The Internet Never Forgets

The Internet, like elephants, never forget.
The Internet, like elephants, never forget.

I care about you my dear readers, so here is some free Digital Marketing advice: always be very mindful what you post online because the internet never forgets. You can delete a post that you wish you’d never written, but you can never undo the impression that you make on the people that read it. You can also never get rid of the screenshots people will take of your ill advised rant.

Exhibit A: September 18 Twitter posts from NBA star forward Kevin Durant. Durant posted some “interesting” insights about his move from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Golden State Warriors. Durant was replying to a post by @ColeCashwell who was questioning the move. Durant explaining his move seems harmless enough. Except, Durant was not speaking as Kevin Durant. Kevin Durant was speaking about Kevin Durant – in third person.

Kevin Durant's third person tweet
Kevin Durant’s third person tweet

Several people (including me) theorized that Durant thought he was using a fake / shadow / burner account to paint himself in a favorable light. Durant’s failed attempt at endearing himself to the public set off a firestorm in the Twitterverse, and sports pundits like Jemele Hill capitalized on the chance to chime in. Below Hill alluded to the uproar her Twitter account has witnessed lately after she made some race related comments.

Jemele Hill referencing Durant's tweets.
Jemele Hill referencing Durant’s tweets.

In the grand scheme of things, Durant’s faux pas was harmless at least and extremely embarrassing at best. No athletes were harmed in the making of his tweets. Durant’s authenticity has been called into question, but I can’t fault him (or his publicist) for being proactive in trying to shape his public persona.

Humorously (or perhaps sadly) enough, this kind of slip up is not new. Sports Analyst and Fox Sports resident loud mouth Skip Bayless stepped in a similar pile of poo on Facebook in 2016 while talking about himself.

Skip Bayless' Facebook post to compliment himself.
Skip Bayless’ Facebook post to compliment himself.

Ashton Kutcher’s shoes got dirty when he ran to former Penn State coach Joe Paterno’s defense after Paeterno was fired in 2011. Unbeknownst to Kutcher, Paterno was was dismissed for helping cover up over 15 years of child sexual abuse by former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

Ashton Kutcher's unwitting slip up
Ashton Kutcher’s unwitting slip up

Kutcher’s next tweet was a mia culpa, where he vowed to stay offline for a while.

I have also felt the stinging slap of an internet slip up. Once upon a time, I posted a pseudo-intellectual sports analyzation while listening to a Nottingham Forest game. I even included a screen shot of game stats to my post to prove my point about how important time of possession is. It was just too bad that I was writing about a game that had already been played. Nothing that I posted had anything to do wth the game that was actually being played.

I remember one of my Creative Writing instructors telling our class that editing is the most important step in the writing process. Maybe since posts tend to be impulsive and shorter, we don’t usually take the time to proof read them. Allow me to suggest that we take the time to read and think about our posts before we send them so blog posts like this won’t remind us of the one that got away.

“A lot can change because you are embarrassed by something.”
Per Petterson