Digital Assassination: How to defend yourself against online smear

Digital Assassination co-author, Mark Davis speaks with "First Post" columnist Uttara Choudhury about the upcoming book and threat of digital attacks.

You claim that “In the future, which is now, everyone will have 15 minutes of shame.” Can you expand on your statement?

Richard Torrenzano, my co-author and I believe we are already in a full-blown digital crisis in which anyone can be subjected to a reputational attack that is global, instant and forever.

Some examples: A political candidate has a campaign website put up that looks real, only it is seeded with strange and inflammatory statements that the candidate would never make. The owner of a hotel is unfairly accused on a review site of hosting prostitutes. A teen-age girl commits suicide after being taunted by a middle-aged woman digitally posing as a teen-age boy. A woman who has appeared on popular television shows is portrayed in a lascivious way on an online dating site, complete with her home address and phone number.

The ‘shame,’ of course, really belongs to the digital assassins who perpetrate these attacks. At the rate things are going, this will likely happen to everyone at one time or another. Hence, our 15 minutes.

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