The Rise of Digital Lynch Mobs and What They Mean for Businesses in Our 24/7 World
What are Digital Lynch Mobs, the Harm They Can Do, and Their Impact on Businesses
Among the many manifestations of our Social Media driven 24/7 world is the emergence of what are known as Digital Lynch Mobs which are mainly comprised of online users who come and band together to both endorse or attack brands and businesses, often on flimsy grounds, when they feel offended by religious, ethnic, and racial aspects that they feel are being promoted by the brand or business.
Indeed, in recent months, there have been several instances of businesses and brands being boycotted, their products and order cancelled and even physical and brick and mortar offices and stores attacked in response to the calls given by Twitterati and Facebook users against them.
While the notorious cancel culture has been with us for some time now, what is worrying are the Digital Lynch Mobs that arise spontaneously through Trending Twitter Hash tags and then, make their disapproval viral within no time.
This presents a challenge for businesses as they have to either respond in real time or lose out on sales and worse, their very existence as entities due to the pervasive nature of such trends.
How Businesses Can Respond and Protect Themselves in Real Time and on a 24/7 Basis
So, how do brands and businesses respond to the growing menace of Digital Lynch Mobs? While there are no easy and simple answers to how they can respond to events happening in real time and with short or absolutely no notice, there are some ways in which they can take precautions against being attacked by these Online Swarms of Users.
For instance, they can either stand firm on their values, though at the risk of losing business, or cave in after some time when the full impact of the Digital Lynch Mobs is ebbing or at the same time, at its peak.
In other words, they can either let the Storm in the Twitter Storm pass or choose to react in the Heat of the Moment. Either way, the implication is that they and their staff must be constantly on their toes to watch out for the Digital Lynch Mobs.
This means that they must have dedicated Social Media Response Teams that are always on the lookout for any Trending Hash Tags that can create trouble for them.
This requires Agility, Flexibility, and Speed on part of the businesses as they have to continuously monitor social media in real time.
Why Digital Due Diligence Can Help Businesses against the Barbarism of Online Swarms
Having said that, there are other precautions that businesses can take to ensure that they stay clear of the Digital Lynch Mobs or respond once they are the targets.
For instance, there is something known as Digital Due Diligence that they can do before deciding on advertisements and product launches in addition to signing celebrities who would endorse their brands.
In other words, they can evaluate whether their ads and launches are making political and religious statements and then decide whether the risk is worth taking.
On the other hand, businesses cannot stay away from the events happening around them and so, they must also take a stand against this new Online Barbarism.
Either way, it is their Due Diligence and Response that gauges whether they have been successful in defending their businesses.
Of course, this is easier said than done as there is no guarantee that the Twitterati or Facebook communities and groups would not take offense to even bland and non controversial messaging by the businesses.
Therefore, they must remember that the Medium is the Message and hence, take steps that depend on how well they leverage Social Media and ensure that the Appropriate Messaging is done accordingly.
How Big Tech Firms and Governments Have a Role to Play in Reining in Online Mobs
On the other hand, Social Media firms and the Governments worldwide have a role to play as far as reining in the Digital Lynch Mobs is concerned.
For instance, Facebook and Twitter must act in real time for offensive Tweets and Posts so that the businesses are not at the receiving end of the Digital Mob Fury.
Moreover, there is every chance that the situation might go out of control leading to physical harm as well.
This is the reason why governments too must come out with guidelines on how Social Media firms ought to take steps to control the Raging Fury of Online Users.
In addition, this is one of the harsh lessons of our Digital Age wherein the internet has grown to a point where it has become unwieldy and uncontrollable.
Apart from this, there is the added dimension of the Power of Memes and the Viral Nature of the Medium that makes it hard to regulate such Digital Lynch Mobs.
Of course, in recent weeks, both Facebook and Twitter have begun to act firmly as can be seen from the way in which banned Donald Trump from using their platforms after the Jan 6th Insurrection against Legislators.
Last, Cancel Culture is another manifestation of these Digital Lynch Mobs that can result in entire businesses going bankrupt within no time.
Therefore, it is our suggestion to businesses that they be Alert and Awake at the Wheel in a real time and 24/7 basis so that they are ahead of the curve.
While the threat posed by Digital Lynch Mobs is not going away anytime soon, there are some consequences of inaction.
Moreover, they must lobby the governments to regulate Big Tech before it is too late. To conclude, Digital Lynch Mobs are real and hence, responses needed accordingly.
Authorship/Referencing - About the Author(s)
The article is Written By Prachi Juneja and Reviewed By Management Study Guide Content Team. MSG Content Team comprises experienced Faculty Member, Professionals and Subject Matter Experts. We are a ISO 2001:2015 Certified Education Provider. To Know more, click on About Us. The use of this material is free for learning and education purpose. Please reference authorship of content used, including link(s) to ManagementStudyGuide.com and the content page url.
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