STONINGTON, Conn.—Ed Haberek, first selectman in the quiet coastal Connecticut town of Stonington, is learning the hard way that harnessing the latest and niftiest online communications tools can have unintended consequences that lead to unwanted attention.
Typical of such stories that make the radar, this one is about a link to adult content inappropriate for visitors to the official town site.
According to theday.com, “Haberek uses sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Tagged to interact with residents and keep them updated on his activities. Like the more popular Facebook, Tagged allows others to post links to their pages by becoming someone's ‘friend.’”
The problem arose when one of Haberek’s new friends was a 26-year-old self-labeled bisexual from Beech Grove, Ky., named Bonita L., whose Tagged page included 14 graphic images and one video of couples engaged in sex.
The images were first noticed by the daughter of a local woman, who immediately called town Selectman William Brown.
”I couldn't believe this was on the Town of Stonington's website that kids have access to. I was absolutely shocked,” Brown said.
When notified, Haberek said he did not know Bonita L., was unaware of the images and was clearly not amused by either the incident or the manner in which it was handled by Brown, whose first action was apparently to call the local paper.
”I wish Mr. Brown would have called me instead of the paper and I would have taken it down,” he said.
By Sunday, the images had been removed and the town suspended the Tagged account, though Haberek said he would continue to use both Facebook and Twitter, which contain more safety features than Tagged, a newer social networking platform.