Panes of glass

Some lessons, people never learn. Politicians screw up all the time, but it’s the coverup that brings them down. And even though transparency has been the byword in social media for years, there are too many people who haven’t figured that out.

2K Games released the long-awaited (and that’s an understatement) Duke Nukem Forever–and as of right now, they lack a PR agency. The founder of their former agency, The Redner Group, threatened to blacklist reviewers who made negative comments about the game. Although he apologized, the follow-up wasn’t enough to save his agency’s relationship with 2K Games. (It also wasn’t enough to save the reputation of the game itself, which is getting lousy reviews.)

Of course, reviews themselves can be fake. Take the case of a hotel owner in Thailand who posted to TripAdvisor asking how to write fake reviews that can pass for real. I suppose there is an ironic level of transparency here, since in his question he stated both his name and that of his hotel. But how does TripAdvisor handle this when their slogan is “Reviews you can trust”?

There are definite benefits to Web anonymity. But like anything else, it’s easy to abuse–and when that happens, the losses–financial and otherwise–can be more significant than the gains.

Photo by fabi42, via Flickr.