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Internet Regrets Hit One in Five Americans Who Post on Social Media

SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The ease and speed of a quick Tweet or Facebook post frequently translates into embarrassment, according to 18 percent of Americans in a new poll of social media users who say they have tech regret for something they have posted online.

Verbal or photographic misfires are so moritifying that half of all polled users on Facebook and Twitter said that the social media networks do more harm than good, according to the survey by Marist College in New York.

On a fateful night in May, disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner of New York accidentially tweeted public a lewd image he meant to be private. Weiner's simple mistake, which exposed a pattern of innapropriate online behavior that torpedoed his political career, may be an extreme example of "wish-I-never-posted-that" -- but he is not alone.

Despite having grown up with computers and social media sites, the younger generation seems to have the most to be sorry for. The Marist survey found that 24 percent of users under 45 wish they could take back something they said or put online.

There's also a notable gender divide. Men seem to regret posting more often than women. Twenty-one percent of guys say they sent something they wish they didn't, compared with 15 percent of women.  

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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