By Ben Haber
June 7th, 2011
If you’ve been watching the news lately, I’m sure you’ve seen the Rep. Anthony Weiner Twitter story. In short, he sent a picture of himself to a woman via Twitter. After denying he sent the picture for about a week (he claimed his Twitter account was hacked), Rep. Weiner finally admitted that he did indeed send the picture, but it was meant to be a direct message.
While the details of this story have supplied endless jokes for the late night comedy shows, it also shows that people have a fabricated sense of privacy. How many times have you heard about people mistakenly sending public tweets that were meant to be private, sending photos that weren’t meant to be shared, or posting a Facebook status that was meant to be a private message.
The social media snafus are endless, and a lot of high-profile people have been making them. Politicians, athletes, actors, musicians – everyone has had their fare share of mistakes. And it’s not just limited to people. Companies, such as Chrysler and Red Cross, have been victim of careless Twitter mistakes when employees published their own tweet to the company handle by mistake.
So what does this all mean? I think there are 3 valuable social media lessons we can learn from Rep. Weiner’s Twitter failure:
- Learn how to use social media: If you’re not sure how to use the platform correctly, you’ll probably make a mistake.
- Don’t be stupid: If you’re sharing something through social media, make sure it’s appropriate. Privacy is an illusion, just because you share something through a private message, doesn’t mean the person receiving that information won’t publicly distribute that content with one click.
- Be honest: If you make a mistake just admit it. Rep. Weiner attracted so much more attention to this story by lying about it, which dragged it on for an entire week. If you mess up admit it right away and move it.