The 13 Most Embarrassing Web Moments

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Most Embarrassing Moments #10 to #8

10. OMG U R SO F1R3D!11!1! TTFN!

Laying off 2500 people means bringing in an army to provide loss counseling, job placement programs, a pile of severance checks, and a truckload of tissues to stem the tears, right? Not! In 2003 British Amulet Group "made redundant" thousands via an SMS text message sent en masse to employees' cell phones. At least the company had a quasi-excuse: It had just gone bankrupt and was in receivership.

9. Just a 'Conversation Malfunction'

Women are known to engage in a little private chitchat in the ladies' room, but how would they feel if the conversation was broadcast on CNN during a presidential speech? When newsreader Kyra Phillips made a pit stop, she unfortunately left her microphone on, broadcasting the news that her sister-in-law was a "control freak," among numerous other pronouncements. Phillips later laughed it off and even provided a Late Show Top Ten list of excuses for why it happened. Sample: "How was I supposed to know we had a reporter embedded in the bathroom?"

8. I'm Not Dead Yet!

The reports of his death have been greatly exaggerated.
The reports of his death have been greatly exaggerated.
It's common practice for major media outlets to prepare obituaries in advance--known in the news biz as "pre-bits"--for luminaries who seem as if they might croak soon. But in 2001 some intrepid Web spelunkers discovered that CNN's obituaries for some famous but not-quite-dead folks were publicly accessible. Obits for the likes of Fidel Castro, Dick Cheney, and Nelson Mandela were widely disseminated before caught wind and, much chagrined, yanked the pages.

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