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Thought Leadership

The Facebook Mess: The Difference Between Commissioning And Acting On Opposition Research

Leadership, "Reputation Matters," Forbes, November 30, 2018

Forbes-Temin-11-30-18

Not everything that Facebook has done lately is wrong. So, let's try to sort out the prudent from the feckless before we all jump on the "kill Facebook" bandwagon.

Due Diligence vs. Opposition (Oppo) Research

Organizations commission in-depth research on their competitors and perceived adversaries all the time: it's called due diligence. In fact, it could be argued that a company or non-profit is not doing their job if they don't seek to understand deeply those who invest in them, comment on them, compliment them, and criticize them. That is simply looking for more information, motives, ulterior motives, and doing the proper due diligence that their stockholders and stakeholders would expect them to do. Good strategy would dictate that they can not be expected to fly blind in a firestorm, if they can help it.

On this level, there is absolutely nothing wrong -- in my opinion as someone who has been active in creating public strategies for private and public organizations for a long time -- with Facebook's commissioning "oppo" research into George Soros after he excoriated tech companies at Davos. You know what: every good professional would, or should have, done the same thing. [...read more]

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