Mama Deb (mamadeb) wrote,
Mama Deb

Timing of apologies

Even in the best of circumstances - when there is nothing else going on, when there is space for thought - if one makes a major mistake, it takes time to apologize. The worst thing one can do is to just rattle off a statement without considering all the ramifications. In fact, we saw just that in barak25's response to CNET - poorly worded, panicked and, over and above talking to the press before the users, making things worse.

And this was not the best of circumstances. They weren't sitting around thinking, "Okay, that's done." As soon as the suspensions happened, they got complaints, and they had to be operating in complete panic mode from then on.

Panic mode is a bad time to make apologies.

It's even worse when everyone (and for good reason - I especially approve of maxing out the comments in news because it showed we were more than passive users and why we were angry. I still have some doubts about fandom_counts, but this? This was well done.) starts complaining and posting and linking and so on at once.

So - the fact that he apologized in 30 hours? And that he did it well - not perfectly, but well (We made a big mistake. It was our fault. We're very sorry for making the mistake and for all the harm we caused, and we are working to correct it as fast as we can. This is why we made this mistake and we did it wrong, and we are very sorry. No defensiveness, no insulting the users, just sincerity and, okay, fear.) - it's impressive.

I'd rather have a well-thought out apology than one that makes things worse.

And I thank gmth for what she said.
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