A user in my community did something that brought the wrath of the internet down on the community.
From my point of view, it was a simple wording mistake. This was pointed out to the user, who then edited their word choice. The community provided a few simple responses and the topic faded off our radar. Two days later the post was linked on multiple external sites with commentary on the original version of the post, not the changes that had been made and posted for nearly 36 hours. These comments were not flattering at all. To make matters worse, it was pointed out that the post had "been changed since this was reported", which drew even more traffic and negativity.
Much of this negativity was directed toward the community for covering up the views of the original user. Email addresses associated with moderators and administrators have been flooded with unflattering responses and negative posts have been made on the site. Attempts to remove these result in even more negative posts for "censorship". Community members are frustrated for multiple reasons
- We are flooded with all this negative traffic
- Attempts to remove these posts generate more posts, which makes it look like we aren't actually doing anything (increasing #1)
- All the posts from new users are ignoring feedback from established members attempting to explain the situation.
How can the community deal with the wrath of the internet due to the Streisand Effect? The idea isn't to eliminate only the problem in our own corner of the internet, but how can we handle this at the sources?
The types of responses the community has received has been posts to our main forum (and all related sub-forums). Leadership has received emails and Twitter direct messages. I know a few of us should be easily discoverable on Facebook, but I don't believe anyone has had a Facebook message yet.
Note: I have added a second question regarding the individual's reponse to this issue - how this might have prevented it at all.