This is now becoming a real issue within the con community. Social media is beginning to lead concoms to second guess their decisions on the guests they have invited. It’s beginning to happen more and more, and it’s a very slippery slope.
So, let’s dig into whether you should un-invite a guest. My first reaction is to ask, “What did the guest do to get uninvited?” I think too often cons react to social media without really doing any investigation into the allegations. Of course, if concoms did more vetting in the beginning, it would help, but sometimes even that doesn’t uncover everything.
As a concom, if you find yourself in a [crap] storm due to your decision to invite a guest, the best thing you can do is say, “We hear you and will be investigating this situation fully. Once we have made our decision, we will make a public announcement of our plans. Please be patient as we work through this decision.”
Keep in mind that sometimes social media warriors are simply reacting to things which are greatly exaggerated. It’s best to do your due diligence and find out as many facts as possible. This is where you will need to do a “deep dive” into the situation and uncover as much of the truth as you can. This includes contacting the guest for their side of the story.
You must make a truly informed decision. I can’t stress this enough.
If you find that you have made an error in judgement, contact the guest and explain the situation. Understand, though, that if you un-invite a guest, you will be alienating their fans as well. You will need to decide if you will do further damage to your con if make this move.
Once the guest is informed, you need to prepare a brief statement. Don’t get into specifics as to why you made the choice you did, just that you made a thorough investigation and made a choice which you believe is in the best interest of the con and its members.
Side note: thorough investigations rarely take less than 3-4 days.