Rounding out this week of TigerTrax™ blog posts, I wanted to discuss a particular case where we used our investigative social media and forensics capabilities to defend a professional sports client who was being accused of some illicit behavior. The case is a fairly powerful example of how TigerTrax can be used for reputational defense.
In this incident, the player was approached online by a young lady. This young lady began following the player on many social media networks, and the player’s software automatically followed/friended back the young lady, just as it does for all of the player’s followers on the social media networks. Over the next few weeks, the young lady in question began several conversations with the player. They would begin innocent enough, but would then begin to be filled with innuendo and inappropriate overtones. The player responded to the conversations, but remained in line with expected conversations that you would want a player to have with fans. The player, at no time, responded to any of the innuendo or more sexual content.
Later, the young lady began to edit the player’s content, posting it to other social networks and bragging about it to her high school friends. Eventually, her parents were informed, and confronted the young lady. The young lady told a story to her parents ~ a story that involved the player initiating the contact and being the one who was pursuing inappropriate overtones. The parents, naturally enraged, contacted the team and the player to discuss the situation. MSI was retained by the team to investigate prior to the meeting and provided with a printed version of what the young lady asserted were the details of the conversation online.
MSI leveraged the power of TigerTrax to gather the social media content relevant to the engagement. We captured both sides of the conversations, and to our amazement, we discovered that the young lady had edited the content to fit her tale. Many of the posts in her printed version of the conversation were heavily edited. Most of the posts made by her were deleted from her version (and in some cases deleted by her from the social media sites, but cached in TigerTrax archives and the search engines). Recreating the entire timeline and assembling the real content was done by the MSI analysts, and in the end, the factual stream of data was presented to the team. Once the parents and the young lady were provided with the copies of the report at the meeting, the young lady admitted her fabrication and came clean with the whole story. The parents apologized and the team and player expressed their understanding and completed the incident with their reputations intact.
MSI was proud to be able to help a client defend their reputation. We believe these capabilities will be a powerful addition to many professional sports teams, talent agencies and corporations who are seeking to protect their reputational integrity and remain vigilant against online behaviors that could damage their brand. To learn more about TigerTrax and the services surrounding it, please contact your account executive or reach out to me via Twitter (@lbhuston). We look forward to working with you.