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This year has seen some really stunning examples of how to completely screw oneself, and one’s career, in public. Here’s a review of some of my favorites:

  •  Anthony Weiner’s wiener: Do not take a picture of your package and post it on Twitter. This is a rule for everyone. If you do this, be prepared to watch the job you’ve had for 12 years disappear in a bright, shiny flash. And to become a never-ending joke in the process.
  • Aflac duck drowns in tsunami: Gilbert Gottfried managed to tank his career with some very ill-advised tweets in the days immediately after the Fukushima tsunami. Note to self: when hired to provide humor and comedy material for a client, insult comedy is the *wrong* approach.
  • GoDaddy CEO shoots elephant, wounds brand: Bob Parsons shot an elephant, and almost brought down the mastodon that is the GoDaddy brand in the process. When your business is high-profile, low-profile hobbies are a good bet. Take up golf. Much less likelihood of killing your brand with a 5-iron.
  • Ashton Kutcher is a no-talent jerk. Who knew? Well, actually, I think a lot of us knew. But when he leapt to Joe Paterno’s defense in the hours after the Penn State pederasty parade started up, he showed just how clueless and tone-deaf he is. Along with that total lack of talent. I almost felt sorry for Demi. Almost.

Some rules to live by: don’t do or say anything on social media that you wouldn’t want on the 1st page, above the fold, of the New York Times. Because that’s exactly what could happen, even if you’re not Anthony Weiner, Gilbert Gottfried, Bob Parsons, Ashton Kutcher, or countless other social media idiots.

That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it …

 

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