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Stephen Logan

A President, A Senator and the Dangers of Social Media

10th Sep 2009 Social Media, Facebook 1 minute to read

It appears that America’s politicians are having a few communication issues this week. Following hot on the heels of warning teenagers about the dangers of sharing too much information on website’s such as Facebook; it is now Barack Obama who has fallen foul of a random outburst.

Mr Obama had talked to students on a number of issues, one of which centred on what it takes to be a President. In response he said:

“Well, let me give you some very practical tips. First of all, I want everybody here to be careful about what you post on Facebook, because in the YouTube age, whatever you do, it will be pulled up again later somewhere in your life.”

It’s a sentiment that’s hard to argue with, particularly with the almost daily tales of woe emanating from various corners of the globe. Undoubtedly, whether it’s on your website or through social media channels you need to be careful what you say.

Prospective employers are just like prospective clients, in so far as you don’t want to provide them with an excuse not to hire/use your services. Whatever you say and whenever it may have been said, the Internet has ensured that it will last long after the even itself.

Whilst you may not have anything to hide, one small slip can now be recorded for years to come. No doubt South Carolina Senator Joe Wilson will be more inclined to take President Obama’s advice after an unprecedented outburst in congress. During a speech on healthcare reform, the now suitably apologetic Senator Wilson shouted “You Lie!” at Mr Obama, leaving everybody present suitably stunned.

And as if to provide a very nice circularity to the story, it has now become the top trending topic on Twitter; one of the site’s Barrack Obama was warning teenagers not to share too much on. In turn this has cemented it as a global story and has no doubt condemned the overzealous senator to mocking ‘…and finally’ news stories throughout the world.

Perhaps the President needs to give some ‘very practical tips’ on communication to congress in future.

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