Will your digital past come back to haunt you?
At the US Presidential debate last Sunday 'regular guy' Ken Bone became an overnight sensation. With his natty red cable knit sweater and earnest demeanour he quickly became the darling of the internet. His rise to fame was meteoric but his spectacular fall into infamy was even swifter when it was revealed that he had a somewhat unsavoury online past which rapidly came back to bite him on the backside.
It transpires that cuddly Kenneth had made some rather questionable comments on Reddit Ask Me Anything over the past few years which were unearthed by the cyber sleuths over at Gizmodo. Mr Bones dubious quotes involve some embarrassing porn references (made all the more uncomfortable given his surname), his cringe inducing experiences of having a vasectomy, his controversial opinion that the Trayvon Martin shooting was “justified" and admitting that he had broken the law by forging car insurance documents.
Arguably Mr Bone also didn't exactly endear himself to the (previously supportive) public by signing up to promote Uber Select (reportedly for a series of free rides - there is something oddly poetic about that given the aforementioned insurance scam) plus swiftly promoting a line of Bone branded T-shirts. You have to admire his entrepreneurial spirit but unfortunately the public rounded on him for selling out.
And with Halloween just around the corner, all this spine tingling conjecture (coupled with news images of deranged individuals dressing up as demonic clowns) got me thinking about how our own digital imprints can become a sinister (and indelible) record of what we say and do for all the world to see, including the organisations we work for and also for any prospective employers.
Over the years, I suspect many of us may have curtailed some of our early online behaviours for a more balanced approach. Just think about it though... what horrors from the past are potentially still lurking out there in the ether from the things you have previously said or done across various social platforms? As the modern day parable of Ken Bone demonstrates, our online activity has the power to make us or, indeed, break us. As Forbes writer Dani