Vince Cauvin of Tabula Rosa: 5 Things We Can Each Do To Make Social Media And The Internet A Kinder…

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Vince Cauvin of Tabula Rosa: 5 Things We Can Each Do To Make Social Media And The Internet A Kinder And More Tolerant Place

People think it’s easy to hide in great numbers, and it is. They tend to flex their “social muscles” because they feel that they’re protected by the masses of online users. But the fact is that data bases follow those opinions and now they target you for advertising and commerce, but that could easily change to targeting because of opinion or philosophy. That’s the real danger I see in the future.

As a part of my interview series about the things we can each do to make social media and the internet a kinder and more tolerant place, I had the pleasure to interview Vincent Cauvin — CEO, Tabula Rasa, Inc.

Vincent has over 30 years of experience in technology, management, sales, business development, SaaS, consulting and leadership. He’s developed, sold, installed and supported over 3,000 applications into 600 hospitals in North America generating over $600 million in profits. To date Vincent Cauvin’s total efforts have generated over 1 billion dollars in sales and profits.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?

I started out in the 80’s as a programmer, quickly moved up the ranks to become the company’s first systems engineer and later supervised all systems engineering east of the Mississippi. After that I started developing our first AI healthcare based tool called Intellect which allowed people to type questions in everyday English and get the correct information in return. This was installed in over 600 hospitals from coast to coast generating over $600 million in profit. After that I helped create a web tool that would allow hospitals to brand themselves in the community which they served. In 2000 I left to pursue my own company, one that helped physicians and patients connect through telemedicine. We were a bit premature on that one. I then did a little consulting for HIPAA based telephony until I decided to retire and drive with my wife to Colorado, where we stopped at all the restaurants that we saw on Diner’s, Drive in’s and Dives. Once I arrived in Colorado, ten pounds heavier, I started thinking about social media and the problems they present and decided that some kind of action needed to take place and that was the beginning of

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

While I was working with the AI tool, Intellect. I had to go to a health system in Detroit to install that system on their main frame. This is when the Pistons were winning NBA championships. Apparently, this was sold in the board room because when I rolled up to do my thing, I discovered that no one knew anything about why I was there. It was a hostile environment to say the least. No one was giving me access to the computer, no sign on’s, no passwords etc. So, I could either fly back to Philly, where I was based, or I could try to be creative. So, using the mainframe back in Philly, I created an application that allowed you to ask English-like questions about the Detroit Pistons. Questions like “ how many points did Isaiah Thomas score last night”, or “what is Dennis Rodman’s rebounding average”. Well, that was just the ice breaker we needed, and I was allowed my to do my job, only I had to leave a copy of the Pitsons application on their main frame. Shaky start that ended well.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I was doing a set up and install at a large cancer clinic in Texas. After we uncrated the mainframe, I started putting our entire Healthcare Information System on the computer. I was still new at the job. All of this needed to happen in the wee hours of the morning. I was getting tired and while setting things up I inadvertently compressed the system nucleus file. I had no idea what this was, but it sounded very important, and I thought that I just ruined a 3 million dollar computer. So, as I said it was very late at night, about 3 A.M. and I’m freaking out. I ended up waking about a third of the high-level tech guys at our company and THEY had no idea what the ramifications were. Now it’s about 5 A.M., nothing has progressed, and we still didn’t know if I had broke the computer. We decided to get IBM involved and ended up waking quite of few of their tech personell. We personal finally got word that the sys1.nucleus file doesn’t do anything, and is doesn’t matter if it’s compressed or not. With that, about 50 of us were able to breathe again. I ended up working 36 straight hours trying to catch up on lost work and literally never came across that file ever again in my life.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

In 2016 I was watching the NFL draft and this kid, Laramie Tunsil, was expected to go number 1. He was a giant of an OL from one of the major programs (Ole Miss), but he dropped from number 1 to number 13 because ten minutes before the draft was set to begin, Tunsil’s Twitter account showed a video of him wearing a gas mask and smoking a bong. He lost $7 million in about an hour. I don’t have any idea what that’s like, but I do understand not getting the job you really want. I thought to myself that this seemed unfair; we’ve all done stupid things in school that are best kept unknown, but we didn’t document them. was born in that moment. We edit and erase Social Media Histories, because everyone, especially someone that young, deserves a second chance. Our team wants to protect our children from the pitfalls on Social Media. We want to make sure our military is safe from unseen enemies by removing any references to friends and family on Social Media while being deployed. We want to ease the pain felt by the loss of a loved one and we are working with funeral homes to that end. And, we want to help victims of abuse on their road to anonymity. You can see a video that explains who we are, and what we are trying to do as well as how far along we are, by going to

Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the main focus of our interview. Have you ever been publicly shamed or embarrassed on social media? Can you share with our readers what that experience felt like?

