Home > Media, Technology, Visuality > The Perils of Social Networking, Part 3-Million-and-One

The Perils of Social Networking, Part 3-Million-and-One

December 9th, 2008

As everyone knows, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas… on hidden-camera surveillance footage to be unearthed and used for future (or present) blackmailing purposes. Duh.

And I’ve mentioned before that everything you put online stays online in one form or another. Forever. Right, Monica?

And I always make it a point to talk with my classes about how everything other people put online about you stays online forever. This isn’t news, and it isn’t rocket science. You’d think a smart up-and-comer would have figured that out by now.

So, pop quiz time: Who’s The Guy On The Left Honking Hillary’s Hooter?


Congratulations, Obamaphiles, you’re absolutely correct! That’s Jon Favreau (no, the other one), President-Elect Obama’s Director of Speechwriting!

Here’s the potentially more sober publicity shot the campaign used when making the announcement that Favreau would be getting a White House office to write the words that make Obama’s mouth move:


The Washington Post reports on:

some interesting photos of a recent party [Favreau] attended — including one where he’s dancing with a life-sized cardboard cut-out of secretary of state-designate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, and another where he’s placed his hand on the cardboard former first lady’s chest while a friend is offering her lips a beer — popped up on Facebook for about two hours. The photos were quickly taken down — along with every other photo Favreau had of himself on the popular social networking site, save for one profile headshot.

And yet… and here’s the fun thing… even though Favreau took (or had his friends take) down all of these photos, they’re still in the Washington Post and now on blogs and web pages everywhere. Classic.

Now, we could ask why a promising power-player would jeopardize his career with something silly and avoidable like this. But we’ve learned (thank you Bill Clinton, Eliot Spitzer, John Edwards, David Vitter, Mark Foley, Larry Craig…) that when it comes to politics and inappropriate touching, there really is no explanation possible. Nor does there seem to be a way to prevent it.

And we’ve also learned that when it comes to Facebook… trust no one.

(X-posted to Lit in a Wired World and the Teaching Seminar)

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