Don't Tweet Your Teenage Sex and Five Other Simple Tech Tips
Once again, teenagers have been hit with child pornography charge after they, so wisely, posted a group sex video of themselves on Twitter. The kids were arrested and charged with distributing child pornography.
Let the stupidity of children be a reminder to us all, even those of us who are grown and at practice before the bar, your tweets can easily land you in hot water, even if they're not of child porn. Here's five other ways to avoid trouble on Twitter:
1. Don't forget, Twitter is evidence! For lawyers, this is a double edged sword. Twitter is a public, live-streamed, written record of what people think and do -- it's a great source of evidence. Sometimes, that will help make a case. Other times it'll come back to bite you -- see the idiot youth above. If you don't want it memorialized, don't tweet it.
2. Be careful who you follow. You know everyone can see who you follow, right? A Philly D.A. seemed to have missed that memo when he started following porn accounts, something the local media took note of. Whether it's smut, a polarizing politician, or opposing counsel, following anyone without first investigating who and what they are can get you in trouble.
3. Don't fake it. Some joke Twitter accounts have achieved cult status. The fake Goldman Sachs Elevator account was featured, repeatedly, in The New York Times for its funny, gossipy posts. You might be tempted to make a similar parody account -- perhaps Justice Thomas's Diary? -- but be careful, fake Twitters can cause legal (and PR) headaches.
4. Forget child porn, worry about electioneering. According to The Wall Street Journal, lobbyists may have used Twitter to subvert campaign finance laws by coordinating with PACs. Very cloak and dagger.
5. Please, don't be crazy. Granted, if you're a nut, Twitter might not make that much of a difference in your public perception. But, if you have the occasional fringe idea, tasteless joke, or Illuminati-based conspiracy theory, keep it to yourself. Again, Twitter is public and it's in writing.
Have any amusing Twitter tips or advice? Let us know via Twitter (@FindLawLP) or Facebook (FindLaw for Legal Professionals).
- 'Publicly Shamed:' Who Needs The Pillory When We've Got Twitter? (NPR)
- Legal How-To: Using Twitter as Evidence (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
- NYPD Sends Top Brass to 'Twitter School' (FindLaw's Legally Weird)
- Supreme Court Justice Breyer is on Twitter, but Don't Friend Him (FindLaw's Technologist)
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