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What Beauty Pageant Blackmail Means to You
7/18/2007
 
ROBIN'S PERSPECTIVE: The verdict is in -- and this time another beauty queen does not bite the dust. Yep, Miss New Jersey 2007, Amy Polumbo, was permitted to keep her crown despite the release by an alleged blackmailer of some salacious photos of her with vegetables and engaging in "theater of the breasts" that her mother admittedly was none too pleased with.

On "It's Your Call with Lynn Doyle" last week, a few things became clear to those of us on the panel, and I wanted to share those with you:

1.) Moral turpitude really is defined by community standards, and those standards change over time, with the generations, and with the community. It's pretty amazing what college kids think is OK to do, photograph and put up there for all the world to see. Unfortunately for them, college kids are rarely making the grad school admissions decisions, or corporate hiring decisions.

2.) Despite our laments that there is no privacy, people don't seem to take advantage of the privacy protections that do exist, like even turning on the privacy controls that Facebook provides. The show's internet privacy expert issues this warning: if you let your friends link to your profile's racy photos (even if you mark your own site private), and those friends don't have good privacy controls on their own Facebook accounts, then people that have access to your friends' Facebook profiles can get access to yours -- and your racy photos.

3.) Employers, and schools, can now pretty easily get access to what you post on internet networking sites like Facebook, HotOrNot, MySpace, etc. -- and they can and will use it against you in making admission/hiring, promotion and firing decisions. And hey, if they can't get it directly, it appears angry former friends, jealous girlfriends or boyfriends, or others with mental health issues, can download the stuff, hold on to it, and use it against you at some future date.

So even though it's considered a badge of "coolness" to post racy photos or profile text of the daring and even illegal things that you do/want to do, be advised that you may have a lot of explaining to do at some future date -- if you even get the chance to explain before the door shuts in your face.

Why? Posting stuff like this reflects upon your "good judgment", or lack thereof. Miss New Jersey got lucky -- but you may not.
 
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Robin Bond
 
Robin Bond, Esq.
 
 
Workplace Legal Analyst


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