Not personally, but when I saw that kid on the NFL Draft, my heart sank. I really felt bad for him and his family. I can’t begin to fathom how embarrassed that made him feel.

What did you do to shake off that negative feeling?

I knew that I could provide the tools that would prevent this from happening to others and I got to work.

Have you ever posted a comment on social media that you regretted because you felt it was too harsh or mean?

No, I’m pretty careful about what I say or do on social media, but I have seen it and the posters have no idea how that may come back to haunt them.

When one reads the comments on Youtube or Instagram, or the trending topics on Twitter, a great percentage of them are critical, harsh, and hurtful. The people writing the comments may feel like they are simply tapping buttons on a keyboard, but to the one on the receiving end of the comment, it is very different. This may be intuitive, but I feel that it will be instructive to spell it out. Can you help illustrate to our readers what the recipient of a public online critique might be feeling?

The thing that worries me comes from both perspectives. First, when you write these hurtful comments you don’t know the mental state of the recipient. Words can be strong and powerful and could easily drive a person over the edge. There’s are better, more constructive ways to make your opinion felt and that should always be the first option when commenting. Second, writing that comment reflects on the writer also; is that the public image of yourself that you want to portray? You could easily be stepping on your own feet with that comment because it’ll be there forever unless you take it down. Anyone can see it and make similar judgements about you.

Do you think a verbal online attacks feels worse or less than a verbal argument in “real life”? How are the two different?

I think online attacks are much worse because you don’t know who is looking at that comment. In real life it’s just a difference of opinion between the two of you. No need to get the whole online world involved in your spat.

What long term effects can happen to someone who was shamed online?

I think that answer needs to come from those more qualified than I am. I do know that psychologists and psychiatrists will be debating that for years to come.

Many people who troll others online, or who leave harsh comments, can likely be kind and sweet people in “real life”. These people would likely never publicly shout at someone in a room filled with 100 people. Yet, on social media, when you embarrass someone, you are doing it in front of thousands of even millions of people, and it is out there forever. Can you give 3 or 4 reasons why social media tends to bring out the worst in people; why people are meaner online than they are in person?

People think it’s easy to hide in great numbers, and it is. They tend to flex their “social muscles” because they feel that they’re protected by the masses of online users. But the fact is that data bases follow those opinions and now they target you for advertising and commerce, but that could easily change to targeting because of opinion or philosophy. That’s the real danger I see in the future.

If you had the power to influence thousands of people about how to best comment and interact online, what would you suggest to them? What are your “5 things we should each do to help make social media and the internet, a kinder and more tolerant place”? Can you give a story or an example for each?

Just look at the Laramie Tunsil story, it’s a classic example of posting something that you thought was innocent and it comes back to bite you in later years.

  1. Treat each other with respect
  2. Be constructive in your criticism not destructive
  3. Never point to a flaw without a suggestion
  4. Talk to people like you would if they were standing in front of you
  5. And, would you want your mother to read this?

Freedom of speech prohibits censorship in the public square. Do you think that applies to social media? Do American citizens have a right to say whatever they want within the confines of a social media platform owned by a private enterprise?

This is the really tough question that confronts us all here and now. “While lovers of liberty in all lands have urged the necessity of freedom of speech, none put the case more pointedly than the French philosopher Voltaire when he said: “I disapprove of what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.””

With all of the recent activity on Facebook, I think it’s important to make our voices at heard. Although we have no opinion on the political status quo, we are disheartened by Facebook’s willingness to censor certain thoughts and ideas. Facebook is media; that’s why it’s called “Social Media” and we believe that what Facebook has done is to lead us down the slippery slope to censorship. Freedom of speech is not something to interpret, it is either free or not. Let’s make sure that our Constitution is upheld to the standards put forth by our founding fathers.

With that being said, I think we are at a crossroads. What we do next has tremendous impact on who we are and the freedoms we embrace. Let’s make sure we make the right decisions.

If you had full control over Facebook or Twitter, which specific changes would you make to limit harmful or hurtful attacks?

I wish I had an answer to this question. I believe it will be debated for years to come and I don’t envy the tremendous responsibility placed on the shoulders of the decision makers. One thing that I do feel is that this decision needs to have all Americans involved.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Never be afraid to ask for help; no one person has all the answers and what may seem insurmountable by you might be someone else’s strength.

We are blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

Charles Barkley, he is no stranger to the pitfalls of social media and I think he could offer some tremendous insights on the problem and perhaps a solution.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Facebook —

Twitter — @Social_shredder

LinkedIn — SocialShredder

You Tube — channel

Thank you so much for these insights! This was so inspiring!

Vince Cauvin of Tabula Rosa: 5 Things We Can Each Do To Make Social Media And The Internet A Kinder… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.