Free Speech in the Digital Age: Jefferson Keith Langley and Ima Sumac Watkins Share Their Experience with a Cyber Bully

Free Speech in the Digital Age: Jefferson Keith Langley and Ima Sumac Watkins Share Their Experience with a Cyber Bully

This past March on Love Liberty & Lip Gloss, host Donna Lyons addressed a critical topic in the digital age: cyber bullying. While many of us tend to think of it as a problem that affects mostly teenagers, the truth is, anyone can be a victim.

Jefferson Keith Langley and Ima Sumac Watkins know from personal experience that this is true.

First, a little background.

I “met” Jefferson in cyberspace via Donna, when she mentioned his interest in being a host on the Writestream Radio Network. As with many other solid, genuine people I’ve met online, I developed an easy friendship with him. Having known Donna for several years (even though we’ve not yet met in person), I trusted her judgement and after several conversations with Jefferson, had no doubts about the depth of his character.

Soon after, we made plans for him to broadcast The Formula: What Is It?  The show airs on the fourth Tuesday of the month, featuring entrepreneurs at various levels of experience, who reveal their unique “formula” for success.

However, as Ima stated in the interview, it’s natural in the Digital Age for people to conduct internet searches on others. I’ll admit I did that with Jefferson, mainly because I was impressed by the scope and depth of his career and wanted to know more. Intuitively, I knew I was dealing with a decent, honest person, which is why it was so disheartening to come across several slanderous posts about him.

Jefferson Keith Langley.

As the owner of an internet-based business that collaborates with a variety of clients and personalities, I’m aware that anyone at any time could take to their keyboard with the intention to slander my character and harm my company’s reputation. For that reason, I save all email correspondence and document all communication with every client. I won’t pretend I don’t make mistakes; I’m human, after all. But I do my best to explain the self-publishing process, maintain a schedule, and deliver a quality product. When necessary, I own up to my errors and correct them asap.

But Jefferson and Ima’s harrowing story is definitely a wake-up call, whether or not you own a business. It’s too easy for an individual to destroy good people and companies just by taking to their computer keyboards and publishing outright lies. Because the burden of proof falls on the victim and not the cyber bully, it’s nearly impossible to remove the offensive posts — and sadly, most people are quick to believe the worst.

In Jefferson and Ima’s case, this meant a significant loss of income and clients as their business dried up. Worse, the damage to their reputations made it difficult to even find a “pay the bills” job to support their basic needs. To their credit, they persisted. I highly recommend listening to the interview by clicking below.

When I came discovered the negative internet posts about Jefferson, I recognized them as a desperate attempt to discredit a good man and his business partner. Yes, I thought about calling him up to discuss it. Then I figured he’d already dealt with enough garbage and let it go.

What was the point of dredging it up with him when I’d already concluded that this was the work of a deranged individual?

As I got to know Jefferson better over a period of several months, my faith in him was vindicated. Because I produced his monthly show, we maintained regular contact via phone conversations and text messages. I’ve also seen the multiple glowing testimonials on Facebook from happy clients who have experienced amazing results in their businesses, thanks to his expert coaching.

I support his efforts to change the laws to adjust to the Digital Age. I’m a huge proponent of free speech, but free speech should not condone personal and professional destruction by dishonest, amoral people who leverage the easy opportunity the internet provides for “revenge.” In Jefferson’s case, the perpetrator — a woman — became obsessed with him in a classic case of “fatal attraction” (though thankfully, he’s alive and well today…unlike the wife of a CEO he knows who was the target of a smear campaign, a story he shares in the interview with Donna).

Again, I highly recommend listening to Jefferson and Ima’s on-air account of their experience with a cyber bully who nearly destroyed them — personally and professionally. It’s a cautionary tale for everyone, especially business-owners who work closely with clients. Thankfully, they managed to turn things around and have gone on to achieve greater success. As a result of what they have endured, they are also determined to draft legislation and petition Congress to address this crucial issue.

I’m grateful to Jefferson and Ima for their courage, honesty, and willingness to take a stand for integrity. Circumstances reveal character, and in their case, their horrific experience at the hands of a sick individual has proven that they each possess a strong, solid, and inspiring one.

