The summer of disscontent

I am not talking about the protests and COVID-19 pandemic and such. I am talking about the content that disses (disrespects) other people.

I use social media to communicate, and as a result, I sometimes offend people... OK ... often. Perhaps it is the people I interact with, a few of whom are propagandists or whacky people. I tend to speak my mind. I tend to not worry about my free speech being seen as offensive by others. But as a result, Russian propagandists and other nut jobs now tend to follow me around in social media and say wacky things to try to damage my reputation. Wild accusations, harassment, etc.

One of the things I do discuss from time to time with portfolio CEOs is the fact that they have to restrain themselves from voicing their opinions online because it is bad for business. Here, as a rarity, I will be presenting information where I tell you to do as I say, not as I do. More on that later.

How to not speak freely and help your business


Screw that! If you don't speak up against social injustice (politics), false gods (including money and political leaders), and discrimination (sexual or otherwise), you are supporting those things by your silence and they will come back against you. When they come for you, there will be nobody left to stand with you.

Having said that, you should filter your speech and your typing.

Just because you stand against violence or killing by police, or racism, or whatever, doesn't mean you should just blurt out whatever your brain happens to come up with at the moment. And if you are in favor of these things, you might want to seriously consider that the world has changed since you learned these things and rethink it a bit.

Most of our brains come up with all sorts of things that we don't actually believe. It's part of how we get ideas and think through things. It takes practice to be able to respond rapidly in a manner that expresses your true thoughts and feeling, because mostly, we don't know what we think until we think through it. We tend to substitute standard responses for thought, and repeat what we have heard elsewhere when we like it. "That has a tendency to happen".

"It seemed like a good idea at the time." comes to mind. A better approach might be to think through things before you ever get into these situations. I tend to develop and test strategies as general approaches, for example, here are some of my social media strategies:

An (imperfect) example

Here is a recent (not all that good) example in response to a truly harassing and abusive wild claim against me:

What did I do wrong? Lots of things. (1) I personalized it to Alex - he deserved it, but it triggered more of his wacky behavior. (2) The joke at the end is always in bad taste - the twist to chess is an interesting one to me as it is the best response I have found so far to the question with no right answer. (3) I didn't review it well enough before hitting send (or I wouldn't have made the mistake of sending it this way - I would still have made the mistake of thinking it and typing it, but not sending it).

What did I do right? A few things. (1) I turned his claim of evil into an advertisement for good. (2) I countered his whole line of BS with the answer to the unanswerable question.

Of course he responded (I assume it's a he but could be wrong) "You are an ordinary thief and a crook, not at all respected Fred Cohen !!!" yet another 10 or so times in different threads.

I finally blocked this identity on LinkedIn, but that will have no actual effect. On the other hand, they may well have the account removed given the scores of such things that have said. You never know.

A call to action

So hopefully you won't make the same mistakes I have made, but when you do, try to resist them!

We offer FREE resources! Use them!!

Want to do a presentation and see if we can help you further?

Go To Angel

Have fun and stay engaged!

In summary

Think before you act - even in social media. Do you want the business of these people? Of people who read things you and they say? And do you really want to display your feelings on the Internet for all to see? Do you want it associated with your business? Just asking.

Copyright(c) Fred Cohen, 2020 - All Rights Reserved