The White House state dinner is a star-studded event. It’s the golden opportunity for A-list celebrities to rub elbows with political bigwigs. Last week’s state dinner was no different. The guest list included names such as President Obama, Jennifer Hudson, Steven Spielberg and the man of the hour, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
There were two faces in the crowd, however, who were not on the list. Michaele and Tareq Salahi, dubbed “America’s most successful party crashers” in this article from CBS news, managed to get into the party without ever being invited. And their night of hobnobbing with the rich and famous would have been a success if they hadn’t posted photos of themselves at the event on their public Facebook page. According to the same CBS article, their page included photos of the couple posing with prominent politicians, journalists, a group of Marines and even Vice President Joe Biden.
The photos not only earned them national attention, they also caught the attention of the Secret Service. Now those photos could result in a criminal investigation. The Secret Service is investigating how the couple managed to get past security at the high-powered event. The investigation could result in criminal charges.
Throughout the semester, we have discussed ways social media can be used to benefit our lives and our careers. I think this is a prime example of a way in which it can be harmful. I can’t imagine this couple ever thought of the repercussions of posting these photos online. Instead, I’m guessing they just wanted to show-off—especially since they’re up for a spot in the new “Real Housewives of D.C.” line-up set to air on Bravo.
I think we can learn a lot from this couple’s mistake. Though it may not be so drastic, things we say and do online can have negative consequences. Those photos from the bars last weekend might be great, but your future employer might not think so. And hopefully, they don’t result in a criminal investigation.
What do you guys think of this? Is the Secret Service overreacting, or are they justified in their response to the photos? Do you know of a time when posting something on a social media site has had negative consequences? How about positive consequences?