Putting the ‘Net' in Social Networking: Twitter Insurance

Socially speaking, having tons of Twitter followers and scads of Facebook friends can be heartening. Emboldening, even. It could also indicate a user is an expert, or a "maven" / "connector" for "Tipping Point" fans.

It also means any naughtiness in an update or tweet could get you fired, censured, embarrassed or called out -- for either individuals or entire brands.

Even if a post is quickly removed, surely someone has captured it -- that's the risk of the overshare -- and of caches.

If only there were a way to insure, literally, that such social storms could be contained or even remedied.

Enter Lloyd's of London, legendary insurance company. AllTwitter reports that brokers are analyzing trends in social media "to develop policies that will provide coverage in the event of a mis-post."

Right now it's companies that want/need to insure their brands don't suffer inordinately from a damaging quote. For individuals, one source says, it will take about five years.

If the social-gaffe insurance already existed, so maybe would these careers:

* Courtney Love -- What? Calling someone a drug-pushing prostitute is somehow deemed anti-social?

* Eva Longoria -- Check out my (now ex-) husband's Twitter account! What? I linked to a porn site?? Dang.

* Sarah Palin -- English is a dynamic language, and Palin invented a word via tweet that caught some buzz.

* Kenneth Cole -- What about the Egyptain uprising? Too soon, KC.

* Mark Cuban -- NBA owner and internet billionaire ... oughta know better than to rag on the refs via Twitter. Cost = $25,000 fine.

* Gilbert Gottfried -- Too soon to joke about Japan's recent disasters? Um, yes.

* TheConnor (job applicant at Cisco) who had not accepted the job before tweeting he'd hate it. An epic move.

* As for a commercial brand example, The (stalwart) Guardian (London) newspaper ran an unmoderated Twitter discussion around England's budget and users found an unchaperoned playground, replete with f-bombs and other naughty words.

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