A week of celebrity social media gaffes shows many people still don't understand the public impact of Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, says a media expert.
Well-known Kiwis may still believe they are "talking with their lovely little group of friends" even though they have 8000 Twitter followers, says media trainer and former TV current affairs presenter Janet Wilson.
The Prime Minister's son Max Key, shock jock Dom Harvey and Bachelor star Art Green all found themselves in the eye of social media storms this week.
An ostentatious display of a gilded life on YouTube, a "crotch shot" of a female Dancing with the Stars contestant, and a party costume involving blackface - or brownface - were responsible.
On Sunday, Key posted a video showcasing his luxurious Hawaiian holiday with his model girlfriend, prompting criticism of extravagance from some on social media.
The same night, The Edge morning show co-host Harvey posted an image of Dancing with the Stars runner-up Chrystal Chenery - a former Bachelor contestant - exposing her underwear.
In a caption, Harvey wrote: "Chrystal just showing Art what he missed out on."
Then on Thursday, Green arrived at a Bollywood-themed party for model Colin Mathura-Jeffree wearing brown make-up and full Indian garb.
Bachelor winner Matilda Rice posted a photo of the trio on Instagram, describing Green as a "chocolate-covered treat" - to which social media users responded with accusations of racism.
Wilson said it was clear many people still didn't understand the public nature of social media.
"That whole idea that you have published in a public forum is still something that a lot of people find hard to grasp," Wilson said.
"Anything you put on your Facebook page, anything you put on your Twitter account, anything you put out into the ether, is publishable, as indeed are your texts and emails."
The three men triggered mud-flinging about topics as serious as class, sexism and racism - but the issues were often drowned out in what Wilson called "faux outrage" where big mouths and big egos rushed to jump on soapboxes.
Although public figures could now talk directly to people in ways impossible a few years ago, they were at risk from a society where outrage spread more rapidly, Wilson said.
Previously, public figures had to do far worse than tweet offensively to be publicly shamed. "You would have occasions where people would be humiliated, but they would be usually justifiably humiliated, over real acts of criminality or corruption or things that they did wrong."
Wilson said people could now destroy their careers in "two seconds flat" with a social media howler.
Wilson said the best way to deal with such a situation was to remove the offending post and apologise immediately.
Wilson said the reaction to some celebrity gaffes - Harvey's excluded - betrayed a deep conservatism and touchiness in Kiwi society.
"Dom crossed an absolute line in every sense when he did that. But I think the Art Green stuff, well, maybe he's just having a bit of fun," Wilson said.
Responding to the Green controversy, Mathura-Jeffree, who has Indian heritage, said nobody at his themed party found it offensive.
He said blackface was insulting and a parody of slaves, but Green was not being racist and was "actually just being a little bit Indian".
"Let's redefine what blackface really is and then let's grow up, everyone, and let's not jump too far on the PC brigade."