Back in the olden days (5 or 10 years ago), you could have a bad day and it would be a private matter, easily forgotten. Rarely would a single bad day turn into an ugly scar, marring your good name for years to come.
But now, a simple tactless oversight, a commonplace judgment error, or any institutionalized carelessness can easily ignite into a full-blown media firestorm, leaving your name attached to it on Google - forever. (Remember when AOL CEO Tim Armstrong abruptly fired someone during a company conference call? Google does.)
Sites like Reddit and Buzzfeed make it easier than ever for total strangers to spread information far and wide, picked up by news sites, and spread again like wildfire. When something goes viral online, you better hope it is positive press - but the odds are not in your favor.