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Twitter's greatest scandals

It was once possible to keep public figures' outrageous behavior a secret. This is 2013, however, and those days are long gone.

Thanks to the digital revolution, it now takes just seconds for an ill-chosen word or indiscreet photograph to reach millions of people worldwide and cause damage that can be almost impossible to undo (even for those with top-tier public relations teams).

One of the primary vehicles for modern scandal dissemination is Twitter. Launched in 2006, the service has more than 200 million active users, and according to data the company released in March, those users create over 400 million messages, or tweets, a day.

With that kind of platform and that kind of reach, it's an understatement to say that what happens on Twitter doesn't stay on Twitter. It's more accurate to say that the world is quite literally watching, and many public figures have had to find that out the hard way.

What follows is a list of 10 cases in which a single tweet took over an entire news cycle, almost always to the chagrin of the person who sent it. Some of these tweets brought their senders notoriety and free publicity, but in some cases they ended what seemed to be promising careers.

Read ahead for the 10 greatest scandals ever tweeted.

By Dan Bukszpan
Posted 01 August 2013

CNBC tells the story behind the rise of Twitter, the social media giant whose 200 million active users have made it a fixture at home and around the world. Twitter Revolution arrives Wed., Aug. 7, at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

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