Sunday, February 1, 2009

Using Facebook to Apologize & YouDiligence to Protect

For those who have yet to see the photo that surfaced in the London tabloids of American Olympic hero Michael Phelps taking a hit off of a marijuana bong, here is the link to the story and the photo.

It's amazing that this took place in November and it is just now getting out. Phelps has quickly admitted his mistake, apologized and said it would never happen again. Interestingly, he chose his Facebook page as the primary release point for his apology. This is a real sign of the times, and since he has nearly 2 million fans on Facebook, it was a sure way to reach his most loyal supporters quickly, and a testament to the efficacy of social networking.

Here is what his agent at Octagon came up with for him, and is posted on his Facebook page:

I engaged in behavior which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment. I’m 23-years-old, and despite the successes I have had in the pool, I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way, not in a manner that people have come to expect from me. For this, I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public – it will not happen again.

Parents of tweens and teens across the country are shaking their heads right now because this, on a much smaller scale -- but a more important one to them -- is the very thing they are afraid of happening to their child. They are worried about what their kids are doing and are worried that someone may post similarly damaging party photos of their kids on a MySpace or Facebook page for the entire world to see and the subsequent damage to the reputations such photos might have on their kids.

We developed YouDiligence to help parents protect their kids from negative exposure on social networking sites -- exposure that can ruin the kid's reputation.

If you are worried about what your kid is posting to a social networking site, you should subscribe: The first month is free and it may just keep your kid from posting things -- like the photo of Michael Phelps -- which might impact the decision of an admissions officer at the college they hope to attend.

BSOT = Be Safe Online Tonight

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