Gone are the days when your white collar crime could be swept under the rug never to affect you or your reputation again. Now, even the slightest hint of a scandal can quickly turn into a mudslide of negative publicity that fills every social media website, news feed, and forum.
Once the information is out there, it does not matter if you are innocent or paid your debt to society. Your online reputation is in shatters. Everyone will associate your name with a crime. Unfortunately, because white collar crime is usually financially motivated, no one will ever again trust you with their money.
Of course, not everyone who is arrested for white collar crime is actually guilty. Attorneys try to get these cases dismissed and often succeed. Legally, you are an innocent man. But, your innocence may never make the impact on the social media and in the online news that your arrest did.
As your reputation is blackened, you are likely to lose business. You may even see a loss of profits, and find you are persona non grata among your peers. You may face ridicule and find everything you do open to scrutiny, and you are not alone. Your family will also suffer.
Cleaning Up the Aftermath
While it need not mean the end of the world, or even your career for that matter, cleaning up the detrimental effects of white collar crime on your reputation can be a challenge. You can ask websites to remove negative content, but that may be as successful as trying to scrape paint off a wall with a feather. You might be cleared of the charges. Unfortunately, the best you may be able to accomplish is a written retraction. But, the original text is still out there for anyone to see. Even if it is removed, a history remains in web browsers for a period of time.
A more effective method of clearing your reputation may be to bury it under positive content. By cleaning up your act and becoming a newsworthy person in a positive way, your negative history may get buried beneath an onslaught of glowing articles that will entice people to conduct business with you.
Neither of these methods is particularly fast. This is especially true if you are working at it alone. Fortunately, there are companies that specialize in cleaning up negative online content that may be more successful than you would be alone.
You can also hire an attorney to help you fight any slanderous, untrue content. Attorneys aren’t cheap. However, many individuals and companies would rather take down the offending content than to take the matter to court.
A great online reputation management tool is needed to stay on top of your business listings and respond to any feedback before any problems arise. Just a little prevention goes a long way!