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Facebook posts can be life-wreckers

Posted at 6:31 PM, Mar 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-31 21:31:18-04
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - What you post on social media can tell the world a lot about you.  But don't be shocked if what you put out there blows up in your face.
 
When Sarah Crabtree posted a picture of a Gila Monster she said she killed on her property, someone in the network of Facebook friends of friends of friends sent it to Arizona Game and Fish.  Gila Monsters are protected so now she's facing five charges.  
         
She says she was protecting her family and did not know the Gila Monster was protected.
 
News anchor Wendy Bell had been on WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh for 18 years.  She posted Facebook comments on a shooting where five adults and an unborn baby died.
 
She made assumptions about the killers and said, “They are young black men, likely in their teens or in their early 20s.  They have multiple siblings from multiple fathers..."
     
She elaborated with comments so many people found to be racist her station fired her and station manager Charles Wolfertz tried on-air damage control.
 
In an on-air editorial he said, "Wendy is sorry for the words she chose and so are we."
        
In Portland Nordstrom fired Aaron Hodges after his Facebook suggested when police kill an unarmed black man someone should kill a white officer in front of his family.
        
So many people have mouthed off on social media and paid a price that there's a page, on Facebook of course, called Death by Social Media.
 
If you want immortality just go ahead and put something on the internet.  You'll get immortality whether you like it or not because things on the internet just do not go away. So really think about what you just said before you hit send.
         
UA Information Professor Catherine Brooks is with the Center for Digital Society and Data Studies.  She says to help students understand the impact of what they post, she asked them to compare their Facebook pages.
 
"...and it was appalling.  The students were shocked and they realized their stuff wasn't really quite as they would want it to be presented to an employer."
 
So next time you think it's fine to post your alcohol soaked Spring Break adventures on You Tube, Facebook or any other internet site, think again.