Update 11/4/2015: We’ve confirmed that Steven L. Johnson is not listed as a “Brand Manager/Admin” on the EmpireKred website. He remains a leader of EmpireKred.
Steven L. Johnson, Ph.D (@stevenljohnson) is an educator, and a former Brand Manager/Admin at social media gaming company, Empire Avenue (since renamed EmpireKred).
Why would a Brand Manager/Admin not respond to a safety threat to his own customer?
This negates a key safety provision of Twitter’s and leaves Gareth Davies free to attack and harass customers of Empire Avenue’s (or whoever else he abuses.)
EmpireKred has not made clear if Professor Johnson still holds that title, as Kred has not been forthcoming with much information subsequent to their buying Empire Avenue .
Edit 11/4/2015: Confirmed Professor Johnson is no longer listed as a Brand Manager/Admin on the Empire.Kred site.
One customer describes the takeover as “creepy.”
Professor Johnson authored the following study, entitled…
while employed at Temple University.
Professor Johnson was asked the following direct question as to whether people from Empire Avenue were involved in the research.
Professor Johnson failed to provide a direct response.
Were Empire Avenue customers involved?
This is an entirely fair question given the documented history of Empire Avenue.
According to Chris Voss of The Chris Voss Show, nationally recognized social media expert,
Empire Avenue Fail 5 post overview: Over 5 posts on my blogs I documented issues with Empire Avenue, from their rogue volunteers, running a “wall of shame” on Brands, attacking Brands reputations online, not answering complaints, having a “goon squad” of endorsed volunteers attacking customers who complained, refusing to discipline internally thereby encouraging more attacks on Brands, etc. What I witnessed was the worst travesty in the annals of customer service I have ever seen. After a month of private discussions with EA to change things, I went public. Only then did they begin to change, but the attacks on me and others grew by their “goon squad.” In the end, I went to EA’s Angel Investor and EA had to shut down its Chat Room and Chat Mod “goons squad.” EA shamelessly has never apologized or produced it damning chat logs as promised by their CEO. This is one of those posts, you can read the rest by Search in the upper right for ‘Empire.’ Don’t play EA or if you do save your REAL money.
A COMPANY NEEDS TO PROTECT ITS CUSTOMERS! I think we can all agree it’s morally wrong for customers to be abused for complaints and speaking out. Its even sicker when those people are allowed to continue and the company does nothing.
Professor Johnson was mentioned in, and apparently ignored Gareth Davies (@me_gareth) admission that he cannot be blocked on Twitter.
Obviously this raises many profound ethical questions for Professor Johnson, at least.
Have Empire Avenue customers unknowingly been “observed” and their reactions included in any research conducted by Professor Johnson?
When does “observation” become “participation”?
Is it when you are in an authority position at Empire Avenue as not only a “Leader” (Professor Johnson’s Empire Avenue profile has the “leadership” badge), but an appointed Brand Manager/Admin?
Is your child (or anyone else) “fair game” if they happen to be a customer of Empire Avenue’s and a student at the university at which he now teaches, the University of Virginia McIntire School of Commerce?
Why would an authority figure, and business school educator ignore that the business he’s a Brand Manager/Admin at is abusing their customers on a social media platform whose market they rely upon for their business?
Gareth Davies has been suspended by Twitter for tweeting a customers private information and violent threats.
He has been warned for non violent threats.
Additionally, Team Leader Nance Larson (@nancelarson) participated in doxing a customer, Leader Chris Sandys (@usafa_93) was warned for non violent threats, and Keith Gill (@Digitalkeith) had his twitter account locked.
Empire Avenue Leaders were advertised as.
All at a company this “educator” is (was?) a Brand Manager/Admin at.
Example (doxing a customer)
Why would Professor Johnson not stop such outrageous conduct?
Gareth Davies even announces his intent to bully myself, a customer of Empire Avenue…
Abuse by Empire Avenue leaders of their own customers on Twitter led to a CA DoJ inquiry into Twitter, and the SF DA’s office twice opened files.
Gareth Davies was a central figure in that travesty of abuse of their own customers which Professor Johnson ignored.
I predict some of the world will obsessively read and try to stop such consumer advocacy blogging.
The rest of the world will probably avoid the company.