On the one hand, social media has connected us with our fellow man (and woman) in a much more upfront and personal way. On the other hand, social media has connected us with our fellow man (and woman) in a much more upfront and personal way!
Human nature is human nature. All social media did was expose our natural instincts with a magnifying glass so the whole world could view it quick and easy. When Forbes Magazine compiled a list of stories pertaining to social media blunders, they noted that " kids aren't the only ones getting bitten by technology." Social media is making fools out of us all! Here is my list of the TOP TEN Social Media sex, lies and videotaped tales of some who actually got caught while doing the things that should have been kept behind closed doors.
Social media is like a magnet. When we are drawn to it, we don't take the time to check our old habits at the door. This apparently goes for when you're burglarizing a home. The story of a West Virginian a 19-year-old named Jonathan Parker is a classic. He was busted for felony charges after a burglary. But he wasn't caught due to leaving behind a careless sampling of his DNA. No, Parker was detained after leaving his Facebook account logged into his victim's computer. Perhaps a little bored with how easy the robbery was going, Parker took the extra time on his hands to use the home's computer to check his Facebook status.
He apparently stole two diamond rings and can be imprisoned for up to 10 years. There was no word by the authorities how much he would need to serve for his stupidity.
2- Sexual Identity by Association
When online visitors review the social network profiles of others, sometimes they can read between the lines. At least that's the thought-process that prompted a couple of MIT students to develop software that could detect one's sexual orientation based on their assocation with others. So with the tongue-and-cheek title "MIT Gaydar," Carter Jernigan and Behram Mistree launched a program that determines whether someone is gay based on their Facebook friends.
After using their collected Facebook data on students at their school, they claimed to have “trained” their software to supposedly come close to identifying men who were gay but hadn’t identified themselves on their Facebook profile as such. The software however wasn’t as good at earmarking bisexuals or lesbians, according to a Boston Globe report. And although this wasn’t a scientific study, it certainly raises plenty of privacy issues.
3- Second Wife more than a Fantasy
Second Life is a virtual world where members called Residents can simulate real-life fantasies. So in addition to a lot of virtual sex heating up this neighborhood of cyberspace, it was also of little surprise that some of these relationships would transition into ongoing courtships. Unfortunately, in the case of Amy Taylor in Newquay, England, it spawned heartbreak as well. When Taylor walked in on her husband conducting a virtual affair on the service, she filed for divorce in the real world. Her husband later confessed that everything was above board as he made an honest woman out of his second wife by virtually marrying her.
4- Twittering Moron Moran
President Obama knows first hand the consequences of how loose tweets can sinks fleets. In an off-the-record chat with the press recently, he told reporters that he thought a recent stunt by rapper Kanye West's was "inappropriate" and made him look like a "jackass." Nightline co-anchor Terry Moran impulsively tweeted the comment, only to delete it after the presidential gossip spread like wildfire throughout the Twitterverse.
5- A Facebook Booking
Cody Redenius' ex-girlfriend saw him posing with a shotgun in a Facebook profile and reported it to the local police in Dane County, Wisconsin. Redenius was under a domestic abuse injunction that prohibited him from being in possession of a firearm. The photo on the popular social networking Web site led Dane County Sheriff’s Deputies to arrest Cody J. Redenius, age 20, for violation of a Domestic Abuse Injunction. The Sheriff immediately took possession of the firearm, and placed Redenius under arrest for the violation. He faces two misdemeanor charges and must now wear a home detention ankle bracelet monitoring his movements.
6- Fairy Tales Can Come True
Banking intern Kevin Colvin told his boss Paul Davis at Anglo Irish Bank that "something came up at home" and that he had to travel to New York. Major family emergency, right? Nope. Someone had tagged a Facebook photo of Colvin at a Halloween party wearing a fairy outfit while holding a can of beer. No word whether Kevin "lost his wings" or was given the heave-ho, but a group of sympathizers (146 members in all) have actually organized a fan page for him on Facebook, titled, "Kevin Colvin Appreciation Society."
7- Getting to the ROOT of the Problem
Some police officers in Wausau, Wisconsin thought they were busting an underage drinking party when they were tipped off to a posting of the event on Facebook. But much to their surprise -- even though there were dozens of rowdy teens, cars blocking the road and a keg -- not one teen was arrested. That's because the teens were only serving root beer from a root beer keg at the home of 18-year-old Dustin Zebro. He and his friends say they threw the party after D.C. Everest High School administrators suspended their friends from sports. Ninety breath tests later, all the party goers were cleared, but the "bust" was videotaped and uploaded to YouTube of course!
8- eBay Intelligence vs Brit's Keystone Cops
Here's some intelligence I'm sure the British Intelligence Agency would like to forget, when their photos of al-Qaida suspects ended up on eBay. The Nikon digital camera that stored the photos sold for around 17 pounds ($30 US) on the online auction site. Media reports indicated that the camera's memory also contained names of the al-Qaida members and fingerprints.
Britain's MI6 intelligence service is investigating how a camera holding sensitive Intel about al Qaeda suspects came to be lost by one of its agents.
The incident is the latest in a series of embarrassing data losses to affect the intelligence services and the government.Prosecutors said a public official who left top secret intelligence assessments of al Qaeda and the security forces in Iraq on a London commuter train is due to face charges under the Official Secrets Act. Last year, a civil servant lost computer discs containing the names, addresses and bank details of 25 million people. Additionally the Home Office acknowledged that a contractor had lost personal details of every prisoner in England and Wales. That's a lot mis-information!
9- Smartphones Better Than Pot-Sniffing Dogs
The swell of "smartphone" photographers has given rise to a new population of paparazzi, and politicians have proposed a number of voyeurism laws to address the issue. The action didn't come soon enough for Olympian Michael Phelps, who was caught on camera with a bong in hand. The Olympic hero and 14-time gold medalist was photographed cradling a glass bong - a scene so potentially damaging to his career that his representatives allegedly tried to buy off the British newspaper News Of The World in an attempt to kill the story. Subsequently the incident went viral throughout the blogosphere!
10- Tweeting yourself Jobless
Graduate student Connor Riley was considering whether to take a high-paying internship at networking giant Cisco but tweeted herself out of a job opportunity when she wrote, "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." A Cisco employee spotted the post and informed Riley that she'd pass it along to the hiring manager. This subsequently gave cause for Clo Willaerts to tweet about Riley's career-altering faux pas.
So its obvious living in a Web 2.0 world should give one pause to ponder and think twice before posting, tweeting, videotaping, status updating, twitsnapping,facebooking and Youtubing. Sometimes its just wiser to keep things to ourselves. Social media may have allowed us to become a lot more social, but do we really need that much socialization?
Take a moment and select your favorite social media blunder, or leave us a comment and let us know if there is favorite of yours that is yet to be told?