I occasionally hear from authors, writers, and journalists who receive odd and occasionally anonymous emails about the topic that author, writer, or journalist covers on a regular basis. Often, they ask me to help them research the situation, or ask me if I think the information is legit. I, too, receive these types of communications on a regular basis. Do I trust them? It depends…
I received the following email last week:
Scam alert: (Name removed) acting as (company name removed) has been contacting conventions and authors in (location removed) area posing as a “promoter” or “social media manager” to attempt to get free admission/goods. He has no experience as a promoter and fewer than 1000 followers (in some cases, fewer than 100) on most of his social media accounts, and a reputation for harassing female guests (his ex-wife, an author, has a restraining order against him). He has also taken over client social media accounts to “help promote them” and refused to give the accounts back to the owners once they fire him. Buyer beware.
Sounds pretty juicy, huh? I did some googling and I couldn’t find any mention of any of the allegations against this person or his company. I wrote to the person who emailed me to ask for more information but I did not receive a response. I was not surprised. The problem is some in the industry, not knowing the legal ramifications, might post the allegations online. It reminded me of a story I read just last night:
A TikTok personality, Ashley Guillard, has allegedly posted several videos accusing a female professor at the college the murder victims attended of being involved in their murder.
From the article: Guillard posted a video Friday responding to the lawsuit, saying, “I am not stopping,” and questioning why Scofield needed three lawyers to sue her “if she’s so innocent.”
The fact that she complained about “three lawyers” was the first hint that Guillard is an idiot. How many law firms don’t have at least three attorneys? Not many! Also, while she apparently has shared no proof, she says she’s “not stopping.”
This isn’t the first time I’ve heard of someone on social media who clearly does not understand the ramifications of posting unproven allegations online. Guillard clearly doesn’t realize that, if she loses in court, she’s going to be paying damages for the rest of her life to the victim.
I’ve received thousands of pretty outlandish allegations from “anonymous” sources over the years about people and companies. I always, ALWAYS research them before publishing anything. In most cases, there is nothing to publish. And, if you think that some competitor won’t send you false allegations about someone, hoping you’ll publish them, think again. There are truly horrible people in this world who will do anything to put you out of business.
Think about this. The person who contacts you may be in cahoots with the person the false allegations are about. If the person you libel sues and wins, they may very well have a secret contract to share the winnings with the person who sent you the false allegations.
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