Weiner Online Reputation

How long will Weiner’s bad online reputation haunt him?

Anthony Weiner is notorious for a gaffe made on Twitter, but will his online reputation recover?

I’m sure everyone remembers the infamous 2011 incident when Representative Weiner became something of a national punchline for lewd tweets that revealed his “private data,” so to speak.

Or do we remember?

At the time, Weiner’s indiscretions left him a laughingstock and a near-disgrace in one fell swoop. Now, as he ramps up a possible New York City mayoral campaign, he’s returned to the same social platform that almost cost him his political career. Is it possible that we will forget and forgive so soon?

A natural byproduct of our 140-character driven world is that everything is always old news. By the time the next tweet or Facebook post appears, we have forgotten the last one. Our online reputation, on the other hand, never disappears. And at some point, we will again value character in our public figures – making digital reputation a permanent, if often inaccurate, representation of that character.   

The lesson here is that you must cultivate your online reputation with the world view that it will forever be public, permanent and powerful. Because our posts and tweets, photos and videos are recorded for all of time, shared with all of humankind and used by ethical viewers and manipulative abusers alike, we must think before we hit the send button.

I bet this time in office, Weiner will pause before sending. Or maybe, just maybe, his reputation will get in the way of winning back the office his indiscretion squandered away.

John Sileo is an online reputation expert and professional speaker on building digital trust. His clients include the Department of Defense, Pfizer, Visa, and Homeland Security. See his recent media appearances on 60 Minutes, Anderson Cooper and Fox Business.