Friday, 16 October 2009

Ian from Holborn vs Social Media - internet highlights abusive London Underground worker

'Ian from Holborn' has become an internet celebrity this morning - but not in a good way.

Ian is a London Underground worker and was caught on camera abusing a passenger. The recipient of the abuse was an old man who had apparently been complaining about being trapped in the door of a previous train.

According to witness Johnathan MacDonald the old man was then sworn at, before this happened:

This is a great example of people power and citizen journalism. Johnathan's blog post and accompanying video have been linked to, discussed and retweeted across the internet - so much so that 'Holborn' became a Trending Topic on Twitter this morning.

The story has been picked up by various highly followed Twitter users. Like:

Derren Brown with 123,579 followers:

Derren Brown Ian from Holborn tweet

LDN (the London Twitter channel) with 25,454 followers:

LDN Ian from Holborn tweet

and even by the Mayor of London who wrote:

Mayor Of London (Boris Johnson) Ian from Holborn tweet

Other Twitter users have posted a link to a Facebook profile that looks like it belongs to 'Ian' (though I think this is probably going over the top) and all this activity has now seen the 'Ian from Holborn' story cross over into national mainstream media, with the Telegraph reporting 'Tube employee says elderly passenger should be 'slung under a train''.

Transport for London is a public body and people in London have little alternative to the Tube. However, in private business it is different. We have seen the 'disgusting Domino's employees', wayward staff running amock in ASDA stores and the DSG Employee Facebook group publicly discussing 'stupid customers'. As the 'viral' effects of social media increase the highlighting of poor employee behaviour will become more commonplace and more visible.

Tools and offerings are now available to monitor social sites and help companies respond to issues arising from employee conduct and customer service - would you be able to quickly respond to an issue like 'Ian' and prevent it affecting your brand / sales?

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Jon Restall said...

1) surely derren brown should have seen it coming

2) ian has a ponytail. unacceptable.

Nick Burcher said...

In his Facebook profile picture no ponytail, Ian is wearing his hair loose. Clearly ponytail is just a thing he does for work. Hope that makes you feel better.

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Niall Harbison said...

Wow I hadn't seen this before today! Shocking! That guy just has an agression problem and it is a shame that it paints the rest of the people working on London underground in such a bad way. Maybe people will start acting reasonably now that they see this sort of thing happening but I doubt it TBH