Does Integrity Matter in Social Media?


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Don’t measure your neighbor’s honesty by your own. ~ Proverb

My post on Fakers in Social Media triggered a number of private and public conversations.

The Cliff Notes version of the comments and points made in favor of the faking followers goes something like this.

This is only social media. Everyone fakes it. We’re all out here to promote ourselves and we all know it’s the wild west out here.

I had to look big to get business. Social media is our business. To sell our services and ourselves – we have to have massive follower counts. Otherwise we won’t be hired as experts.

I need to monetize myself. I spend all my time out here on social media and I’ve built this big following (hmmm). Now I’m going to monetize it as my brand so I need to look bigger.

It’s not our fault. We can’t control who follows us. It’s not my fault if 50% of my Followers are Eggs with Masks On. (A note. Yep, I know that we can’t control our Followers. I also know that when two people with 100K Followers each have 0% and 53% Fakes relatively, that is not a) coincidence or b) an Attack of the Eggs focused on one soul. Sorry, I’m not buying that coincidence excuse.)

There are so many passionate opinions on the subject of integrity in Social Media, specifically Twitter. After hearing all the conversations and comments, I’m truly beginning to wonder…

Does Integrity Matter in Social Media?

I believe that integrity is critical to success, for our nation, our business and ourselves. It’s a slippery slope when we begin to sacrifice integrity for our own personal gain. That said – I’m sad to say I see integrity slipping all around us. Just read any politicians remarks and you’ll find lapses in integrity (or judgement) in their supposed facts. (I know, it’s politics, but still…these are our leaders?)

When I started to join Social Media communities, I thought I’d found nirvana. A place where great people joined to discuss key insights and share information. After a few years of being burned by fakes, phones, con artists, plagiarism, thieves and just plain fibbing folks – I’ve evolved my perspective. My reality is:

  • I’ve met some really great souls here on social media, people who will be in my life going forward and who are blessings to me and this world.
  • I’ve met some folks who I thought were great people. After some time in their communities, watching and listening to their behavior – I sadly learned a different reality.
  • I’ve also encountered a number of phonies, watched as supposed gooroos with no real life experience promote themselves as the experts to their flocks, been conned myself by leaders who promised one thing then delivered something very different.

Today I realize that social media is the perfect mirror for human society – including the good, the bad and the just plain ugly. That realization has helped me to become more aware and more watchful of behaviors and actions versus words and gooroo images. But that doesn’t mean I think it’s a positive evolution of human behavior. In fact – I continue to be stunned at the things people will say and do from behind an avatar.

My Questions for All of You

If the reasons above are valid and social media does indeed mirror humanity, if everyone else is doing the faking thing, then…

Does integrity matter in Social Media? Or is it Fantasyland?

Is it a Follower beware environment? Or do we have responsibilities to our communities?

Is it our job to find the great people out here – even as we beware the cons?

I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions.

Someone suggested that I was forcing my standards on Social Media – and you know what? I was. I’ll admit it. I expect integrity out of myself and my associates and I did expect that from Social Media leaders. That said – after listening to all of the reasons for the faking Followers, I’m shifting my own perspective and seeing social media with new, and very wary, eyes.

Yes, I’ll be out here to stay connected with the magical friends I’ve met along the way. But if there’s so much pressure to break with integrity to be a success at social media – I’m not sure I want to play in this verse.. other than in very known communities. That’s my choice- just as everyone else has a choice to follow their own path.

The Bottom Line

If social media really is the wild west and integrity doesn’t matter…. Why are we spending so much time out here?


I realize that some people may not want to publicly comment.  So I whipped up the quick survey below.  No captcha means no way to track who said what…. I made the results public.  Please share your opinion.


Does Integrity Matter in Social Media?





Only when someone else is watching.


Other: (Please specify)


Republished with author's permission from original post.

Rebel Brown
Rebel Brown consistently challenges the status quo to deliver optimum solutions and high velocity growth for her clients. She combines the strategic expertise and tactical savvy of a global Corporate Strategy, Launch and Turnaround Expert, along with the leadership and motivational skills needed to get the job done.


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