It's interesting here that the risk came from a single "private" email transmission, not from what one posted on one's own to a blog or website available to search engines. "Online reputation" companies (like Dan Fertik's "Reputation Defender") and other psychological consultants like Dr. Phil are always warning kids of how one mistake online can sink them; digital files never go away. Dr. Phil is always reminding us that teenagers can't see around corners; their brains are not developed biologically well enough to calculate and weigh all possible consequences. But even the grownups here have difficulty grasping what happens and gets out of control.
There was a story today on AOL that comports with this novel: a customer wrote a rude comments about a server's weight on a restaurant bill (with tip of 0), and the server posted it on Facebook; other people with the same name as the customer caught flack; story here.
Human Relations Media has a video on the danger to teens from the issues here:
I couldn't find a YouTube interview by the author.
This book could generate an interesting film, maybe for Lifetime, maybe HBO, or maybe the festival-arthouse market. I hope Schulman tries to sell it or develop a screenplay.
Readers might also enjoy the review of this book in the Washington Post by Michelle Singletary, here.