Digital Assassination

Protecting Your Reputation, Brand, or Business Against Online Attacks

Richard Torrenzano and Mark Davis

St. Martin's Press

Two leading reputation experts reveal how the internet is being used to destroy brands, reputations and even lives, and how to fight back. 

From false Wikipedia entries, to fake YouTube videos, to Facebook lynch mobs, everyone from CEOs to fashion models, journalists to politicians, restaurateurs to doctors, is open to character assassination in the burgeoning realm of digital media.

Two top media experts recount vivid tales of character attacks, provide specific advice on how to counter them, and how to turn the tables on the attackers. Having spent decades preparing for and coping with these issues, Richard Torrenzano and Mark Davis share their secrets on dealing with problems at the top of today’s news.

Torrenzano and Davis also take a step back to look at how the past might inform our future thinking about character assassination, from the slander wars between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, to predictions on what the end of privacy will mean for civilization.


Read an Excerpt

Digital Assassination
1:// The Digital Mosh PitON JUNE 5, 1968, for reasons known only to himself, Sirhan Sirhan fired a bullet into the head of Robert F. Kennedy at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, killing him.In May 2005, a Nashville man, for reasons known only to himself, used Wikipedia to fire a bullet directly into the reputation of John Seigenthaler, former Kennedy aide, civil rights hero, and newspaper publisher, character assassinating him to the core.The Wikipedia entry reported that Seigenthaler:  was the assistant to Attorney General Robert Kennedy in the early 1960's. For


Praise for Digital Assassination

“Torrenzano and Davis blend a compelling narrative, killer anecdotes and page-turning prose into a sober and worrying account of what happens when the darker side of human nature harnesses the connectedness and anonymity of today's web.  Their Digital Assassination should be in the hands of anyone who has a good name--or a good business--to protect.” —Mike Hayden, former Director, Central Intelligence Agency;  former Director, National Security Agency

“Digital Assassination provides a compass --as well as a road map-- for navigating the potholes, pitfalls and landmines of our new digital world.  It is a must read from every CEO and top executive.” —Dick Grasso, former Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, New York Stock Exchange

"Do you have a good reputation? Then be sure to protect it by reading "Digital Assassination" where the authors lay out seven ways you and your company can be irreparably harmed at the speed of a Twitter post. Knowledge is power, so pay heed to the keen and timely advice here."—Charlene Li, Author of Groundswell and Open Leadership, Founder of Altimeter Group

"The Net is a reflection of everything good and bad in society, and as such has a dark side.  Everyone and every organization needs to manage their reputation and protect themselves when they go online. That's the critical message of Digital Assassination." —Don Tapscott, best selling author, most recently Grown Up Digital and Macrowikinomics

“Sticks and stones may break your bones, names will ruin your reputation, cost you jobs and contracts, and destroy your career—online they will.  Digital Assassination represents an indispensible—and, let it be said, completely engrossing—manual of self-defense.—Peter Robinson, fellow at the Hoover Institution, founder of Ricochet.com, and former speechwriter to President Reagan

Digital Assassination is incredibly timely. It unveils Internet attacks by invisible destructive villains, while offering actionable solutions to defend personal reputations and corporate brands.--Michael Jones, Chief Operating Office, Public Broadcasting System (PBS)



Reviews from Goodreads



  • Richard Torrenzano and Mark Davis

  • RICHARD TORRENZANO is chief executive of The Torrenzano Group, a New York strategic communications and high-stakes issues management firm that helps organizations “take control of how they are perceived.” For almost a decade he was a member of the New York Stock Exchange’s Management and Executive committees. He has managed some of the most visible global corporate crises in our lifetime.

    MARK DAVIS is a former White House speechwriter and a senior director of the Washington-based White House Writers Group, where he has consulted with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), as well as with some of the nation’s leading telecommunications, information technology and defense-aerospace companies. He is a frequent lecturer, writer and blogger on politics, technology, and the future.

  • Richard Torrenzano
    Richard Torrenzano
  • Mark Davis


Richard Torrenzano Mark Davis

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Digital Assassination

Protecting Your Reputation, Brand, or Business Against Online Attacks

Richard Torrenzano and Mark Davis



St. Martin's Press