We have a fundamental tenet in our Western societies – innocent until proven guilty. The problem we have now is simply that reputation pivots faster via the social Web than can be adjudged in the courtroom.

I have no idea whatsoever whether Dominique Strauss-Kahn did or did not rape or sexually molest the hotel maid. But he has already lost his job heading up the International Monetary Fund. His chances to run for senior government office are dashed. If he's found guilty, then you might say all's well and good, but he is currently innocent until proven guilty, and may never be found guilty. Charges may even be dropped. Where's the "all's well and good" in that?

This trend is significant for reputation management – of organisations as well as individuals.

And yet given the radical and real-time transparency of the social Web, I've been saying recently that 'reality is perception'. I posit that this is a more relevant axiom today than the one that dominated the 20th Century, 'perception is reality'. Am I not, therefore, contradicted here? Read more