It’s humbling to work for a company that’s so well-respected in the industry. What we write is quoted and cited by other resources. People in the industry take what we write on our blog seriously and trust that what we’ve communicated is 100% factual. That’s one hell of a responsibility to have to bear. And we bear it well. If we ever make a mistake, or are wrong on something, I like to think we’re pretty quick and open to saying, “Hey, we made a mistake, but this is the correct thing.”
Not long ago I was researching a topic for work and surprised to find just how much misinformation there was out there about said topic, published by well-known and respected companies. It’s shocking because people are relying on this trusted information, and they’re being mislead. Maybe not intentionally, but it’s happening regardless.
It’s frustrating to think about. What does it take for you to double, or even triple, check your facts. Fess up if something you’ve published is incorrect, and move on? If you are a so-called “influencer”, take that responsibility seriously. Think about the level of trust your followers, fans or peers have in you, and don’t take it for granted.
While I didn’t publicly call out those other companies (perhaps I should have) on their incorrect facts, I did double-check what I thought was incorrectly published by them was in fact incorrect. Which sometimes took a little time, but it was time well spent. In the back of my head I knew there would be someone reading what I’d written and taking it as fact. That’s a feeling of responsibility I’ve never had before, and makes me think of Marty McFly’s immortal words “This is heavy.”
This isn’t a call-to-arms sort of post for influencers to get their shit together, more of a vent from me. But saying that, if you’re reading this and find yourself in the position of being an influencer, do your fans and followers a favour and get your facts straight before you share them. And if you find yourself wrong or misinformed, own up—we’re all human.