A final word of advice: question EVERYTHING you read online, do your homework, and, if necessary, confront the person with the information you find on the internet. Give them a chance to defend themselves. Don’t just blindly trust “anonymous” sources who may have nothing more than an ax to grind, simply because they can get away with it.

In the Digital Age, the Golden Rule applies more than ever.

Discover more about Jefferson and the services he provides at ABETHIA.com and Artitechtronix.com.

Follow Ima Sumac Watkins on Instagram and about.me.

Need help with copy writing, independent publishing, or ghostwriting? Contact me here.

 

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The Writestream Welcomes Entrepreneur Jefferson Keith Langley, ‘The Human Architect’

The Writestream Welcomes Entrepreneur Jefferson Keith Langley, ‘The Human Architect’

I’m excited to welcome my friend, accomplished athlete, entrepreneur and Writestream Radio host Jefferson Keith Langley to The Writestream on Wednesday, July 26 at 11 AM Eastern, just ahead of his one-year Writestream Radio anniversary. Late last summer, Donna Lyons told me Jefferson had an interest in hosting his own show, which became The Formula: What Is It? I’m grateful for his contributions to the network, which include highlighting entrepreneurs in various phases of their respective journeys to inform and inspire others. It’s an excellent broadcast for anyone seeking motivation from real people who have shared similar struggles and triumphs in the business world.

Jefferson has an impressive (and long!) bio, which we will discuss in full during our time together on Wednesday. Here’s a bit about his background:

Jefferson Keith Langley, of Latin, Native American Indian, and Anglo heritage, had the winning mindset from a young age when he excelled in sports. He captained numerous sports teams to championships at top club levels and high school. This gave him an essential foundation for success and achievement while following his passions. After leaving college early, he moved Los Angeles from Texas at 19, where he got a contract to go pro for an L.A.-based team called L.A. Italia, which pays tribute to his elite training at a high level. Jefferson began his twenty-year career in entertainment, TV and media working as an assistant for numerous top people and companies. He co-founded a boutique production and finance company with an investor from Silicon Valley where he was President of Development and Production for over two years, handling day-to-day operations, business affairs strategies to diversify the company portfolio, optioning material, negotiating deals, leading writer meetings, while managing, developing and raising funds for the slate of projects. He has been hired by film financiers to consult and write materials for fantasy thrillers and comedies as well.

Jefferson expanded his spectrum and became a top adviser/consultant across all industries. His unique, cutting-edge, one-of-a-kind techniques and innovative applications continue to garner rave reviews from his colleagues and clients through their referrals and recommendations. Jefferson’s knack for seeing to the core of things, coming up with innovative solutions, and providing guidance and execution all the way through to reaching the finish line garnered him the personal title, THE HUMAN ARCHITECT.

Discover more about Jefferson on his LinkedIn profile and on the Writestream Radio Guest Hosts Page. To stream the interview on Wednesday, July 26 at 11 AM Eastern, click on The Writestream Welcomes Jefferson Keith Langley, The Human Architect. If you prefer to listen by phone, dial (347) 945-7246.

UPDATE: Missed the live episode? Click to listen to an insightful interview.

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Love Liberty & Lip Gloss with Donna Lyons, Jefferson Keith Langley and Ima Sumac Watkins on Cyber Bullying

Love Liberty & Lip Gloss with Donna Lyons, Jefferson Keith Langley and Ima Sumac Watkins on Cyber Bullying

Last night, Love Liberty & Lip Gloss host Donna Lyons welcomed guests Jefferson Keith Langley and Ima Sumac Watkins to discuss their horrific ordeal with cyber bullying. Thanks to the malicious intent and actions of one disturbed individual, these two entrepreneurs nearly lost everything: their businesses, reputation, and personal relationships — even their ability to obtain a menial “pay the bills” job to tend to the most basic necessities.

It’s bad enough in a Digital Age that vulnerable teenagers are targets of this vile crime, but last night, listening to these two professionals share their story made me realize that no one is immune. And the worst part is, the way the law works, the burden of proof is on the victim, not the criminal. Furthermore, because the internet and social media make it easy for anyone to hide behind a computer screen and keyboard, producing the evidence that will stand up in court is next to impossible.

As the co-founder and co-owner of Writestream Publishing and Writestream Radio, I deal with a variety of clients and personalities. Some projects are more time-consuming and challenging than others. And although I always do my best and strive for excellence in every effort, I am only human. I’ve had to correct mistakes. Thankfully, everyone I’ve dealt with so far understands this.

