But in the age of Internet non-privacy, that deleted tweet certainly didn't disappear. In fact, more lewd Internet exchanges with other women began to surface. A week later Rep. Weiner admitted he had lied and had, in fact, sent the lewd tweets. Today, the 46-year-old congressman yielded to pressure from top Democrats, saying he would step down.
"Weinergate," as the controversy has been dubbed, serves as a worst-case-scenario example of tweeting in the public eye.
Weiner has more than 60,000 followers (the media flurry has tossed him around 15,000 additional followers in the past week), yet he only follows 198 people back. Naturally, when public figures have a swarm of Twitter fans and elect to follow only a fraction, it may attract additional scrutiny to those chosen few.
In Rep. Weiner's case, for instance, the media questioned why he was following this college student (706 followers), as well as porn star Miss Ginger Lee (4,313 followers).
For public figures with a manicured image to uphold, Twitter can be risky business. On the one hand, people enjoy candid tweets from famous folks, allowing them to feel connected on a more personal level. On the other hand, off-the-cuff tweets can land some people in trouble, causing them to have to backtrack and explain misspelled or nonexistent words, flagrant emotions, and unnecessary personal details.