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Internet Shaming and Reputation Management

The video below is about an Internet Shaming incident involving Jennifer Connell - who has since changed her name and her identity because no amount of internet reputation management is going to fix her problem.

What happened to Jennifer Connell is fascinating and horrible.

Her wrist was injured while attending her nephew's birthday party and he gave he an exuberant hug, which caused her to fall and hurt her wrist.

Unfortunately in the state she lived in, homeowners liability insurance wouldn't cover her injury unless she sued her nephew in court - which she did, for the sum of $127,000 to cover medical costs, lost wages and lawyer fees. So she had no choice but to sue her nephew.

So she didn't do anything wrong. It is the law in New York State which is weird, requiring that this actually goes to court and that the nephew has to be the defendant named in the court case.

Unfortunately the media got a hold of the story and didn't understand the circumstances. All they saw was a woman from New York who was suing her nephew for $127,000 he didn't have. They completely missed the most important part, that the costs would be born by the insurance company and that the law in New York State required that people file a lawsuit in order to get a settlement.

I suspect the insurance company leaked the case to the media on purpose and misled the reporters on why precisely the aunt was suing the nephew. This way when Jennifer Connell later lost her case, largely due to losing in the court of public opinion, the insurance company didn't have to pay out on what normally would have been a cut and dry case.

So how bad is the situation for Jennifer Connell that she ended up having to change her name?

Well lets check the top 10 Google rankings.

Why Jennifer Connell's case against her nephew was a lost cause ...

If you sensed something off about the story of the woman who sued ...

Jennifer Connell says she had to sue nephew before insurance would ...

Jennifer Connell: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know |

Jennifer Connell: Aunt who tried to sue 12-year-old nephew says she ... › News › World › Americas

Top 25 Jennifer Connell profiles | LinkedIn

100+ Jennifer Connell profiles | LinkedIn

Jennifer Connell - IMDb

Jennifer Connell Profiles | Facebook

Jennifer Connell Design: Home

So the top 5 posts are all news media sites about Jennifer Connell's legal case against her nephew. Followed by two pages of LinkedIn with people with identical names. Someone on IMDb with an identical name, a list of people with the same name on Facebook, and an interior designer from New Jersey with the same name.

Also for statistics purposes, there was 19.9 million results for Jennifer Connell (no quotations).

With quotations, 34,800 results.

So good news and bad news.

The good news is that Jennifer Connell is a popular name. Lots of people out there with the same name.

The bad news is that so many of the top 100 posts (I checked more than just the first page) is news media articles about Jennifer Connell's legal case.

So did Jennifer Connell make the right decision in changing her name, her hair and her identity? Maybe. It was probably the easiest solution.

What she really needs is to sue every newspaper involved for a retraction and to remove the articles in question. But that would be super expensive.

Could Internet Reputation Management fix Jennifer Connell's Problem?

Potentially, but it would be expensive.

The best solution would be to boost the ambiguous pages to the top, so the pages of people with the same name on LinkedIn, Facebook, etc get boosted up while the news media posts get pushed down.

Furthermore there would need to be an effort to get the truth out there. The YouTube video by the New York Times is an effort in the right direction.

So how much would it cost to fix this problem?

Well, $3,000 would be a good push in the right direction. That would enough to make 120 quality posts about Jennifer Connell which tells the truth about what happened to her.

You do the 120 posts, wait a few months and then check how many of those 120 posts are now in the top 100 Google results. If 70 of the top 100 are now positive or ambiguous results, that is a measurable increase to solving the problem.

If 80 of the top 100 are positive, even better.

At present 61 of the top 100 is ambiguous, but the negative ones still dominate the top 10.

So then you repeat the process. Until at least 90% of the top 100 posts are either positive or ambiguous. After that I wouldn't really worry about the other 10%, because then the point has been made. There are other people named Jennifer Connell, and for that one special person - she doesn't deserve the infamy she received from being Internet Shamed by a mob of people who didn't understand the case.

So for reputation management purposes, your goal is to flood the top 100 with positive pages, with links promoting the best performing of those to push them into the top 10.

Since we already have a 61% ambiguous result in the top 100, your goal during the first round of Reputation Management is to see how much of a difference you can make and then measure the result.

So after 3 months, you check again and it is now 78% positive. It has gone up 17 points. With any luck another round and it might be in the 90 to 95% positive range.

So Jennifer Connell's internet reputation is not impossible to fix.

It might cost $6,000 or more to fix, but it is doable.

Or she could spend that money on changing her name and getting plastic surgery so that nobody recognizes her. Really depends on what her priorities are.

Jennifer Connell has since dyed her hair and changed her name.
At present she has changed her name and dyed her hair. Is that enough? Quite possibly.

And maybe she doesn't miss using her own name. Now she gets to pretend that she is in Witness Protection.

After all, whats in a name?

But for those people who want to keep their own name and want the reputation cleaned up, that is what Reputation Management services are for.

Speaking for those of us who like our names, it is good to know that it is possible to fix one's reputation online - even if they are the subject of an Internet Shaming scandal. That to me suggests that no matter how infamous a person is, it is still possible to keep your name, have your cake, and eat it too.

Good night and remember to control your media presence online.

Good luck!

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