Teenager Paris Brown is a youth "crime czar" no more, in the wake of a series of tweets in which she made derogratory references to homosexuals, immigrants, and "travelers," and boasted of drink, drug, and sex binges.
Stupid, offensive, foul-mouthed, and boastful tweets are doubtless emitted, even by teenagers, every minute of the day, but, as the journalist Hunter S. Thompson philosophized, "There are some combinations nobody can handle."
In Paris Brown's case, her role, which conflicted with her horrendous conception of social engagement, was as Youth Police and Crime Commissioner for the County of Kent. PCCs are elected officials, charged with overseeing effective regional policing.
Brown had been appointed over some 160 other applicants to the $23,000 post, which would have required her to reach out to the county's youth and represent their views to the Commissioner's office. Among the opinions she represented on Twitter:
I don't condone violence but I'm so pleased that my brother thumped the fat little s*** that gave his friend a black eye.
I really wanna make a batch of hash brownies.
F****** h*** why are the people from Direct Pizza so difficult to talk too!! IT IS CALLED ENGLISH. LEARN IT.
Sic, one might say.
The tweets led to a police investigation, her resignation, and an apology, which -- in tone and content, if not in polished delivery -- seemed to have been taken from the standard template for professional politicians caught fixing elections, stealing from the public purse, or having an illicit affair.
Indeed, it's probably just another step on the ladder leading to her own reality show, or slightly delayed political career.
If this all seems familiar, perhaps it's because just last month, Joseph Cassano, son of the NYC Fire Commissioner, resigned from the department following the disclosure of tweets which implied a "hatred for Jews, blacks, and poor people."
Arguably Cassano, 23, might be expected to display more poise and maturity than the bee-hived British teen, but really: In 2013, you'd have to be a child, surely, not to understand that Twitter is public.
There are no privacy issues here. There's been no underhanded disclosure of comments believed to be private. This isn't Mitt Romney being filmed making a speech behind closed doors. Honestly, young Paris Brown might as well have walked into the Commissioner's office, put her feet on the desk, and offered her employer a joint. Twitter is a public forum, people.
Something for all of us, as individuals, or as representatives of organizations or enterprises, to bear in mind.
— Kim Davis , Senior Editor, Internet Evolution