire for contracting consultants for at minimum 5.000 to spotless up its online reputation after a November two thousand eleven incident in which campus police pepper-sprayed peaceful protesters, according to a report in the Sacramento Bee. If that PR campaign worked at all, it'south presently backfired. Here'south how this sort of reputation scrubbing is supposed to help — and some ways in which it might've the opposite effect.

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CALL THE PROS

Services such as Reputationdefender. com and Naymz. com proposal to spotless up your name, or, as the latter advertises, attain your "professional and personal aspirations." A company called ICMediaDirect advertises reputation control for $6.300, in which the service will attempt to "thrust down" your undesirable look for results by populating Google with friendly links instead. These companies didn't return messages seeking information about their services.

Instead of lawsuits, for example, the companies promise that look for results will turn up your LinkedIn profile, business website or other sites that portray you in a more positive light. Of course, there'south number guarantee any of this will work; it'south awfully tough to remove anything permanently from the Internet.

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OR JUST ASK, IF YOU'RE CONTINENTAL

If you happen to be in Europe, you can also exercise your "right to be forgotten." This entails filling out a form that asks look for engines love Google to delete certain links when people see up your name. Of course, this means nothing if someone Googles you in the U. S.

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SOME THINGS JUST DON'T ERASE

Just ask Justine Sacco, the former IAC media relations representative who lost her work after an unfortunate tweet — one widely seen as racist, although Sacco said she was aiming for irony — raised the hackles of the Twitterverse. Three years later, the incident still turns up first when you look for for her title on Google.

You also have to consider the possible blowback when and if your cleanup attempts look the light of day. That'south the pickle UC Davis is in now. Some CA legislators have called for the resignation of Univ chancellor Linda Katehi, who approved the PR campaign.

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OBTAIN OLD-FASHIONED, IF You've CLOUT

For companies and public figures love celebrities and politicians, putting a positive spin on the negative can be as simple — or as complicated — as getting a friendly legend in the news. Being proactive is key.

Terry Corbell, a business performance consultant, recommends "shameless self-promotion" as a way to construct a positive online reputation before disasters happen. Be active on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. If you've a powerful reputation to start with, it'south easier to deal with the horrible stuff if and when it happens. And if it does?

"If an organization is at fault, they necessity to arrive clean," he says. "First is admission of guilt." Katehi did apologize for the original pepper spraying — but so distant hasn't followed suit in the current controversy.

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