Social media! It’s ruling our lives, and it’s ruined some people’s livelihoods.
It’s not terribly difficult to imagine some people losing their jobs over inappropriate or contentious use of Facebook, but surely Twitter and its 140-character limit don’t pose a danger, right?
You obviously still need to be mindful in how you use it.
The “medium is the message,” as we’ve heard, but the message can still have significant repercussions.
Justine Sacco, former PR executive for IAC, tweeted a fairly insensitive joke right before boarding an international flight to Africa. While she was in the air and offline, the tweet spread like wildfire and she was dismissed from her post as a result.
Connor Riley had a job offer from Cisco on the table. She tweeted: 'Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.'
Shortly after that, there was a reply from Cisco employee Tim Levad: 'Who is the hiring manager? I'm sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the Web.'
Nir Rosen was a Law Fellow at New York University until he tweeted some astonishing remarks about Lara Logan's sexual assault.
The string of insensitive tweeting began with 'Lara Logan had to outdo Anderson. Where was her buddy McCrystal.' He was soon apologizing profusely and resigned from his fellowship the next day.
Comedian Gilbert Gottfried, voice of the Aflac duck, made some jokes about the Japanese tsunami over Twitter. He said, 'Japan is really advanced. They don't go to the beach. The beach comes to them.'
Aflac is the largest insurance company in Japan. Gottfried was fired.
Scott Bartosiewicz was a social media strategist for New Media Strategies.
Thinking he was signed into his own account, he accidentally tweeted the following from the corporate Twitter account for Chrysler: 'I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to f*cking drive.'
Bartosiewicz was fired and Chrysler didn't renew its contract with New Media Strategies.
Toronto-based sportscaster Damian Goddard was fired for tweeting his opinion on same-sex marriage. Hockey agent Todd Reynolds had criticised Rangers forward Sean Avery for publicly supporting the cause.
Tweeted Goddard, 'I completely and wholeheartedly support Todd Reynolds and his support for the traditional and TRUE meaning of marriage.'
Gabriella Pasqualotto was a cheerleader for cricket teams in the Indian Premier League until she started sharing details about what it was like online. She revealed loads of details about how some cricketers treat their cheerleaders, and it wasn't flattering.
She was fired.
Ozzie Guillen, manager for the Chicago White Sox, got ejected from a baseball game and immediately started tweeting about it. He called the ejection 'pathetic' and said the umpire was a 'tough guy.'
Here's what Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall had to say about Osama bin Laden's death on his Twitter account: 'What kind of person celebrates death? It's amazing how people can HATE a man they have never even heard speak. We've only heard one side...'
The Steelers are distancing themselves from his remarks and figuring out how to proceed.
CNN fired its senior editor Octavia Nasr over her tweet proclaiming respect for the deceased Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah. This is especially troublesome considering that the AP called Fadlallah 'staunchly anti-American and linked to bombings that killed more than 260 Americans.'
She apologized, but it didn't matter.
Jane Adams, star of HBO's Hung, skipped out on her $US13.44 bill for restaurant check. When her server, Jon-Barrett Ingels, tweeted about it, her agent came back the next day to pay it.
Ingels tweeted again about the lack of a tip, so Adams herself came back a month later to give a $US3 tip. She complained to management and Ingels was fired!
Her boss, editor Paul Ramadge, said, 'We are appreciative of the columns Catherine has written for The Age over several years but the views she has expressed recently on Twitter are not in keeping with the standards we set at The Age.'
Former MLB pitcher Mike Bacsik lost his gig as a radio producer after getting drunk and tweeting some racially-loaded comments during a Mavericks-Spurs game. The game didn't exactly go his way and he had some pretty unpopular things to say afterward.