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Australian Plus Size Business Forced To Leave Facebook & Close Its Doors

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Australian Plus Size Business Forced To Leave Facebook & Close Its Doors

Australian Plus Size Business Forced To Leave Facebook & Close Its Doors

Emma Thompson of Evalong Boulevard

Australian Plus Size Business Forced To Leave Facebook & Close Its Doors

Businesses flock to Facebook because of the relatively free platform to reach the all to critical piece of business: social media reach. With this free platform comes the opportunity to reach a global audience. One Australian woman found that it also leaves you open to global cyber bullying that can destroy your business.

As reported by The Observer, Emma Thompson lives in Calliope, a town within Queensland, Australia. She opened an online business for plus size fashion called Evalong Boulevard with $10,000 in June of this year. Like most businesses she took advantage of the Facebook platform and ran an online contest where women submitted their images through Facebook. When the contest went viral her Facebook page and website became bombarded with hate filled messages about plus size women and death threats to her and her family. The location services through Facebook gave her bullies her location. All this led to the closing of her business and removal of her website. Emma has since learned she was not alone and has joined other woman to form Strangers United Against Bullying to offer support to others.

Business etiquette on social media is very different than etiquette through your personal networks. They should mirror each other in support of causes, positivity and brand messaging. The way you speak through social media has to be acceptable for not just your friends, but to your future customers and investors. People often gravitate to your business because of your personal posture in the community your business will thrive in. People watch how you conduct business and how you respond to negativity through your social media platforms.

I have been fortunate not to have had a great deal of cyber bullying happen to me in the work I do in the plus industry. I do find it more when I am conducting radio interviews about plus initiatives with callers seeming to listen intently for an opportunity to be abusive and offensive. I welcome a spirited debate so that I am given an opportunity to provide a perspective they may not have thought of. Afterwards, I am often left drained, exhausted and angry that they got to me. The energy is toxic and I can understand how it could cause someone to walk away. There are those that you can’t reach, who only want to be vicious and no matter what you do or say it will never stop them. You have to find a balance and tailor your response to your professional and personal audience.

How would you handle cyber bullying for your business? I would love to hear from you!

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Casey van Bronkhorst

    September 25, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    That’s terrible, Emma! My heart goes out to you, and to anyone who has suffered at the hands of a bully—for any reason.

    It seems I’ve been lucky. I’ve been online in the plus size fashion niche for over seven years, and haven’t had a single incident of cyber-hatred or bullying or threat. Yet. Apparently, we’re all potential targets, from the sound of things.

    However, I was bullied as a child and teen, most often about my weight and shyness. I know the sick feeling in the gut that comes from being belittled, denigrated and threatened by your peers.

    So many people suggested that I ignore the bullies and “just get over it.” We both know it doesn’t work that way, especially at that age.

    Emma, I’m sorry you were subjected to this treatment. Nobody deserves that, especially in a business environment. My thoughts are with you as you get to solid ground and recover.

    Best,
    Casey

  2. Kim van Dijk

    September 25, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    This is just too dramatic!! We run an online boutique for the mature plus size shopper, (http://theuniqueyou.net/)we also use Facebook for a platform to advertise our business.. Fortunately, for us, we have experienced only very minor cyber bullying. Emma I know it can be devastating to be on the end of such things, but dont give up!! dont close your business!! then they win….
    We also get very frustrated with Facebook even though it can be a fabulous advertising platform, for business it is quite restrictive though.. Business pages do not go into normal newsfeeds unless you have a huge following and people like every post that goes up, or you pay for it – then they have to approve images and we have had many rejected for too much [email protected]! Go figure..

    Emma keep your chin up, and if you really believe in something then fight for it and ignore the critisism – if you can – I know it is difficult..

  3. Frannie Zellman

    September 26, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    I hope that you will be back in not too long. We plus sized people need and honor you and your website. What we don’t need are cowardly bullies and trolls.

  4. Margery

    October 6, 2014 at 12:00 am

    Truly A Devastating SHAME that Grown Up People would stoop to such Incredibly Rediculously, Ignorant, and Completely INSENSITIVE Behavior! We all have mothers, sisters, aunts, nieces, etc. that are Voluptuously Gifted! Full Sized. Act Your Age and Not Your Brain Size by Focusing your personal insecurities on a Businesswoman in Today’s World trying to Make It by Providing Much Needed Service to Today’s Women! I would Turn All this Negativity Around and Use it to Propel Your Much Needed Services to New Heights! Any death threats over the internet are taken very Seriously and should be Dealt with by Local Law Enforcement. Your Ignorance leaves a trail on the world wide web and you will be found and dealt with. Emma don’t give up your dream keep at it. You will find your way to Success! You have my support.

  5. Lynnmbo

    October 18, 2014 at 3:24 am

    Cyber bullying is at an all time high and hard for the sites to monitor and filter. It should always be reported and screenshots can help if there’s a date and time included. But trolls tend to change their identity but aren’t clever enough to outwit hackers. The wisest advice is to alway check posts before posting them publicly. Always report offensive comments and nip it in the bud. Use your privacy rights to your advantage. If your family or business is at risk of harm report them to the police with as much evidence as possible.

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