When Facebook was found, again, to have improperly shared the personal information of millions of its users last year, it had to be dragged in front of the US Congress to explain itself. Facebook said that “mistakes were made” and that “they should have done better.” Somehow, that left me feeling that they weren’t really sorry about the angst caused, and perhaps that they had done it on purpose.
When 130 Twitter accounts were compromised last week, Twitter soon issued a statement stating “We’re embarrassed, we’re disappointed, and more than anything, we’re sorry. We know that we must work to regain your trust, and we will support all efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice. We hope that our openness and transparency throughout this process, and the steps and work we will take to safeguard against other attacks in the future, will be the start of making this right.”
Twitter’s statement alone restored my trust. It made be believe that they were truly caught off guard, that they originally had defenses in place that they believed would protect its users, and that they will not rest until the problem is fixed.
When trust is broken, we can make two types of statements. One that will build trust, or one that will further destroy it.