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The cost of social media blunders

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The high cost of online flirting

Misadventures by social media dilettantes can prove plenty expensive. Just ask former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner; his Twitter show-and-tell cost him, at minimum, his $174,000 Congressional salary.

The rich and famous typically carry an umbrella policy or personal injury endorsement on their homeowners insurance against charges of defamation, libel and slander. This coverage typically includes unlimited legal defense.

What's interesting and a little unnerving in Weiner's case is that he brought the damage on himself. Because his tweets were voluntary, any personal injury protection likely would have been void.

Kane says there's a lesson here for parents struggling to understand the risks of social media.

"Years ago, if you had a compromising picture of your girlfriend, you might have shown it to two or three friends. Today, if some 13-year-old decides to send that compromising photo to the 100 people in his contact list, if she's underage, he's dealing in child pornography."

Tafaro offers this analogy: "It's like having youthful drivers. If you have teenage kids just getting their license, it's a much higher risk. Except with (social media), whole families are getting dragged into things that didn't even exist 20 years ago."


 

 

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