The Internet doesn’t forget.
Like the North, the web remembers and will hold on to your data and activity for years and years (unless it’s an article you’ve slaved over for hours, in which case it will glitch and blink out of existence forever).
Net permanence is good, mostly. It allows us to dig up archived information and visit digital Stonehenges like the original Space Jam website. But it also leaves a trail of breadcrumbs—crumbs that can lead to later embarrassment, as it did for a couple of young NBA prospects drafted Thursday night.
After being drafted in the first round, NBA prospects Larry Nance Jr. and Bobby Portis got to enjoy their new status as professional basketball players for just a few minutes before having to address controversial tweets they’d written.
Ball Don’t Lie’s Eric Freeman reports Nance, a forward out of Wyoming, deleted a 2012 tweet he’d written calling Kobe Bryant a rapist shortly after being drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 27th pick of the draft.
Kobe Bryant said he has accepted Nance’s apology, per ESPN.com:
The kid figured it out himself. He’s a kid, man. He actually sent me a great message [Friday], which is really funny. I looked at it [the message], and it was like, ‘This is when you know it’s about time to hang these things up, when your teammate writes you, Hi, Mr. Bryant.’ “I was like, ‘What the f—?’ But it was really nice and apologetic about what had happened. I said, ‘Dude, listen. We’ve all said things and done things that we regret and wish we could take back. It’s water under the bridge, man. Welcome to the team.’ He writes back, ‘Thank you, sir.’
So just remember, kids: Whatever you send out on social media can and probably will be used against you at some point down the road. The Internet is just a large, digital version of that childhood friend who never lets you forget that time you pissed your pants on the bus in fifth grade.
Also, whatever you do, don’t trash Kobe and then get yourself drafted onto his team. That’s, like, probably the last thing you ever want to do.