Here in Hawaii over the past couple of days a social media war been ongoing. According to a local blog post local Twitter celebrity, Arleen Anderson @alohaarleen with 80,000 followers has had some serious accusations made against her. A war is being waged against her from a lot of well known locals on multiple fronts, and she is fighting back instead of responding to the accusations.
Looking at this from a social media perspective the so called social media expert is not following the social media playbook. She should be setting the record straight because silence just fuels the fire. There have been multiple demands for her to explain the accusations, yet she has not done so which raises more suspicion in my mind.
To add to the drama, court documents from other states that if indeed are linked to her have also been revealed within the referenced blog post. If the documents are genuine then I predict her business and social relationships she has here in Hawaii will never recover.
Court documents, purportedly show she has had to make restitution on at least 2 court cases, and was lucky not to go to jail for 5 years for a conviction for stealing from Special Olympics. The accusations in Hawaii revolve around money as well.
It is obvious that some of the Twitter users that have 80,000 followers have used guerilla strategies by repeatedly following and unfollowing those that do not follow back to build huge follow list. I am not sure how she got 80,000 followers, rumor was she hired someone local to help her build the following. What I think is weird is that her Twitter posts appears to be a lot of back slapping going on. There is hardly any information of value in those tweets, each to his own but the content stream is pretty boring.
Before this story broke few days ago, I had heard some second hand information a month or more ago that concerned me enough to put me on guard.
Going back to December of 2008 I had @alohaarleen, in my studio for a segment on my 2nd annual 24hr Podcast. When youre doing a 24 hr show the content runs together but some of the advice she gave was not what I would expect from someone with 80,000 followers. Obviously there will not be an invite for the 2009 24hr podcast.
Here is where the rubber meets the road, when you endorse someone on Twitter, Linked In or any other social media site, you need to know you could be supporting someone with a questionable background. Some people take their presence on Twitter as a fun social activity, but I take my presence on Twitter, as serious, as my blog, and my business! This event has made me realize that while followfriday is a fun. I will be very careful in the future who I endorse and expose to my listeners of my podcast.
While it is impossible to know the history of people you follow, you can act when you are made aware of questionable character. I waited two days for an official statement, non has been forthcoming. From actions I see in her Twitter stream she has done her best to silence any critic by using @spam and having her followers help silence those speaking out against her.
So the question I ask all of you. Does trust play a major factor in whom you follow on Twitter, and do you follow people that you no longer trust?