If you read this blog regularly you know I’m a big fan of “What if?” questions or dilemmas. I haven’t had a good one for a while. So here’s one I’d be interested to hear some association peeps’ takes on.
Everyone’s a blogger these days–including your members. Some write about their personal lives, some write about professional issues. Sometimes they write about your association. Sometimes good things, sometimes bad things. But usually when they do, it’s a quip or comment here or there, and they get back to writing about other stuff.
But what if one of your members started a blog devoted entirely to bashing your association? Set up a Twitter account for the blog, from which they followed every single one of your association’s Twitter followers in an attempt to attract readers. Started posting weekly rants dedicated to exposing “facts” about your association…facts which, in reality, are not facts. Systematically attacked fellow members, association staff and executives–even entire groups of members based on gender or sexual preference. Nasty stuff, presented in a non-constructive, mean-spirited way, on an ongoing basis. Offensive, slanderous, factually incorrect, and just flat-out, well, crazy. Think rants like those left by the guy who flew into the IRS building.
What would you do? Look the other way and chalk it up to free speech? Or does there ever come a time when someone decides if this person hates the association so much maybe he/she shouldn’t be permitted to be a member anymore?
Please weigh in–I’m interested to hear some different takes on this. Thanks!