In a few weeks, we’re going to have my friend Erik Qualman on the 60 Second Marketer to give us some tips on how to use social media for business. Erik is the author of Socialnomics as well as Digital Leader (affiliate links).
In preparing for the upcoming interview, I took another spin through Digital Leader, which, in addition to having some great content, is an extraordinarily well-written book.
One of the topics Erik discusses is the impact digital transparency is having on our lives. In the book, he provides a list of 14 embarrassing social media moments. I thought I’d share them here to give you a sense of what makes Digital Leader such a readable book.
1. Congressman Weiner lives up to his name: New York Congressman Andrew Weiner resigned from his post after it was discovered he’d been texting and tweeting nude and lewd photographs of himself to several women. The married Weiner adamantly denied any wrongdoing, indicating his account had been hacked. Weiner eventually admitted guilt when several incriminating “self-portrait” photos were revealed.
2. Fitbit leaks sex stats to Google: Fitbit is a small chip used to help record your exercise activity – information that is then put into an online profile. One of the exercise activities included is sex. A problem arose when it was found that the privacy default setting on the online profiles was set to public. Therefore, when certain people’s names were typed into Google’s search box a history of their sexual activity showed up through Fitbit. Making it worse was the fact that terms like “moderate effort” were often associated with the activity.
3. Tiger Woods: A myriad of text messages, and related physical rendezvous, with multiple women cost Woods his marriage, millions in endorsements, and affected his performance on the golf course – causing him to lose his number one Professional Golf Association (PGA) ranking for the first time in five years.
4. Chrysler flames Detroit drivers: Similar to the Red Cross example, Chrysler’s social media agency accidentally sent this tweet on behalf of the auto company: I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to f$%#@ng drive. The agency employee that made the error – thinking he was sending via his personal account – was fired that day. Chrysler also fired the agency.
5. Secret Service bored: A member of the secret service mistakenly thought he was posting to his own Twitter account, but instead his disapproval of Fox News went out on behalf of the entire secret service: Had to monitor Fox for a story. Can’t. Deal. With. The. Blathering.
6. School teacher fired: A Massachusetts high school teacher was fired for posting on Facebook: I’m so not looking forward to another year at Cohasset Schools. She added that the community was arrogant and snobby. “I made a stupid mistake, it may have cost me m y career,” she said.
7. Google sets trap for Microsoft: Google had a suspicion that Microsoft’s search engine Bing was stealing and mirroring the search results from Google. Google made up a few fake words and seeded them into the Google search results. Sure enough, Bing’s search engine was soon showing these fictitious results.
8. Craigslist Congressman: Married Republican Christopher Lee sent a topless picture of himself to a woman he met on a “Women Seeking Men” forum on craigslist.org. I’m a very fit fun classy guy. Live in Cap Hill area. 6ft 190 lbs blond/blue. 39. Lobbyist. I promise not to disappoint. Those disappointed were his wife and young son. Lee even lied about his age (he was 46 not 39). Lee resigned from his post.
9. Kenneth Cole: During the Egyptian Revolution which as being aided by twitter and Facebook, Kenneth Cole decided to tweet: Millions are in uproar in #Cario. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online. Make light of a serious situation caused the company’s pockets to be lighter as many protestors boycotted the clothing line.
10. NFL cheerleader: An 18-year-old NFL cheerleader was kicked off the squad (New England Patriots) after photos on Facebook showed her posing with a passed-out man covered in offensive marker drawings.
11. Take the year off: A U.S. employee of Anglo-Irish Bank asked his boss for Friday off to attend a family matter. Then someone posted a photo on Facebook of him at a party the same evening holding a wand and wearing a tutu. Everyone at work discovered the lie.
12. Embarrassing your son: Andy Murray, a world-ranked British tennis star was embarrassed by his mother’s tweet at Wimbledon. It used to be that your mom could only embarrass you by cheering too loud. But, when Judy Murray tweeted about Murray’s opponent, Feliciano Lopez of Spain, Oooooooooh Deliciano…looking good out there. As always, it took embarrassment to a whole new level.
13. Fired before starting: A young woman was happy to receive a job offer from Cisco. Not sure whether to take the job she posted on Twitter, Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work. The company revoked the offer tweeting: Who is the hiring manager? I’m sure they would love to know you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the Web.
14. Gottfried’s own natural disaster: Comedian Gilbert Gottfried started tweeting jokes about Japan right after tens of thousands were killed by the 2011 Tsunami. It cost him his job as the voice of the Aflack duck.
Posted by Jamie Turner, Founder of the 60 Second Marketer and co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile.” He is also a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.