Wednesday, July 2, 2014


I thought that those of you who were unable to attend my webinar this week might want to review my outline of the material discussed. Performing effective due diligence with the huge amount of Internet garbage posted by reputation restoration firms has become a real challenge.


Compliance dysfunction in a world of reputation damage control/restoration actions

(1) The explosion of reputation damage control firms has seriously disrupted the way
compliance officers conduct due diligence inquiries.

(2) The presence of a seemingly infinite number of neutral, or positive, websites,
involving the subject under inquiry, creates a roadblock.

(3) With the addition of Search Engine optimization (SEO) tactics, the irrelevant
websites posted by the reputation management firms are drawn to the front of all
search results, blocking ready access to any critical negative information available
on the web.

(4) Unless new search tactics, and resources, are employed, traditional due diligence
searches will take so long to perform, that compliance officer workload will suffer.

The heart of the problem: established due diligence techniques fall apart in the face of
determined reputation damage control. Traditionally, the compliance officer consults
a commercial off-the-shelf database of high-risk individuals or entities. When this fails
to return information, as no database indexed by name can have it all, he must resort to
the Internet.

Compliance officers then run up against pages and pages of Internet entries like:

(A) Social media.

(B) Neutral websites, generally irrelevant, having nothing to be with the target, but
posting content.

(C) So-called positive websites, portraying the subject in a positive light.

(D) Redundant websites, which parrot existing information already up and online.

(E) Informative websites, which deliver images or data, which may be of casual
use to readers, but which really have no connection to the subject.

(F) Websites that purport to be from other individuals or entities, with similar or
exact names of the subject, and which therefore tend to confuse the reader, as they
further clutter the search results.

I have identified the problem; in the next installment of this article, I will proffer my
solutions; Watch for it.

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