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New Security Threat: Jewish American Princesses

A Twitter tale gone wrong

Adam Chandler
August 20, 2012
(Rich Kids of Instagram)
(Rich Kids of Instagram)

Ask anyone around Austin, Texas, about Michael Dell and you’ll hear nothing but great things about the world’s 15th richest man. Among his many philanthropic initiatives, Dell–the CEO of the Dell empire–has also funded numerous projects to serve the Austin Jewish community including its Jewish Community Center. Like many people of considerable means, Dell also spends nearly $3 million a year on security for his family.

And what piquant irony it is when a technology mogul’s security efforts are thwarted by his own daughter’s Twitter account. From the Telegraph:

Alexa Dell’s overenthusiastic social networking habits were curbed after she unintentionally disclosed details about her father’s whereabouts. His security team is understood to have considered the posts compromising.

The 18-year-old was a keen user of Twitter and the photo-sharing website Tumblr, ostensibly using it like any other teenage girl to update her friends and followers on the minutiae of her daily life.

But many of her posts were stamped with a GPS location, showing exactly from where it was sent. Her posts also included the exact dates she and her family were arriving and departing certain cities and the location she was shopping.

Alas, the worst is yet to come:

The final straw apparently came last week when Miss Dell, who lives with her family in a gated $12m hilltop mansion in Austin, Texas, posted a photograph of her younger brother Zachary on the Tumblr site titled The Rich Kids of Instagram – a reference to the popular photographic software.

The photo depicted Zachary on the family jet eating a luxurious buffet en route to Fiji. The picture was posted using Instagram, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, and linked to Miss Dell’s Twitter site which was replete with references to the family’s social life and included day-to-day movements.

For those of you who haven’t seen The Rich Kids of Instagram, you’ve been warned.

Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.