Why Twitter is More Dangerous Than Facebook

twitter fail whale blowfish“This is going on your permanent record.”

A threat issued by parents and teachers over the past few decades as teens struggled to study for tests or write essays. It was meant to motivate us to do our best, because the result would be “on our permanent record.” It was as if to say that when we were 25 years down the line, a promotion or job opportunity would hinge on the result from our English 10 essay on Julius Caesar. After all, that B, or C+ or A- would be “on our permanent record.”

I’m sure that threat is still hung out by teachers and parents today, but what we are doing to ourselves online is far more permanent than the grade of any essay, test or quiz we’ll take in high school. … [contd]

There is much discussion about your online brand and identity and how you can manage it. A lot centers on the management of Facebook profiles, the defacto social network for today’s youth. While all sorts of crazy photos are being tagged, and streams of consciousness are being fed into status updates and super wall posts, the content on Facebook still remains within Facebook. For the most part, you can control who sees it. Google can’t find it. But when it comes to Twitter, the content is indexed, searchable and even though you can delete it, Google doesn’t forget.


Take for instance the case of the employee applying for a job at Cisco. Upon being offered the job, @theconnor tweeted this:

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.

To which a Cisco employee responded:

@theconnor Who is the hiring manager. I’m sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the web.

After being found out, the original tweeter deleted the offside tweet. But it didn’t disappear. Search Twitter for the keywords “cisco fatty” and you’ll find the original message. Along with a littany of blog links, retweets and others discussing the offside tweet perpetuating it’s life.


Here’s another example. You’re out whooping it up with friends at the bar and after 4 or 5 drinks in you start bagging on your boss and colleagues and you post it on Twitter. Something like this:

Honestly, RS can be such a jackass.

Your best friend is with you at the bar, thinks it’s funny and retweets it.

RT @buzzbishop: Honestly, RS can be such a jackass.

The next morning you wake up and realize your mistake. You immediately delete the tweet. However it has been caught. Not only is it in the search archives, but it has been retweeted. Forwarded. Passed along the chain.


It can be even worse if you think you are protected by having a private account. Supposedly only people in your followers list are allowed to view your tweets, however simply switch the mobile browser for Twitter and everything becomes unlocked. And should one of your followers retweet your drunken stupidity, that message is now outside your protected zone and available to their entire audience.


I have worked with many people who have been high school drop outs. I have seen them ascend the ranks to be the top rated broadcast talent in the country, and holding executive positions in multi billion dollar companies. The permanent record of dropping out of high school didn’t affect them.

On the other hand, the permanent record of Twitter has lost people jobs and job opportunities.

So be careful what you do on the web and especially on the social networks. After all, this is going on your permanent record.



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  1. […] This article crossed my RSS feed as I was reviewing an old blog conversation in preparation for an upcoming post on Lutheran identity. It is significant to think about and understand the public record we make when we blog, comment on blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Whether or not you Twitter, if you are reading this, you are effected: this article will cause some sober reflection, I am sure. […]

  2. […] The fact that what you write on Twitter is immediately considered public comment should serve as warning that what you post on Twitter, or Facebook, can be used against you. […]

  3. […] and we all can’t be expected to be on the clock 24/7; however, when it comes to social media, anything you tweet or facebook can and will be used against […]

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