But Jefferson and Ima’s story opened my eyes to the reality of running a business in an era of new technology. Much to their credit, they never gave up and battled their way back. You can listen to their full interview below, which I highly recommend.

Listeners of Writestream Radio know that Jefferson joined the network last November as the host of The Formula. As Donna’s friend, he’d been a guest on her show before, which led him to inquire about hosting his own program. After speaking with Jefferson and hearing his ideas, I happily offered him a monthly slot, which I produce. I could tell right away that he was a person of good character — and not just by virtue of the fact that he was a friend of a trusted friend.

As Ima mentions in the interview, most human beings today do an internet search on people, whether out of natural curiosity or palpable suspicion. With respect to Jefferson, I did my own internet search because his background and accomplishments were so impressive, I wanted to know more. That’s when I came across some alarming, vicious posts about him and Ima, which I dismissed outright. After thinking it over, I decided not to confront Jefferson, figuring he’d already spent countless hours and energy reclaiming his life and reputation. Besides, my intuition told me he was a man of honor. I had no reason to take the word of a coward with a computer and an intention to smear. I’m grateful he and Ima had the opportunity to give a detailed account of their experience on the air. Rather than wallow in the unfairness of it all, they have chosen to rise above it and become even better people.

Ultimately, their cautionary tale has inspired me to be increasingly mindful in all of my interactions, to continue documenting all communications, and to practice discernment with every client, potential client, and person who crosses my path. It also reminded me of a recent caller to Just Believe with Ilene Gottlieb, who had also been a victim of cyber-bullying. My heart broke for this poor woman as she explained that her reputation had been shredded, thanks to a liar with a keyboard and an internet connection (paraphrasing slightly). Since forewarned is forearmed, I’m reaping the benefits of others’ experience and encourage my readers to do the same.

To learn the truth about Jefferson and his work, visit ABETHIA.com and Artitechtronix.com. To learn the truth about Ima Sumac Watkins, follow her on Instagram and click on About.me.

 

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Four Years of Writestream Radio

Four Years of Writestream Radio

Thanks to LinkedIn, I received a reminder that Writestream Radio is now  four years old. Between out-of-state visitors and Writestream Publishing projects, I’d forgotten all about it. It’s hard to believe, but at the time I was freelancing as a ghostwriter, copywriter, content writer and blogger. I thought an internet radio network would help my clients (and other authors) become more comfortable with discussing their books.

After publishing the first edition of Water Signs in 2008, I soon discovered that people were as interested in me as they were in my novel — which surprised me a little. That’s when I realized how critical it was for indie authors to put themselves out there in cyberspace and real life. Having spent the previous four years co-hosting a political show, I saw firsthand the power of internet radio to connect authors with their audience. And since many authors I knew had an aversion to public speaking, it also provided a non-threatening forum to discuss their work since it’s off-camera. (Ah, the days before Facebook Live 😉 ).

With that in mind, I contacted Lisa Tarves and John Gresham to ask if they wanted their own shows on the network. After they happily accepted, we began airing the Sunday of the first week of March 2013 with Just Believe with Lisa Tarves.

Sadly, our friend John Gresham passed away in July of 2016, but his memory and voice live on in the form of multiple excellent Military Monday broadcasts, which can be accessed on our Blog Talk Radio Show Page.

Today, our network broadcasts a variety of unique, uplifting, and informative programming:

Just Believe with Ilene Gottlieb ~ The Heart Healer

The Mentor In Me on Writestream Radio

Create Your Life with Tasha Chen

Partners in Crime with Sue Coletta and Kimberly McGath

The Formula with Jefferson Keith Langley

Love Liberty & Lip Gloss with Donna Lyons

Speculative Fiction Cantina with S. Evan Townsend

Get Fit Feel Fabulous with Britt

 

After a several month hiatus, I’ll be back to weekly hosting on Wednesdays at 11 AM Eastern, beginning on April 5 with The Writestream with Daria Anne. Write. Publish. Succeed. And soon, Kris Kees will be hosting a weekly money/finance program, Kees to Invest. I’ll post more details as we get closer to his debut.

Thank you to all of our exceptional hosts and listeners. We appreciate you and look forward to many more years of top-notch broadcasting!

 

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