Canceled! You sent out that tweet in jest, in anger, as a joke, perhaps poorly worded. Despite the lack of context, your tweet is getting you in trouble and it’s going viral. Soon you lose your (day) job, some followers, and then some sponsors. In other words, you’ve been canceled. What to do next?
There’s not much you can do, especially when you are at fault (for someone reading your content out of context, while it’s technically not your fault, it still came out of your digital mouth!) Here are a five tips to think about when disaster strikes.
Everyone is human and makes mistakes. By apologizing, acknowledging a differing viewpoint, and realizing your own mistake, it will be easier for fans, followers, and even critics to provide you with forgiveness and not cancel you.
Will Smith’s famous Oscar slap was followed by a social media apology a few days later. Although he lost some roles and some potential sponsorships as well as a ban from the Academy, he was able to stem the potential fallout by acknowledging his shortcomings. Make sure that your apology gets out there in a timely manner and is truly heartfelt. Also do not try to have people see your perspective. It’s out there and they’ve clearly interpreted your words in an offensive way. Let it be.
Have physical products
Influencers like Logan Paul have reinvented themselves time and time again after controversial actions put them on the brink of being canceled. Keep in mind that most influencers are selling themselves and their ideas, thus, when something is posted that could be misinterpreted this is in direct conflict with the actual product being sold, i.e. your thoughts and ideas.
However, if you are a manufacturer of products, like Canada Goose or any of the Fame Merch, you might be held to a different (lower) bar. In China, Canada Goose has a no returns policy, even for damaged goods, while other markets have up to 30 days to return products. The company was able to stem the backlash and prevent the brand from being canceled by changing its return policy and with a focus on the product, sales increased 35%. Physical products, even if they are your own, put the emphasis back on the product and away from you.
Implement a review system for content prior to publication
The root of the problem was your trigger happy finger on the “post” button. We’ve all done it before and big tech realizes this. Hence, for example, Twitter Blue has an undo function and Gmail also has an un-send function. But despite these fail safes, screenshotting still captures your escaped thought in digital infamy forever. Therefore, to calm emotions, quelch nerves, and stomp out bad vibes, have a system in place to review posts either amongst your team or with yourself.
Delete the offending content
This should go without saying, but definitely remove the offending content so that other gossip, blog, and influencer sites don’t pile on. You do not want your Google Search Results to include countless articles about your offense, while burying all the positive things in your background. After you’ve apologized, (and only after!) see if the media outlets are willing to retract their article or articles about you or make them uncrawlable to Google bot.
Did we say this already? Something that is truly lacking in today’s day and age is humility, something that we think is very important! It costs you nothing to apologize and shows your ability to adapt, learn, and listen. People make mistakes and owning up to it is half the battle!
Have you been canceled recently? What did you do? How did you recover? Any tips you have to share with the rest of the community? Any ideas on preventing cancellation? Drop us a note!