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Welcome to the nexus of ethics, psychology, morality, philosophy and health care

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Vignette: 29: A Blog Attack


Psychologist Dr. Shermer learns from a colleague that she has been described in very unfavorable terms in a blog posted by an individual who publicly identifies herself as a patient of Dr. Shermer.

Dr. Shermer reviews the blog information.  The author is likely not a current patient.

The blogger insults Dr. Shermer’s appearance, her style of dress, and her office.  In essence, the blogger combines factual and inaccurate information into a well-formed, yet highly erroneous, description about Dr. Shermer’s role in the community and in the legal system.

There are many descriptions of Dr. Shermer that are blatantly false or misleading. Some of the falsehoods on the blog would be serious violations of the Ethics Code.

Upon reviewing the charts of several possible candidates as the offensive blogger, Dr. Shermer believes the blogger to be someone she evaluated in the past for a national security position.  The likely blogger can be emotionally labile and frequently feels a victim of “the system.” Dr. Shermer indicated a number of pathological characteristics in the report.  Dr. Shermer does not make the determination for the security clearance, but serves as a consultant for the government agency.

Dr. Shermer has a presence on social media and fears how her online reputation may be adversely affected by these ongoing blog posts.  She also fears that if she draws too much attention to the blog, then the blogger will gain greater traction.

Dr. Shermer fears the risk that the information could go to a licensing board and result in an investigation.  Although completely unwarranted, an investigation would add unnecessary stress in her life.  There is also a risk that her reputation could be ruined if the former client’s blog posts gain a larger following.

The psychologist wonders how she can take proactive action.

Dr. Shermer considers hiring an attorney.

Dr. Shermer also considers hiring an online reputation management company.

Dr. Shermer calls you for a consultation.  What are some recommendations that you would make to Dr. Shermer?

How would you feel if you were Dr. Shermer?
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