You Should NEVER Post Anything Online Without Doing This First

An ill-informed tweet or status update has the potential to land you in some serious hot water. Here's how to make sure your next update doesn't get you into trouble.

woman updating her status

Social media regret is a very really thing.

After all, how many of us have tweeted something a bit silly on Twitter, uploaded a drunken snap to Facebook or shared something we probably shouldn’t have on Instagram, only to then question our decision afterwards?

The problem with internet is, once you’ve put something out there for the world to see, unless you’re super speedy about deleting it, there’s not much you can do to take it back, and before you know it people are sharing it themselves or directing nasty comments at you.

And it can have serious repercussions too.

Who can forget the case of Justine Sacco, a PR executive who sent an ill-advised tweet before boarding a flight and landed eleven hours later to find that the offending tweet had gone viral and she’d been fired by the company she worked for as a result?

Justine Sacco

So how can you make sure you’re not posting anything that could potentially get you into trouble?

Chatting at BLOGGERCONF in Dublin’s Marker Hotel on Saturday, Linkedin’s Keith Browning, shared a simple trick for checking the suitability of your social media update.

It’s called The New York Times test. Basically, before you post anything online, Keith suggests you stop and ask yourself: would I be happy to see this on the front page of The New York Times with my name beside it?

Think about it: The New York Times has an estimated readership of 1.5 million people. Your questionable tweet, pic or status has the potential to reach millions more on the internet.

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But it’s not just your own content you need to worry about, you need to be careful of your retweets too.

Speaking at Saturday’s conference, Sinead Keavey, a partner at William Fry points out that once you retweet something, in the eyes of the law you become the author of that comment. It doesn’t matter that you weren’t the person who wrote it originally, the consequences are still the same.

Thankfully being social media savvy doesn’t mean quitting your accounts altogether. It just means pausing to think about what you’re putting out there.

Think long and hard the next time you’re considering adding something online. Your reputation is on the line, so ask yourself, is what you’re sharing really worthy of you?


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