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Legal Lessons From Viral Videos: Social Media is Forever

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By William Peacock, Esq. on June 12, 2013 12:24 PM

If there is a silver lining in the insane, disturbing, and inexcusable rant of Taylor Chapman, a woman purportedly denied a receipt at a Dunkin' Donuts, it's this: you'll almost certainly never face her in court. As a lawyer.

Yep. The woman behind "Taylor Chapman Dunkin Donuts Rant," is, according to The Smoking Gun, working towards her "JD in Law." (Complete redundancy. Someone please call Bryan Garner.) And where might she be studying? We have no idea. For some reason, all of her social media profiles have gone dark. However, she did earn her Business & Marketing degree at Nova Southeastern University. Her alma mater is surely proud of that connection now.

If you haven't seen the video, you can watch it below. Just be forewarned, it's eight minutes of obnoxious, entitled, racist, and possibly bath salt-inspired ranting over a forgotten receipt. It is not terribly safe for work, so be forewarned:

The lowlights include the part where she declared that she was going to “nuke your whole [expletive] planet from Mars” (one of many Mars references), the racial epithets not worth repeating, and the part where she says, “You think ya’ll are tough big fat Arabs bombin’ the Trade Center? I’ll show you tough.”

That’s a legal career (or any career, really) killed in eight minutes of ill-advised video footage that she, yes she, shared online.

This is obviously an extreme example, but it does provide a great reminder for all of you pre-L’s out there: your social media accounts should be spotless. Privacy settings are only useful until someone takes a screenshot of your drugged out rant and leaks a tip to Above the Law.

Delete old tweets. Clear your Facebook wall. Remove photos of keg stands. Consider starting your social media life anew. And above all, don’t record and share videos of you berating an innocent employee because someone, last night, forgot your donut receipt. Law schools, employers, and perhaps even clients will be watching.

And remember, the only acceptable fast food rant is a Michael Douglas fast food rant.

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