How to Avoid A Very Public Porn Slip-Up

Gotta double check those tweets

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While browsing through the wares on a popular pornography website the other day, as one does, I moved my cursor over to the volume tab at the bottom right and accidentally clicked on a "share to Twitter" button. Noooooooo! Setting aside the question of who exactly in the long history of pornography asked for social media share buttons, my heart sank, and my face got hot. (Thankfully, it didn't post to my wall.) We think of porn as one of our most private practices online, but occasionally the very thin wall that separates our alone time from the public crumbles. It's understandable—a lot of people watch porn!—but it's not inevitable.

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US Republican senator Ted Cruz, whose well-documented religious faith has likely made him familiar with the story of Onan, was the latest to learn this when his account accidentally liked a pornographic post on Twitter. The clip, from Reality Kings, if you must know, and you must know because the rest of us do, was a voyeuristic two minutes, in which a woman walks in on a couple having sex and… you can probably guess what happens next.

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Cruz' staff has since announced the "tweet posted" on his account has been removed and reported to Twitter, seeming to suggest it was a hack or prank of some sort. Granted, Cruz' status as a Moral Man of Faith necessitates this ruse, but as we've seen many times, it's the exact opposite track that most of us should take.

He wasn't the first Notable Media Man to make such a mistake on Twitter. Former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson was caught out just last month, and (unconvincingly) blamed it on drunk friends messing with his phone. It happens. A lot.

Needless to say, you don't want to end up like these guys. Here are a few things to keep in mind so you don't get caught with your pants down, literally and figuratively.

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Mind your follows.

There is nothing wrong with following an adult performer on social media—many accounts are quite funny and engaging. But it may bring you under scrutiny if your official position conflicts with the idea of following, say, a "tall sexy girl with DD boobs…perfect porn star," as NFL spokesman Greg Aiello found out awhile back.

We can see what you like and comment on.

This should be common knowledge, but a lot of people don't seem to get it. The boyfriend of a Verge writer found that out this week when his girlfriend put him on blast for liking a picture of Emily Ratajkowski's butt. Besides the fact that it's weird to be trawling through someone else's likes, be assured someone out there is doing it, particularly if you're a celebrity or athlete. The NBA's Chandler Parsons, for example, was spotted on an Instagram model's live video asking her to "show me your tits" last year. Russell Wilson was called out for liking an image of a young woman performing an act on a strikingly large appendage—and that was just one post. Baseball player Carlos Martinez tends to like and favorite a lot of porn. Like, a lot.

Don't do it at work.

Seriously, do not. You will get caught. Especially if you work for a governmental agency, where people might not like their tax money being put to work on your boner, as happened in March when the Commerce Department found 300 pieces of hot steamy action on a drive used by a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office employee.

Beware the control-V slip.

This is the one that tripped up Marshall: When you think you're about to copy-paste an article link or something else less salacious, but you still have the link to the porn video in your clipboard. Always a good idea to take a moment to stop and read what it is you're about to tweet. In fact, maybe don't tweet at all, just to be safe. ESPN's Gerry Hamilton learned this lesson himself when he tweeted some innocuous college football information with a link to Pornhub.

Double check your screenshots.

This is where Eichenwald went wrong. Usually this type of screwup comes in the form of a screenshot, like when Virginia Congressional candidate Mike Webb posted a screenshot to his Facebook page with tabs open to "LAYLA RIVERA TIGHT BOOTY" and "IVONE SEXY AMATEUR." Rhode Island State Representative Ramon Perez embarrassed himself by distributing screenshots with porn browser tabs as part of his testimony before the State House Finance Committee. It can also come up when you're taking a picture in front of your computer. As in all things social media, it behooves you to keep your head on a swivel.

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And if you get caught...

Yes, it sucks. And yes, it might be a bad look for you, depending on your career or Moral Standing, but for the vast majority, it is really not that big of a deal. One thing you should definitely not do is concoct some dubious, four-dimensional chess scenario to get yourself off the hook, like Eichenwald:

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If you do end up doxxing your personal details, take a lesson from Marshall, who handled his mess about as well as can be expected, saying, "Yeah, I jack off, so what?"

From: Esquire