How Not To Be a Facebook Victim
Tricky names may fool, but discretion rules if you care about your political career
By Victoria Floethe,  Newser User
Posted Jan 4, 2009 5:01 AM CST
Mohammad al-Qahtani, one of 13 activists who began a public hunger strike to demand judiciary reform. The men posted a statement on Facebook to announce the strike and urge others to participate.    (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
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(Newser) – Don't want a drunken Facebook picture to put a dent in your political career? (Listen up, Jon Favreau!) "The whole point of being young, after all, is to do stupid things, and the whole point of Facebook is to record these acts for posterity," Abbie Callard writes for Slate. But you don't have to be a casualty of your own stupidity. Here's her advice on how not to be a Facebook victim:

  • Use a tricky name: Facebook bars you from using a false name, but a modified version of your real name (à la "J.S. McCain") makes you harder to find.
  • Beg your friends to be discrete: "Untagging" photos will make them harder to find, but your future downfall could still be posted on your friend's page.

  • Don't write drunken messages on people's walls: When the temptation arises, "imagine the headlines during primary season."
  • Do be clubby: Privacy settings let you segregate your friends to different parts of your page. Pals see the keg stand, and the DNC chairman "that you are currently reading Crime and Punishment."
  • Watch out for groups: Belonging may make you feel warm and cozy, but groups like "I Paint My Fingernails Like A Blind Parkinson's Patient" may not win you points.