Twitter is ridiculously powerful. There was a time when politicians flirting with women who are not their wives would have simply denied the charge if confronted or when game companies who threatened anyone who gave their games a bad review could have hidden behind 'he said, she said' games. No more. Now those politicians send their messages to the world via Twitter and get themselves removed from Congress instead. These days companies that make threats to game reviewers do it publicly and on record and get taken to task by both other companies that deal with them and the people who in theory are going to buy (or not) their games. What boggles me more than anything here is that these people are not idiots. Teenagers sexting each other can land themselves in all kinds of trouble but they at least have the excuse that initially they were nobody important and that they are young and foolish - what excuse do executives and Congressmen have for hitting Send on things that could easily lose them their jobs, companies, friends and livelihoods?
Bill Clinton really made a mistake when he had sex with Monica Lewinsky and it cost him. However, it took a damn long time to prove and even after he was accused of the act he very nearly got away with it because there wasn't an obvious record of the event. This has always been true; whether you look at accusations of infidelity or murder trials it has been extremely difficult to prove convincingly what happened since eye witnesses are so incredibly unreliable. These days so much of what we do is recorded and stored somewhere it is much easier for people to prove objectively and without a doubt what exactly happened and it catches all kinds of people by surprise. Why don't we figure this out? Why can't people wait to tweet their frustration until they have calmed down, cooled off and thought about the ramifications? I think it is simply that we are all programmed both from life experience and evolution to not base our behaviour around the idea that everything we do will be recorded. You can always lie, cheat, obfuscate or play around with the truth, except when you can't, which is really only true today and has not been true before.
I figure that people have always made these sorts of inflammatory comments and gotten involved in ill advised flirtations and always will. We as a species don't have the will to resist the urge to talk even when we are doing so on the record and only now it is true that denial simply fails much of the time to irrefutable evidence.
One truly disturbing footnote to this is that teenagers are being arrested and convicted of child pornography charges in the US because they took pictures of themselves and sent them to classmates! Both the people receiving the pictures and the ones taking them are potentially breaking extremely serious laws that were never intended to be used against them. Clearly child pornography is evil - but kidnapping children and forcing them to work in sex videos is child pornography and teenagers taking nudes photos of themselves and sending them to classmates is most certainly not. Any laws that don't make that distinction need to be changed, and soon.