Killing Opportunity …. Does It Matter?
"On June 5, 1968 for reasons known only to himself, Sirhan Sirhan fired a bullet into the head of Robert Kennedy at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, killing him.
"In May 2005 a Nashville man, for reasons known only to himself, used Wikipedia to fire a bullet directly into the reputation of John Seigenthaler, former Kennedy aide, civil rights hero, and newspaper publisher, character assassinating him to the core."
(John Seigenthaler was) the assistant to AG Robert Kennedy in the early 1960s. For a brief time, he was thought to have been directly involved in the Kennedy assassinations of both John, and his brother, Bobby. Nothing was ever proven … John moved to the Soviet Union in 1971 and returned to the US in 1984.
Was it correct? Did it matter?
It did to John. At age 78,” he wrote in USA Today, “I thought I was beyond surprise or hurt at any negative said about me. I was wrong. One sentence in the biography was true. I was Robert Kennedy’s administrative assistant in the early 1960s. I also was his pallbearer.”
Did it really harm Seigenthaler?
We say YES. Seigenthaler's character was assassinated. Not the man himself–but his reputation, his avatar constructed of actions and words spoken and written.
When this happens, more than a shadow self is murdered. Opportunity is murdered. Carefully tended brands, businesses, jobs, celebrities, talent, and personal relationships can all be permanently altered due to untruths.
— from Digital Assassination, Protecting Your Reputation, Brand or Business Against Online Attacks by Richard Torrenzano & Mark Davis