Restraining orders are important legal documents that have been protecting people for hundreds of years. However, they seem to not have moved with the times, and reputation management companies are placing a strong focus on how to get the most out of them. This is because too many people forget that those who they take a restraining order out against, also have to be restrained from online contact, and social media content. On a restraining order, a person is generally prevented from being within a certain distance of someone else, usually 100 yards. However, this rule cannot apply to the internet, since it is not measured in distance. Yet, a woman who is being stalked should not be the victim of online stalking as well. Or an ex-spouse who is not allowed to have contact with the children, should not be able to add them as a friend on Facebook.
Why You Need Reputation Management
It is impossible to not have at least some sort of presence on social media, as everything is now found on there, including businesses. Whether you work for yourself or for a large company, it is likely that they will have a Facebook account, a Twitter handler, a blog, and a website. And you are likely to have those for your personal use as well. No longer do people use telephone books or public records to find someone or something, they simply go online. And not being a part of that means you limit yourself tremendously as well. Your reputation is now an online reputation, and not having an online presence almost automatically means having a bad online reputation as well.
This is true for businesses and individuals alike. But it is about finding a certain balance. For instance, if you do not censor your online information, anyone can find out anything about you, including your private affairs, your political views, your religious beliefs, and more. Everybody knows, by now, that when something is online, it is essentially in the public domain. And this can have disastrous consequences if you have a restraining order against someone.
There are two particular difficulties with restraining orders and the online world:
- It is all too easy for someone who you need to be out of your life, to still find you online.
- It is equally easy for the person against whom you have a restraining order to pretend to be you.
Either way, your online reputation can be damaged tremendously. If your aggressor is able to find you online, they may attack you online as well. This is hurtful on a personal and emotional basis, but will also make you look bad in the eyes of others, who can see your private and legal issues being battled in a public domain. If your aggressor poses as you, there is no telling about what they can do, and how it can affect every other aspect of your life.
If you have a restraining order in place, therefore, make sure you consider its impact on your online reputation, and how to protect yourself.