Ashley PayneThe majority of Bingo Hideout readers are probably all really comfortable with participating in social networking on popular sites like facebook and twitter, and spend some of their free time updating their status, tweets or adding fun pictures of their weekend away or recent holiday.  However the guys in the Bingo Hideout office have been seeing a worrying trend develop and thought we should share it with our Buzz readers.  A recent spate of news articles have shown that by innocently sharing your life experiences, plans and thoughts with your friends on facebook can result in a huge amount of problems if the details get into the wrong hands.

One such victim is an English teacher in Georgia, Ashley Payne’s problems started when she innocently shared personal details about her life with family and friends, she had a restriction on her facebook profile which did not allow others to view the content but some how her principle found out about the content and forced her to resign or get sacked. The content included photographs of herself and friends on a tour of Europe with images of her enjoying a glass of wine in a bar or a pint of Guinness in a pub in Dublin, at no time was she drunk or featured in compromising situations.  The second ‘damaging’ information shared with her facebook friends was that she was going to play ‘crazy bitch bingo’ which is a special evening of fun bingo organised by bar owners and restaurants in the Atlanta area.  The fact that the name of the bingo evening included a vernacular term which is often used as an insult, was seized upon by the head of the school as providing evidence of inappropriate conduct.

The second tale of woe that Bingo Hideout staff have discovered whilst touring the internet has occurred in Quebec where a woman on long term sick leave with depression has had her insurance benefits stopped because of images posted on facebook.  The images of Nathalie Blanchard showed her posing with friends at a birthday party, on her holiday and at the beach and gave her insurers, Manulife the impression that she was fully recovered.  The insurance company, without any consultation with their client immediately stopped her benefits in light of the evidence that they somehow had gained - again these images were private and shared only with friends and family using the facebook security settings.

So Bingo Hideout readers be careful what information you post on social networking sites as you never know who is studying your profile.  There have been many tales on the internet of people not getting jobs because of their facebook profile, though how true this is we can’t say.  Bingo Hideout would love to hear your thoughts on the whole social networking issue, so if you feel strongly about the stories we have featured or have a story of your own, please tell us all about it.