What you post online could haunt you…

Today’s USA Today has a great story about a dipstick in Arkansas who was attending a Christian college — what he didn’t realize is that putting pictures of himself in drag and talking about his boyfriends might come back to bite him in the butt. The article includes other great examples of folks not realizing that the World Wide Web is open to everyone:

•Admissions dean Paul Marthers at Reed College in Portland, Ore., says the school denied admission this year to one applicant in part because his entries on blogging site LiveJournal included disparaging comments about Reed.

•In Costa Mesa, Calif., 20 students were suspended last month from TeWinkle Middle School for two days for participating in a MySpace group where one student allegedly threatened to kill another and made anti-Semitic slurs. The student accused of making the threat could face criminal charges and expulsion, says Bob Metz, assistant superintendent of the Newport-Mesa Unified School District.

•A 16-year-old boy in Jefferson, Colo., was arrested after police say he showed pictures of himself on his MySpace page holding handguns. Police subsequently found the same weapons in his home, says Jim Shires of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. The boy has been charged with three misdemeanors for being a juvenile in possession of handguns, says Pam Russell of the district attorney’s office.

•Two Louisiana State swimmers were kicked off the team last spring for criticizing their coaches on Facebook. A University of Colorado offensive tackle was suspended from a bowl game in December for sending a racially threatening message through Facebook to a Colorado cross-country runner.

•An employer who was ready to hire a student from Vermont Technical College in Randolph Center changed his mind after seeing the student’s Facebook page, says Lauri Sybel, director of the college career center. Since then, Sybel says she has checked other students’ pages to make sure they weren’t hurting their job prospects.

Hopefully I’ll never need to apply for a job or run for office or anything — because no doubt, this site will be front and center in “the case against Tiberius Gracchus”.

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