Complete Misunderstanding of Social Networks

Delete Tweet

It seems that a buzz is starting on Twitter in Belgium today!

Koen Delvaux, a Belgian blogger, posted a story on his blog about his misadventure with a Belgium jeweler (no name here but Twitter is your best friend to find the name and location of the shop).

To resume in a few words, Koen was contacted by the Police and asked to remove a “inappropriate” tweet he posted a few days before. Like many of us, he had a bad experience in a shop (a jeweler) and just notified his dissatisfaction via a social network. The “web 2.0” you remember? Where everybody can generate content and publish it immediately. Read Koen’s blog for more details.

The law protects everybody (individual, organization, group, etc) against defamation. But is it really “defamation” when you warn about a bad story you had? That’s what make the power of social networks today! When you are looking for a service or goods, you first check online for some feedbacks and reputation information to choose the right shop (e-shop or real one). This story is a nice example of “how to protect your brand in the web 2.0 jungle“.

The problem in this case is the complete misunderstanding of social networks by the jeweler. Everybody make mistakes. Maybe he made one with Koen and the service was not as expected. But why directly contact the authorities instead of trying to contact Koen and find an alternative solution?

What will happen now? Koen removed the tweet of course. He will now have a nice peak in his blog visits and lot of references in other blog. And the Jeweler? The same but with a very negative impact! (A tweet hashtag has already been created with his name)

[Edit 15/10/2009 12:59]
The story started to spread outside Belgium… An article is already available on TechCrunch.

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