When the Community Turns On You

One wonders if there is justice in the world? In our society when someone feels they have been wronged there are laws to protect them. If the act is bad enough, someone goes to jail, if not…they just get sued. It is the “get sued” part where the cross hairs live for often a person may be unjustly sued (whether true or not) or in the opinion of a community unjustly sued (whether true or not.)

Earlier today Chicago Now reported that a tenant of Horizon Realty was sued for a “tweet” they sent regarding the place they lived. If you are bored and want to read the complaint, here it is;  Twitter lawsuit.pdf.  A woman with less than 20 followers on Twitter complained about mold in her apartment to a friend, so Horizon Realty sued her for $50,000 in damages.

Lawsuit Twitter

The purpose of this post is not to agree or disagree with the lawsuit, but rather to point out when the online community turns on someone/something because they see injustice…the results can snowball. I mean snowball in a big way. One of the top tweet topics today are commentary from literally thousands of Twitter users spreading the word about the injustice they perceive.

Business can learn a big big lesson here.

Seek to resolve before you pull out the big guns. The lawsuit and report of the lawsuit has created a huge PR problem for this company. In a world where information is in real time one would think companies would adjust their actions to take the every changing world into account. Once the mob turns against you the damage is irreversable and the public relations nightmare just grows bigger and bigger.

What would I do? I would withdraw the lawsuit, address the issue, work towards a productive resolution for all parties and if at fault, I would stand up and let the community know I made a mistake and I am sorry.

Will this happen, only time will tell…but till then you can read the Twitter communtiy tweets about it here.

Twitter Search Horizon

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