Social networks are never private

UPDATE: Anthony Weiner resigned his U.S. Congressional seat on June 16, 2011.


We can all learn from the sordid tale of U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner.

Until recently, I've admired his PR-savvy approach to the media. He was great on camera and he’d appear on cable news stations like CNN and MSNBC frequently, getting out in front of stories and telling it like he sees it. (Note this is a PR comment, not a political one).


He also took to Twitter via @RepWeiner and, until recently, I thought he did a good job on social networks.

But about a week ago, a website posted a photo that was claimed to be Rep. Weiner in his underwear that was sent to a young woman via a social network.

For days, Rep. Weiner denied that he sent the photo and in media interviews said that his Twitter account had been “hacked.”

This afternoon, in a tearful apology, he said the photo sent through his @RepWeiner Twitter account was, indeed, his wiener.



Please, people!

Social networks are never private.

Don't use social networks to send inappropriate things!

If your mother would say it is wrong, it probably is. Never send anything that doesn't pass your mother test.

There are so many ways to get found out.

You risk the company IT people snooping, your spouse seeing, or a receiving party ratting.

Don't even joke about inappropriate things because your stupidity could end up with hitting the "send" button by accident.

Just don't do it. It's just not worth the risk to your career and your personal relationships.

But if you do make a ridiculous mistake, DEFINITELY come clean right away!

It's a real-time world.

You get points for admitting a mistake quickly.

Don't compound stupidity with a lie and a cover-up.

David Meerman Scott

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