A public official is being harassed by a newspaper for giving a lucrative no-bid contract to a freelance communication pro, for some speechwriting work. To try to take the communicator's measure and see if we have any mutual connections, I go on LinkedIn to find her profile. I find it. She has 26 connections, her CV goes back only to 2010, and this is her profile picture, confirming her as the poster child for the no bid communication contract.
Surrounded as we are by Facebook friends wishing us happy birthday and LinkedIn connections congratulating us for promoting ourselves from president to CEO of our one-person consultancies, it's easy to forget that we also have Facebook enemies—and LinkedIn enemies, for sure. And if we don't now, we could soon. And everything we post can be used against us—in a social media storm, a public scandal or in a court of law.
Every time you post an idea or a photograph you're not absolutely sure about, first question to ask is, "Will my friends like this?" The second is, "What if my worst enemy saw this?"
One rule of thumb: Friends don't let friends drink on LinkedIn.