8:24am Monday 8th April 2013
Another week, another ill-conceived bout of social media diarrhoea. This time, it's 17-year-old Paris Brown, whose £15,000-a-year post as "adviser on youth" to Kent police commissioner Ann Barnes was put in jeopardy when the media discovered her various tweets about drinking, drugs and sex, as well as her use of derogatory terms such as "fag" and "pikey". Brown has apologised for her "inappropriate" comments: "All teenagers make mistakes," she told the BBC. "It's an age thing." Despite calls for her to be sacked, she has so far survived, partly because the tweets were made before her job appointment, and partly because Barnes insisted that she "wanted someone for the job who was a typical teenager".
Disregarding the fact that 15 grand a year and a high-profile job are both factors which render your teenage self somewhat atypical, there is a point to be made about social media here. "I think that if everyone's future was determined by what they wrote on social networking sites between 14 and 16 we'd live in a very odd world," said the police commissioner. Well, quite. There's some lovesick poetry I wrote on the now-defunct Teen Open Diary which, were it ever to have seen the light of day, would probably put pay to my writing for the Guardian, and that's before you even start to consider my MySpace page...
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