Published On: Sat, Jul 3rd, 2010

10 Social Media #Epic #Fails

I’ve put together a presentation deck of 10 Social Media #Epic #Fails. It’s something I have been working on for a while and for the presentations I give, it often helps to include a few examples of people who have failed to grasp that social media is public, permanent and immediate – often with awful consequences. I have taken an employability focused approach and hope the deck highlights the fact that boundaries between private and public and personal and professional are being blurred.


Unfortunately, it was not too difficult to come up with this list. If truth be told, it could have been a top 100. Despite the large list, it still amazes me how few people are familiar with the privacy settings of their favourite social networks and the impact this will have upon their digital footprint and Personal SEO . I always urge caution and advise people not to say anything they would not like their grandparents to hear or alternatively, think along the lines that you don’t own your Facebook page, Mark Zuckerberg does.

In addition, I’ve decided to break with tradition and put this list into a presentation deck. I normally put together written lists, which generally prove popular in terms of views. However, we often tell our clients the importance of making content ‘social’ so it can be shared, commented upon and embedded elsewhere. So I thought I’d start following some of my own advice.

I’d be interested to hear your views on the deck and please do let me know of any other stories of people who have committed social media #epic #fails or indeed, great successes.

About the Author

- Marketing Manager with a passion for inbound at HubSpot, Founder of Growth Hack Talks, Blogger at and Chief Quaffer at .

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  1. […] The presentation can be found on my blog at: […]

  2. claresiobhanpr says:

    Nice presentation! I recognised a lot of the #fails on there from when they happened and had another nice little chuckle at their expense. When we people learn to think before they Tweet! I wonder how badly those who made the mistakes have been affected in the long term.

  3. Ben Cotton says:

    Thanks for the comment Clare. Sadly, it was not too difficult to come up with this list. As more and more people adopt social media into their daily routine and access to it on the move, I’m sure we will continue to see increasing numbers of these all too unnecessary epic fails.

    People forget that social media is public, permanent and immediate.

  4. Callum says:

    Good stuff – and of course, it’s not just humans that are the masters of their downfall – remember the Habitat #iranelections fiasco??!!

    • Ben Cotton says:

      Thanks for the comment Callum. The Habitat epic fail is always cited as a great example of how NOT to do things! I’m glad you like the deck too – I thought I’d make it a bit different by focussing on individuals who had used social media carelessly, rather than organisations.

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