But much of Tanden’s résumé was overshadowed by her proliferous online posting — at least 1,000 tweets raking both Republicans and leftist Democrats over the coals — that Tanden quietly started deleting in November 2020.
I haven’t been following this story, but my interest was piqued when I learned that Neera Tanden’s nomination chances were in jeopardy because of her tweets from the past. People keep getting in trouble for what they post to Twitter. (“Social media” in these cases always is Twitter, too. That is probably just because it is public facing, though it is also a popular place for broadcasting, calling out, and grandstanding.)
It will soon be the conventional wisdom that those who seek high offices—in public service or in private industry—should have no public social media presence, no blog—certainly no Twitter account—maybe no public online presence at all. That bothers me because I think there is value in publishing one’s thoughts to the world, in a blog, vlog, podcast, or whatever other medium I can’t even conceive of yet. People have an urge to share and should not feel that they will be punished for it, especially years after they tap the “post” button.
I understand that some people are deliberately awful on social media, and that is a problem, but isn’t it also a problem that “the Internet never forgets?” The right to be forgotten is at both ridiculous to ask for and essential for people to get along with each other after a certain point. How should we evaluate a person based on what she posted online? Does it matter how long ago a thought was posted? What is fair? I think we are at a cultural crossroads regarding these questions, and may be stuck at that crossroads for a long, long time.