Posted by: paulfbove | July 20, 2008

Social Media–It’ll bite you in the ass.

A co-worker sent me this article on Friday. It’s about people getting screwed because of something they posted to social networking sites like Facebook or MySpace. In this case, 

Two weeks after Joshua Lipton was charged in a drunken driving crash that seriously injured a woman, the 20-year-old college junior attended a Halloween party dressed as a prisoner. Pictures from the party showed him in a black-and-white striped shirt and an orange jumpsuit labeled “Jail Bird.”

The result: The prosecutor presented Lipton as “unrepentant”, and the judge sentenced him to 2 years of prison.

We’ve all heard stories about people getting in trouble when somebody Google’s their name, or perhaps they lose a job offer because HR found something salacious online. But going to prison over photos is new. One of my favorite stories is from a buddy of mine who worked on Wall St. A few years ago, his banking firm hired a new college grad. My friend and his co-workers Googled the kids name and the first hit was a police blotter story about him getting arrested for public urination at his college. HR didn’t fire him or anything like that, but he did get ribbed by his co-workers for being busted for pissing.

It seems like you hear more and more stories about people not getting hired because of bad online pictures or posts, so moral of the story is to keep yourself in check. Those cleavage shots while pounding tequila in Cancun might be fun to share with your friends, but the firm you applied to might not like them as much. Mind your online reputation people. Social networking could bite you in the ass. 

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