COMMENTARY | Social networking websites such as Twitter and Facebook have opened the door for reestablishing friendships, instant communications and even just a way for friends and family to keep in close contact though physically thousands of miles apart. Some people make mistakes and end up posting items that can get them into trouble. This may include a poorly timed joke that costs a comedian a job or a photo of a crime scene that gets someone sent to jail.
New York Rep. Anthony Weiner is currently finding out just how careful someone must be when using Twitter.
Weiner is a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He has a Twitter account and posts updates to it every now and then. Recently, Indiana’s News Center reports one post was directed to a 21-year-old female. This post contained an image of a man in boxer shorts. It was viewed as an inappropriate item to be sending out to the woman. When asked about the image, Weiner indicated that his account had been hacked. The investigation is ongoing at this time.
Weiner is not the first politician to get into hot water for something done on social networking websites. Just three months ago, Boris Boillon was embroiled in his own scandal after images of him in just his swim trunks appeared online, according to Foreign Policy. The new French ambassador to Tunisia had made no friends with a brusque style and a famous YouTube video that involved him walking out of a luncheon he arranged. Though many called for his resignation after the images appeared, he is still the ambassador.
The outcome was not so pleasant for Narayan Dutt Tiwari, a governor for an Indian state. In a video posted to YouTube, the 86-year-old was seen in bed with three women. It went further than that when it was alleged that one woman was promised a contract in exchange for the encounter. The video became public after the governor allegedly decided not to offer the contract to the woman. Tiwari was forced to resign, reports Christian Law Journal.
After nude images of Elizabeth Wong, a Selangor committee chairman in Malaysia, were posted to YouTube, she felt compelled to resign. The images were taken without her consent while she was sleeping. She felt that if she did not resign, her party would be attacked and defeated in elections.
After seeing what other politicians went through with social networking scandals and the outcomes, I do not think that Weiner will be forced to resign. His situation is most like Boillon’s situation in that he is a male and there were no allegations of corruption that rise to the level of Tiwari. Wong felt personally compelled to resign for the good of her party but it is doubtful that Weiner will face the same pressure.