How To Compound Your Stupid on Teh Internetz

There’s no cute way to put this, and it’s important.

When you’re wrong on teh internetz (and you will be), there is only one (1) smart option:

Apologize.  (Guide on how to apologize here; or Scalzi’s apology guidelines here.)

Seriously.  You’re going to do or say something stupid.  Apologize as sincerely as possible, and fix the problem.  It happens.  And if you’re lucky enough to admit your problem early on and apologize quickly, then you’ll probably be remembered for being classy.

How can you make the problem stupider?  By invoking the Streisand Effect and trying to delete/remove the stupid thing you said.

It’s especially bad when you already know there are screenshots out there of the stupid thing you did:

But deleting a tweet (and then your whole account on Twitter) doesn’t actually make information go away.  For example, there’s the handy Resurrect Pages add-on for Firefox… or you can just manually check the Internet Archive.  In fact, you can even manually archive web pages to the Wayback Machine just in case you’re afraid the info might be removed.

And even though things like Google Cache eventually fade away, it’s dead simple to take full-page screengrabs of the cache.

You know, like this screengrab I made from Google Cache after Bryan deleted the page where he called me unprofessional and said I had a lack of integrity.

Bonus Streisand Points:  At least make sure you delete the post instead of just redirecting attempts to get it.  Check out the screengrab of his blog entry index.

Because there’s always the chance that the person you’re trying to make look stupid (or at least make them look like rotting meat) will decide that you’ll make a good object lesson when teaching new writers how not to interact with the internet.

IMPORTANT ADDENDUM:  Please do not boycott buying books that BTS has edited (or that were in the pipeline up through this point).  That will simply hurt the authors or co-anthologists… and it’s not fair at all to make them pay for someone else’s stupidity.