It has been a while since I posted about private communications that cause public problems, but a few of these situations came to my attention this week. First, Rachel Slocum of the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse sent an e-mail to a student blaming Republicans for the government shutdown. This seemingly accurate statement led to a student posting an image of the message on Twitter, which turned the e-mail into national news.
Slocum was likely embarrassed by the situation until a TA at the University of Iowa sent an e-mail and accidentally attached nude pictures of herself instead of a study guide. I have received countless e-mails in which people forget to attach files (and forgotten numerous attachments myself) but I have no idea why the file name and location of nude pictures would be anywhere near those of a study guide.
Outside of academia, a National Security Council staff member named Jofi Joseph was recently discovered to have maintained an anonymous Twitter account from which he criticized various public figures. As far as I know, Joseph, who lost his job, is the only one of the three to have suffered consequences larger than embarrassment and nationwide scorn.