How tweeting in a rage can cause problems

While the perils of malware on social networking sites well-reported, another problem has risen to the fore in recent days.

It is known that employers are checking the likes of Facebook and Twitter to get an insight into potential members of staff before appointment or even interviews, but Tottenham Hotspur striker Darren Bent got a little caught out on Friday after he launched a tirade of abuse against his current employers.

Bent, who is currently employed by Spurs but seemingly on the verge of a move to Sunderland, was alleged to have claimed that he was ‘Seriously getting p***** off now. Why can't anything be simple. It's so frustrating hanging round doing jack s***.' This was followed by another tweet stating: ‘Sunderland are not the problem in the slightest. Do I wanna go Hull City NO. Do I wanna go stoke NO do I wanna go sunderland YES so stop f****** around levy [sic].'

Levy in this case is the Spurs chairman, and it has to be questioned how much Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn will be looking forward to Bent's arrival considering these outbursts.

There was some debate as the legitimacy of the tweets however, after all there has been numerous reports in the past about Twitter accounts being compromised. Discussing this incident with a BBC football journalist on Friday, he felt it was legitimate as the account had been verified by Umbro.

It was confirmed that the tweets were legitimately Bent's when he issued a statement via the Spurs website on Friday. He acknowledged that "transfers are seldom straightforward and are often complex. However, after a long period of waiting following my withdrawal from the plane to China, I had become incredibly frustrated by the time these things take and I posted inappropriate comments on my Twitter site.

"I allowed my emotions to get in the way of my better judgement. I regret my actions and did not intend to offend Daniel Levy or anyone with the nature or the content of my posting."

So what is the problem here in regards to information security? Perhaps the problem relates to Twitter and the fact that it is effectively an open forum for debate, and that so few people choose to secure their accounts to hide their thoughts. So the problem for Bent is that he did not secure his information, and his opinions were open and available for all to see.

While sites such as Twitter and Facebook are undoubtedly defining creations of the past few years, some need to realise the power they yield before airing their dirty laundry.
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