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Could personal opinions on COVID-19 be ruining your business?

On April 16th Gosia Katarzyna posted her thoughts about the COVID-19 lockdown on Facebook. “Why is the world shut down? Americans and Europeans are awakening and protesting why aren’t we?”, she posted, along with a graphic showing the percentage of deaths based on the Canadian population.

That post garnered 228 comments within the next 24 hours. Supporters wrote comments such as “the government completely manipulated the statistics to incite fear,” and “it’s all about control.. bit by bit removing our rights of freedom.

However the majority of comments came from those who were outraged by her post such as. “… perhaps you have no family that might explain your callousness and thoughtlessness”, “Either you’re a troll or just an awful f–king person!”, and “If you are so confident in your facts and fearless, then go volunteer at a hospital emergency room.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused fear, frustration, and confusion in people,” says Marc Gordon, a customer experience expert. “Combine that with lots of new found free time and social media, and you’re going to get a flood of comments covering everything from government policies and medical advice to conspiracy theories.”

Beyond the emotional impact this kind of dialogue can have to people’s mental health, Marc is equally concerned about how it will affect business owners who choose to post comments that could polarize their online communities.

“Business owners have to understand that what they post to social media reflects more than just their personal beliefs. It also impacts their businesses,” says Marc. “If their posts are controversial or incite anger, it could directly impact their business. Perhaps it would be wise for business owners to keep opinions to themselves and simply choose to be a supportive resource.”

Marc believes that while business owners are individuals with the right to say what they want, they may instead choose to see themselves as representatives of their businesses. “What’s more important to a business owner? The freedom to say whatever’s on their mind or to keep their business successful? That’s a decision only they can make.”

As for Katarzyna, she believes her post did exactly what it was intended to. “I post what I believe people need to know. How people react to my opinions doesn’t matter to me. I might lose business, but I’m okay with that.”

For more information, contact Marc Gordon at 416.414.9089 marc@marcgordon.ca