by Kim Niemi
Social sabotage takes many forms, and is often the result of one person lashing out to damage the reputation of another person or company.
But there are still times when the person inflicting the damage is the same person who’s going to have to live with the consequences.
Case in point, the recent Instagram war between Adam Richman, host of the Travel Channel’s “Man v. Food.”
It started innocently enough, with Richman celebrating a recent 70-pound weight loss with an image of his new svelte physique, including the hashtag “thinspiration.”
The problem is that “thinspiration” is a trigger word for those with eating disorders, and not to be bandied about playfully.
When one Instagram user tried to inform Richman of this, politely, he went on the attack. A number of others tried to chime in on his ill-advised use of the word, receiving a variety of curses and even a suicide suggestion for their trouble.
The world is vast and complex, and it’s easy enough to use a word that’s considered offensive without realizing what you’re saying. But when someone points out that a word is offensive, your best bet is to say thank you and find a new way to express yourself. Adam Richman did the opposite of that. And he might be in trouble for it.
His new show has been postponed indefinitely, and while the Travel Channel isn’t saying it’s directly related to this incident, the timing is certainly suspicious.
So what should you do if you find yourself on the brink of social (self) sabotage?
Time will tell if Richman will continue to have enough viewers for the Travel Channel to keep him around. Meanwhile, this all could have been avoided if he just hadn’t been so hashtag crazy.
Worried you might cross the line online? Don’t know where the line IS? Our reputation management service will get you on the right track.