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May 14, 2002
Blog Post

Online smear campaigns against your company are frighteningly easy to run

SUMMARY: No summary available.
Reasons why I'm glad I'm not a corporate communications pro: It's too easy for someone, anyone to conduct a smear campaign against your company online. This morning I tripped over one that someone is running on against Network Solutions/Verisign, when I made a typo on my way to (which is consistently one of the most trafficked sites online by women; so you can image how much traffic the common typo gets!)

The site is framed top and bottom by a bogus headline from "" which appears to be auto-dated as a few days prior to the date a visitor visits. Your first thought is, "Oh my gosh, how did I miss such a big news story?" Then the pop-ups start appearing; pow, pow, pow. I counted four, but there may be more. All saying the same thing with different art; Netsol is a "bad" company. I scrolled down to the copyright line on one of the bigger pop-ups (why would you copyright a smear campaign? Whatever), and it said (c) 2001. Which means this thing's been going on for awhile.

How hard would it be for someone who really hates your company to do something similar? Not very I'm afraid. What's the marketplace impact? Depends on the brand.
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