Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Reputation | Lefsetz Letter

That’s why no one showed up at the white supremacist march yesterday, they were afraid of pictures, of having their lives ruined.

You’re building your reputation online every damn day, and ironically it’s the young who realize this, those who’ve grown up with the prying eyes of the internet, there are cameras everywhere, and if you’re a bad actor…

I know, the President utters mind-blowing statements every day, but he’s rich, or at least rich enough not to worry about the consequences, then again, Ivanka had to shutter her clothing line and despite Trump’s best efforts to leverage his role to benefit his corporation, some hotel numbers have decreased and the brand has been tarnished, although the dirty little secret is he doesn’t own most of the buildings anyway, they are just licensing deals.

Now of course people say evil things on Facebook and Twitter. Using their real names! But for some reason they think this is just like talking at school, not realizing that their bad behavior will be amplified when they least expect it, whether it be someone prominent, like Sarah Jeong, who the NYT hired and then found out about her anti-white tweets, or the latest “Bachelorette” contestant, who turned out to like conspiracy theories online. ABC may not have mentioned the specifics, but they were all over gossip outlets and Howard Stern amplified the man’s views on his program today.

It could happen to you.

Those photographed in Charlottesville a year ago paid a price, they were ostracized from society, they lost their jobs, but it’s hard to argue with a photograph. Furthermore, there are gotcha police at the ready to blow up a story when you cross the line, like with Laura Ingraham and her racist comments last week. Oh, you agree with her? Are you willing to go on national TV to say so, allow me to print your name? I highly doubt it.

Kinda like the Republicans pushed out and protested against in restaurants. They thought they were secure, they thought their position gave them a pass, but where you stand and what you stand for is everything these days.

What groups you’ve joined, what retreats you’ve attended… Funny how lists pop up online when you least expect it. You think it’s a perk to fly on the right-winger’s plane, and then it comes out and you say…

What do you say?

You apologize, you say you don’t know what you were thinking.

But nobody buys it, and your reputation is tarred thereafter.

Now there’s a chilling effect. Which is why country musicians won’t wade into politics and when they do they support Republicans and guns, they speak to their perceived core audience.

And Kanye’s rep took a hit when he supported Trump, his statements have legs, they came up on Kimmel last week, they will not die.

But the chilling effect is there for everybody but the rulers of our nation, isn’t that funny. You can become so rich that reputation is irrelevant, as long as you can endure the slings and arrows from those on the other team, i.e. the Koch Brothers and George Soros.

So the next time you take an unpopular position online, know that it’s forever, except on maybe the dying Snapchat, then again, there are screen grabs.

Who you are is the most important asset you’ve got. Are you trustworthy, believable, rational? Demonstrate otherwise and you may not get a job, you may not have a relationship, you may have to stay at home or move to the hinterlands.

Once again, the internet we knew in the old days does not persist in the future. Supposedly everybody had a voice, everybody could become famous, that turned out to be untrue. But one thing’s for sure, say something heinous and people will see/read/hear it and never forget it.

It’s your move.


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