No More #RKOI? Rich Teenagers’ Tweets Present a Security Threat for Billionaires

Billionaire Michael Dell has reportedly deactivated his daughter’s Twitter account over security concerns.

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Tony Avelar / Bloomberg / Getty Images

Michael Dell, chairman and chief executive officer of Dell Inc., speaks during the Oracle OpenWorld 2011 conference in San Francisco

Rich kids post the best Instagram pics, don’t they? It’s as if pictures of private jets and Rolexes were meant for square photos with a hipster tint. In fact, there’s now a whole blog dedicated to these instagram photos, featuring waterslides off the sides of yachts, personal bowling alleys and Versace gold-plated guns. But we may see fewer and fewer of these #RKOI (rich kids of instagram) photos in the future as their parents crack down on their Twitter accounts. That’s right: the rich kids are getting grounded.

This week PC mogul Michael Dell (worth a reported $15.9 billion) reportedly deactivated his daughter Alexa’s Twitter account because she was essentially broadcasting her family’s movements through social media. The 17-year-old’s status updates and Foursquare check-ins — not to mention a pic she posted of an invite to her high school graduation dinner with the time, date, and location of the event — were posing security risks, reported Bloomberg Businessweek.

MORE: Bloomberg Launches Daily List of the World’s Richest People

Dell spends over $2.7 million on his family’s security (according to regulatory filings), so no wonder he wasn’t thrilled to have his teenage daughter broadcasting her family’s whereabouts to potential thieves and kidnappers. Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are undermining much of the hard work that security teams put into keeping celebrities’ and billionaires’ locations a secret. According to Forbes, Paris Hilton was robbed after constantly updating her Twitter account with her whereabouts, essentially letting any prospective burglars know when she would be out of her home.

So for now there will be no more tweets of Alexa Dell’s little brother Zachary enjoying a massive fruit spread on their dad’s private jet. (That photo has since been removed.) But you can be sure that there are other rich teens who will continue to make the same mistake.

MORE: TIME Wants Your Instagram Photos

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doodlebug2222, @

Oscar Trejo: How do we know he didn't have 5 conversations with her about this already, and then resigned to telling her to stop 10 times after that, finally resulting in him saying "If you can't learn to take this seriously, then I take away your toys". It's very easy to pass judgement when you have no idea what's going on. And if he's spending that much in security, then he probably means to make sure people don't know what's going on, and for very obvious reasons. 

Having pictures of your vacations and all the fun you're having is great, but post them when you get home so you aren't telling the entire world "Hey, look at me, I'm no where near my house/valuable belongings, so feel free to browse around". It's just plain common sense, something a vast majority of today's youth of the Facebook/Instagram/etc. generation just aren't getting. When you put your entire life on display, you can be sure that you will be judged on it, or have people take advantage of it.

Susi She Zhe
Susi She Zhe

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Oscar Trejo
Oscar Trejo

I think he should of taken his kids aside and talked to them about what they were doing and how it affected them personally. Maybe not absolutely taking everything away just setting some restriction on what they should post and update.

Grant Harmon
Grant Harmon

Maybe they are cracking down on their kids because they don't want them portraying the image of a spoiled rich kid that likes to brag


Grounding her is not teaching her. It is only showing her the obvious, "do what I say or I take away toys".

Instead, the parents need to take the kids out to a quiet location, not the home but someplace new... and just sit and talk to them. Open a dialogue (not a monologue).

Lead through questions - "you know I liked that photo of you and your sisters when we were out at the pool in Florida... nice colors, nice angles. How did your friends like them?

(listen for reaction - pause). Well, we need to talk about that.. you know I think its great that they can see what you are doing in real time... I bet that's exciting for them to see what you are up to and your probably pretty psyched sharing these moments.

(listen for reaction - pause). But the thing is (eye contact) - when you do this, how about you do it as a 'Guess where we are game" and try to not show anything in your photos - or mention anything in your tweet - that gives it away...

And later - when your on the phone or instance messaging - see if they can guess.. it will be more fun.

(then bring in reality) see, when you show our location, people that might mean us harm, know where we are at.. and this is not a good thing... And while I realize you want to show your friends what you are up to - we sincerely need to be careful, (then lead into asking if they understand, what they think about the game idea and etc...)

Look - these are kids.... they of course do not think or need to even think about this serious stuff - thats us. So talk with them (not TO), and try to come to an understanding w/o scaring them.. 

Just my suggestion as parent. The moment you do something like take their phone - they stopped listening and only thing of what you did as 'not fair' so ... talk to them.

Leissa Sanders
Leissa Sanders

So, treat them like 3 yr olds? Your whole scenario sounds like you're dealing with a toddler who is acting up. Talk to them without scaring them? Are you serious? They need to have the crap scared out of them! They need to be held accountable for putting their family at risk! They need common sense. These rich kids have never had to be responsible for anything. In our not so distant past, people this age would have been considered adults, capable of making mature decisions. But now people want to baby these  children until they are completely useless to society.  Here's another parenting tip, try actually parenting your kids. My husband moniters my daughters computer activity constantly to make sure all is as it should be. If there were problems, she would be banned from electronics. With priviledges comes responsibility.

niko van der meulen
niko van der meulen

As a teenager, I'd prefer to be treated as a normal human being, and not like you treat your kid. If you talk to us we will open up, but the second you get into scare tactics we are just going to want to rebel, and im sure  that you dont know of even 10% of what goes on in your daughters life, because she will feel the need to hide it from you. Of course in the case of these rich kids who havnt really thought through their actions, then yes they do need to know all the details of what they are doing, even if it scares them. When you said monitors computer activity constantly i thought of my friend, whos parents do the same thing, and do you know what she does instead? she sneeks out all night, and comes to school high as a kite in the morning. And do her parents know? Hell no, because they are nazis (Like it seems you are to your daughter) ** You need an open line of communication and trust** Remember respect is a two way street, so please respect your kids privacy and they will tell you everything