Anthony Weiner: A Cautionary Tale of Social Media Infamy

By Kimberlee Morrison 

When Anthony Weiner resigned from his seat as Senator of New York, following his infamous sexting scandal, I doubt any of us expected him to be back a couple years later. Instead of hiding in shame, Weiner went on a rehabilitation campaign and returned to politics as a 2013 New York Mayoral candidate.

But that pesky sexting scandal wouldn’t go away. No, wait. That was a new one, despite declarations that he had changed. The calls came for his resignation but he refused. And he probably could have gotten past the scandal, except his frustration became apparent.

Then there was the video of Weiner unloading on a guy in a local delicatessen who basically told Weiner was a disgrace. He left the confrontation appearing like a proud kid on the playground saying, “I don’t back down” unphased by the fact that it was all on camera. The video went viral — with nearly two-million views — and here we are today with reports about Weiner flipping reporters the bird after resigning from his campaign.

From the beginning, social media played a big part in Weiner’s downward spiral, in large part because Weiner seemed to have no clue how to manage his online reputation. Ultimately, the video and the pictures of Weiner offering reporters the friendly freeway salute were just manifestations of his cracking under scrutiny and his social media strategy has become a cautionary tale in what not to do.