Three New Jersey politicians have gotten themselves into hot water in the past two weeks thanks to Facebook and Twitter.

The Facebook faux pas all started about two weeks ago during the women's marches that were happening across the country. That's when Atlantic County Republican Freeholder John Carman posted a meme of a woman with the caption, "will the woman's protest be over in time for them to cook dinner?" Needless to say, that post did not sit too well with people. After initially saying he would not apologize, Carman eventually did. Democrats in the county pounced on the opportunity to gain leverage for the upcoming election cycle. Atlantic County Democratic Committee Chairman Mike Suleiman told The Press of Atlantic City, "...millions of women all across the country and the world stood up to hate, intolerance and misogyny. That same day, Freeholder Carman embraced the very hate, intolerance and misogyny just to get a few shallow ‘likes’ on Facebook.”

Now, just two weeks later, an Atlantic County democrat is facing some negative press following something he posted on Facebook. Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo, who is seeking election to the state senate later this year, recently shared a video titled, "Illegal Immigrants Training for the Trump Wall," that shows men using ladders to scale a wall. Mazzeo told The Press of Atlantic City he didn't have his glasses on did not intend to share the video; he immediately removed the post but not before a screenshot was taken. Much like what happened to Carman, Republicans pounced on this blunder by saying, "even Mr. Magoo had more brains than Mazzeo.”

With how political campaigns usually take their course in our region, you can bet that both missteps will be the subject of mailings and commercials as November approaches.

And if you think social media problems are only limited to local elected officials, think again.

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno now finds herself digging out of a political crater. Tuesday night, Guadagno sent and then deleted a tweet about Gov. Christie's low poll numbers. Some people thought the tweet was meant to further distance herself from Christie as she kicks-off her own campaign for governor, but Guadagno says it was just an accident. Talking to Townsquare Media Thursday morning, the lieutenant governor said she, "hit the wrong button. Simple as that."

With these three recent incidents, it appears that politicians need a refresher course in how social media works. Whether it's intended to be funny, it was an accident, or you simply hit a wrong button, everything you post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media platform will be analyzed. When you post something, it's your name right next to your post, regardless of what it is. And no matter how quickly you delete something, there's always a chance that someone saw it and snapped a screenshot. That one screenshot can be made into thousands of pieces of political mail, used on billboards, and made into ads. Remember: just one post can take down an entire campaign. Before you hit send, put on your glasses, make sure you are clicking on the right button, and ask yourself if what you are about to post can come back to haunt you in any way, shape, or form.

 

SOURCES: The Press of Atlantic City, WKXW

 

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