Robert J. Ambrogi is telling tales. This one involves a soldier supposedly dishonorably discharged for gang rape, a critical blawger, and a whole slew of unsuspecting lawyers participating online – myself included.
As Mark Bennett puts it,
Clearly, Wayne Conley has more than one screw loose.
Bennett’s criticism angered Conley, who accused Bennett and other lawyers of destroying the California lawyer’s reputation. Ambrogi explains how Conley reacted,
Conley embarked on a vendetta against Bennett and others, posting comments on his and other blogs and on Twitter under fake identities, writing fake reviews on Avvo, and even threatening to seek Bennett’s disbarment. His greatest “success” came under the Twitter handle “asshatlawyer,” an account under which he was able to engage in head-to-head battles with several lawyers.
I briefly mentioned Benninghoff on Blawg Review 228, which somehow got me in Conley’s sights as well when he followed me and nominated me as an “Ass-Hat Lawyer.” (n.b. Slaw is hosting Blawg Review 249 on Feb. 1, 2010).
I wasn’t alone though, because a few other lawyers got caught up in it too. Scott Greenfield provides his description of what happened,
…by following lawyers, many, many lawyers, their vanity kicked in and the notion of accumulating followers without having any clue who they might be overcame whatever judgment these lawyers might have. Asshat Lawyer followed them and they followed back. Woohoo! Another follower! How important I am!
I know for myself that I follow-back anyone who looks human and is not a spammer. A headshot, link to a real website, and legitimate content are usually proof enough for me.
remember this Rule when using social media – http://bit.ly/5iPJi1 not following, could be disastrous IMHO
So, what do you think? Follow-back everyone? Or perhaps now follow more carefully, knowing there are people like Conley out there, who are not just interested in spamming, but in engaging in pointless conflicts?
Regardless, Ambrogi claims this story might be the strangest social media story of the year, and he just might be right.