Is Trust a big deal for you on Twitter?

Here in Hawaii over the past couple of days a social media war been ongoing. According to a local blog post local Twitter celebrity, Arleen Anderson @alohaarleen with 80,000 followers has had some serious accusations made against her. A war is being waged against her from a lot of well known locals on multiple fronts, and she is fighting back instead of responding to the accusations.

Looking at this from a social media perspective the so called social media expert is not following the social media playbook. She should be setting the record straight because silence just fuels the fire. There have been multiple demands for her to explain the accusations, yet she has not done so which raises more suspicion in my mind.

To add to the drama, court documents from other states that if indeed are linked to her have also been revealed within the referenced blog post. If the documents are genuine then I predict her business and social relationships she has here in Hawaii will never recover.

Court documents, purportedly show she has had to make restitution on at least 2 court cases, and was lucky not to go to jail for 5 years for a conviction for stealing from Special Olympics. The accusations in Hawaii revolve around money as well.

It is obvious that some of the Twitter users that have 80,000 followers have used guerilla strategies by repeatedly following and unfollowing those that do not follow back to build huge follow list. I am not sure how she got 80,000 followers, rumor was she hired someone local to help her build the following. What I think is weird is that her Twitter posts appears to be a lot of back slapping going on. There is hardly any information of value in those tweets, each to his own but the content stream is pretty boring.

Before this story broke few days ago, I had heard some second hand information a month or more ago that concerned me enough to put me on guard.

Going back to December of 2008 I had @alohaarleen, in my studio for a segment on my 2nd annual 24hr Podcast. When youre doing a 24 hr show the content runs together but some of the advice she gave was not what I would expect from someone with 80,000 followers. Obviously there will not be an invite for the 2009 24hr podcast.

Here is where the rubber meets the road, when you endorse someone on Twitter, Linked In or any other social media site, you need to know you could be supporting someone with a questionable background. Some people take their presence on Twitter as a fun social activity, but I take my presence on Twitter, as serious, as my blog, and my business! This event has made me realize that while followfriday is a fun. I will be very careful in the future who I endorse and expose to my listeners of my podcast.

While it is impossible to know the history of people you follow, you can act when you are made aware of questionable character. I waited two days for an official statement, non has been forthcoming. From actions I see in her Twitter stream she has done her best to silence any critic by using @spam and having her followers help silence those speaking out against her.

So the question I ask all of you. Does trust play a major factor in whom you follow on Twitter, and do you follow people that you no longer trust?

About geeknews

Todd Cochrane is the Founder of Geek News Central and host of the Geek News Central Podcast. He is a Podcast Hall of Fame Inductee and was one of the very first podcasters in 2004. He wrote the first book on podcasting, and did many of the early Podcast Advertising deals in the podcasting space. He does two other podcasts in addition to Geek News Central. The New Media Show and Podcast Legends.

11 thoughts on “Is Trust a big deal for you on Twitter?

  1. I agree with Stan because at the end of the day you don’t really have a clue who these people really are and you cant trust people you dont know.Unless your actually going to do something about it stop wasting so much time and find something productive to talk about.

  2. For the life of me, I have no idea why anyone would “trust” someone with whom they met over a social network. So, for those of you who recently got scammed….good for you. Learn your lesson and either take it offline legally or move on. All the other petty stuff is ridiculous especially by the guy who posted the initial blog post. It’s not even your battle.

    Yes, I do feel sorry for all of the victims, especially her ex-boyfriend, who is the only one with a real legitimate case here because it looks as though he actually went through the whole legal process and was awarded an ACTUAL judgment.

    Regarding the “social media playbook” indicated in this article, who wrote that book and where can I find it? I didn’t know one such existed. If I have a legal problem with someone else, I take the appropriate steps which involve lawyers and stuff and not petty complaining.

    The “coincidences” clearly suggests that someone is at fault here, but unless you have gone through the legal process and can produce legal docs (like her ex), what’s the point of blasting someone? You’re trying to “warn” others about not being scammed? I like to think that people are intelligent enough to do their due diligence before trusting anyone especially when it comes to money.

    Move on people and use the social media tools to your benefit not your detriment. As we can see already, there’s already at least one person abusing that privilege, but then again, I didn’t write the “social media playbook.”

  3. Great article. By far the most informative (including the comment by Andy). I still think people got a little carried away and personal with the twitter attacks against Arleen, but you provide a lot of the information that was lacking in 140 char. form.

  4. i almost fell victim to her as well… but side-stepped just in time b4 giving her money. hooray for me! I won!

  5. I swear with God as my witness that the information I have given to post was obtained legally and that the information is correct. I gave her a loan to start a fund raising business on the internet. She gave me all the documentaion about her house in Aptos and the #’s were good enough so I loaned her $19500. She wanted more but I gave her all I could get. She started off making payments but before the first year was up she only made 1/2 the payments. Anytime I asked for a payment she would stall 4 more time giving me hope of a payment only to be crushed over and over as many of U have been 2. She knows you may bring her 2 court and get a Judgment as I have but after that unless U spend more $ to track her down & bring her to court she has a Good chance of U just giving up. I have tracked her from SD to CA and now to HI getting a sister state Judgment in CA only to have her move to HI so I have to get another lawyer and spend more $ to have no guarantee she’ll ever pay. She knows the game and how to play. Now she is a Bigtime Twit (Pun intended) and has fooled so many into thinking she is someone important. Many won’t believe she did all the things we have proof on but then many used to believe that the world was flat. She has a hold over a lot of people (I used 2 B 1) just as all the cult leaders have had on their followers. Wake up people. I have kept to the facts and that is why many people seem to be siding with me and I THANK ALL OF YOU!

  6. In situations like these, I’ll continue to follow someone to see if they present their side of the story. But sure, eventually they will get an unfollow from me. I’ll block them from being able to follow me as well – to protect myself.

  7. Todd,

    Before the Fit hit the Sham I was after her of monies I feel she owes me. Small amount $900. I have emails to support my claim she agreed to pay. When she “went silent” and refused to communicate in any way I went to the “open stream” on Twitter in my effort to collect.

    My tweets on the open stream caught the eye of her ex boyfriend Roger Knowlton (@R_A_K_ on Twitter) who has been chasing her since 03 in an effort to get her to re-pay a 20k debt that is now 33k with interest. He was not on Twitter but saw my tweet in a google search and felt he had to speak up. He joined Twitter and posted the court order saying she owes the him money on TwitPics. He also posted official court transcripts he purchased of her sentencing hearing when she was convicted of grand theft for stealing from the Special Olympic. He was sitting in the courtroom when she was sentenced.

    Based on this new evidence I feel she misrepresented herself to me in our business dealings. I’m am involved with many non-profit organizations similar to Special Olympics and I feel not informing me of her conviction was purposeful.

    I have made many offers, both public and private, to meet with her for arbitration before and after the news of her past surfaced. She refuses to respond.

    Thank you for bringing attention to this matter because Arleen Anderson’s tactic seems to be “ignore it and it will will fade away” and I believe she has used this on many she has “hired” here in Hawai`i.

    Andy Bumatai
    @AndyBumatai – Twitter
    /AndyBumatai – FaceBook

  8. Aloha Todd, mahalo for your insight on this situation. Folks need to be very careful to check the background and track record of these so called “experts”.

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