Connect the ICSF Speakers: How disinformation is screwing up your reality

Renée DiResta shares how to manage your brand integrity in an age of "disinformation"

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What’s “disinformation”? It’s a misleading narrative that’s usually distributed (where else?) on the internet. “There’s a difference between hoaxes, which are usually accidentally spread, and disinformation, which is deliberately coordinated manipulation,” explains Renée DiResta, a disinformation expert who works with corporate clients concerned about brand integrity.

That could mean a company concerned with where its ads are appearing on YouTube, or it could mean a company that’s being targeted by internet trolls that are piling onto an already-bad situation. She’ll be talking about how to manage your own brand integrity in the face of disinformation at Inman Connect San FranciscoJuly 17 through 20 at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square.

“When your company is in the news because of a bad situation, which can happen to anybody, how you handle and get ahead of the problem can make a big impact on public perception of your brand,” notes DiResta. It’s often difficult to tell what’s authentic customer anger, and what’s been manipulated for economic or ideological reasons. But sometimes, managing disinformation around your brand is as simple as being aware of where your name appears online (and offline), and following best practices when it comes to security basics — like email, for example.

“No passwords on sticky notes around the office,” DiResta says. Any business can be the target of an attempted hack, and the stakes are higher for real estate agents and brokers, who are often privy to sensitive financial information. “You never want to be in the news for being the source of a breach that results in financial harm to people.”

And sometimes, businesses are targeted for what their employees are doing online. “Sometimes a business owner or an employee will say something online as an individual, and it will make someone angry. That person can easily find out where the employee or owner works, and try to trash the business with bad reviews.”

Hear what else DiResta has to say about disinformation at Inman Connect San Francisco in July.

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