Now I'm not getting into details, it's past, it's gone, it's water under the bridge but a good lesson in social media etiquette. A few people I am very close to were in a round about way accused of cheating in a contest. Now as high schoolish as this may sound, many of these friends have careers based strongly in or specifically surrounding their online presence. These are people with clients that need to find them trustworthy and ethical in all situations, INCLUDING an internet contest.
Lets just say I left none of my thoughts on the situation in my head.
Social media is an all encompassing playground with people from all points of life and what gets put on the internet can not be taken back and forgotten, the internet is forever. Now what you do to your own personal reputation is up to you. Hell I've been told on more then one occasion I may be too brash or forward or "not PR friendly" online. I choose to project myself on to the internet with no filters. Yes this does limit my opportunities every so often, but this is my choice.
Now if I was to project something on to another person in a negative light I had better be damn sure I know what I'm talking about and have good reason for doing so simply due to the fact that I am taking that persons reputation into my hands. That's the funny thing about the internet - you put two random words in a search engine and you never know what will show up. If I tweet about a company service failure that tweet can and will be found one day and will possibly impact the future use of that company.
It's cooties for grown ups. If Timmy tells the whole school yard Sally has cooties, Sally will inevitably hear about it the rest of the year. Thankfully kids have the summer to forget things and find someone new with cooties. Imagine if any time someone said "cooties" Timmy popped up out of nowhere to point fingers at Sally. THIS is what the internet is. A never ending pointing of fingers screaming "Sally has cooties!".
Next time you make an offhand, backhand, random comment about someone think about this...
Elephants and the internet - two things that never forget.