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What to learn from HBO's CEO fake social media comments

4. Nov. 2023

Clear learnings from a PR crisis.

Rolling Stones has published an insightful story about how HBO's CEO has asked his employees to leverage fake X (Twitter) accounts to strike back at negative comments.

While the story is surrounded by more details about a toxic work culture at HBO, it also shows how minor or non-crises situations on social media can easily escalate.

In this case, the susceptible CEO over-reacted to negative comments about TV shows. The comments came not only from known reviewers and experts, but also from anonymous users.

The fake accounts created by HBO junior staffer(s) proved to be extremely petty.

Normally this would not be noticed, but it proves that such actions can always leak or come to the attention of the media. Effectively, destroying the the company or at list its management's reputation for no valid reason.

The learning is clear: never use fake accounts to change the narrative on social media or any other medium.

Push back and train the senior executives to look for better solutions to tackle the issue at hand.

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