Online reps are just as important as real ones.
This isn’t the first time I’ve blogged about this and I know it won’t be the last, but be careful online mi amigos. The latest victim is famed New York Representative Anthony Weiner (I respectfully refuse to make any puns). Anthony made a mistake on Twitter and it’s costing him big time. If you’re not familiar with Twitter, you can send messages (140 characters max) for the world to see or to a specific individual or group of people. The Representative took a lewd picture and accidentally sent it off to the entire Twitterverse instead of the woman it was meant for. Needless to say it quickly caught fire and people in his own party are asking him to resign. Ooops.
Here is my take on it. People (myself included) who use social media (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Blogs, etc.) need to pay attention to their online reputation and be careful. If a mistake is made or not made (I’m talking to you Natalie Munroe) then watch out! There can be dire consequences.
Anthony and Natalie may not lose their jobs, but their reputation is destroyed (at least right now). Anthony won’t be re-elected and Natalie won’t be respected (if she keeps her job that is) as an educator. There is no recourse for them right now; it’s beyond their control. Whether it’s right or wrong (from any perspective) is not the point. This is not a privacy issue anymore. This has become a public issue and the public can be brutal as a judge, and who is to blame? In my opinion it’s the source. Anthony and Natalie put it out there. They took a risk and published something online for a select audience. Since it was published online, it became the public’s to do with as they saw fit.
So be safe, take care, and be responsible out there my friends on the web.