Dear Secret Service: Facebook is not so Secret

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Dear Secret Service: Facebook is not so Secret


Social Media Risk Management

 By Karen Masullo EVP, Social Media for Firestorm

You may remember a story we commented on back in May of 2011 when the Secret Service first established a Twitter account “Secret Service Apologizes For Tweet About ‘Blathering’ On Fox News“.

Slightly embarrassing but correctable. This latest faux pas? Not so much.

I’m not going to delve into the entire, recent Colombia scandal, but rather one related piece of it; an agent posting on Facebook.

Back in 2011 when we discussed the Secret Service delving into the social media space, we said; “While a general social media policy for your employees is a good start, it is not enough.”

If you are a Secret Service agent, I would think posting an image of the high-profile, public figure you are protecting, along with yourself in the background, and captioning it with a pithy, sexist remark would be at best in poor taste, at worst completely against the social media policy of your employer.

Yet that is exactly what now former Secret Service employee David Randall Chaney, 48, a supervisor in the Secret Service’s international programs division, did in 2009 – on his Facebook page – while protecting Sarah Palin.

In 2009! Since that time, someone at the Secret Service must have seen the image; as of this morning, Mr. Chaney’s Facebook account was not private and the image easily viewed.

It is highly inappropriate.

If this were not a Secret Service employee, but rather one of your employees pictured with a customer along with the inappropriate comments of  “…checking her out…” and “…anything to satisfy a stalker…” would there be repercussions?

In the vernacular of Ms. Palin, “You betcha’.”

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