Hoax-Busting: Managing Gossip and Rumors Online

We've all seen our share of Internet hoaxes. The random e-mail calling for a boycott of a major oil company; the forwarded message of a worried mother whose daughter was sickened by a popular food; or the blog post claiming a trendy fashion store is linked to terrorist activities. Unfortunately, journalistic integrity does not always apply to the social media world. The Web provides an unfiltered platform for any disenfranchised consumer to anonymously damage reputations with the click of a button. While Web hoaxes and rumors may seem like minor nuisances, they should not be dismissed, as they have the potential to erode reputations and create a businesswide dilemma.

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