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Last Week: "Ambien Tweeting" and 3 Other Ways to Get Fired Through Social Media

By Ben Offringa on 4 Jun 2018
  • social media background checks

You've seen it, I've seen it. We all know about the latest high-profile case of social media misconduct that abruptly ended the Roseanne reboot, a ratings success that by all estimates would live on for years.

By now it should be no surprise that a single stray tweet can do serious damage to a professional career, high profile or not. In fact, at Social Intelligence we see content worse than or equal to Roseanne's comments every single day. It's certainly not pretty, but with the power to share your opinions across so many platforms comes the responsibility to communicate in a way that does not reflect poorly on the people who have chosen to trust you... your employer included.

But since we're all here for the worst-of-the-worst, trainwreck-type scenarios, here are a few ways (other than racist tweets) that social media content can be problematic for employers.

Being Racist on Facebook

A police officer in Nelsonville, Ohio was fired after making derogatory remarks about the interim police chief in a Facebook post, in the form of a racially charged meme. Upon recommendation, the city council voted to release the officer from his duties as a result.

Memes are for fun, not for feuds. Keep the memes clean, people.

Making Misogynist Jokes When Your Boss is Taylor Swift

To be clear, misogyny is never okay. But it's really not okay when Taylor Swift-- who just last year successfully sued a local radio host for $1 after he groped her while taking a photo-- controls your paycheck.

The backup dancer in question was recruited by Swift during her 1989 tour, and just recently posted a spree of demeaning and sexist posts on his Instagram stories, including one making light of sexual assault. Another of his posts told a women’s soccer team to go, “back to the kitchen.” This was after Swift donated $50,000 toward a GoFundMe for his 3-year-old nephew.

The dancer was removed from her one of her shows last week, but no definitive answers have been offered as to his current employment status. Swift's fans have called for him to be removed from her show completely.

Being Really Rude to Customers and Then Posting About it on Instagram

Not everyone has a talent for customer service, we get it. But all it takes is a little common sense to know better than to take pictures of your own customers and post them on Instagram with a profanity-laced caption in tow.

Two people were fired as a result of this post, and Little Caesar's learned an important lesson in conflict resolution training.

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Here's a great rule to live by if you find yourself on the brink of rage-tweeting or posting something "funny" at someone else's expense: Don't. Not only does it contribute to a culture of semi-anonymous hostility online, it could have serious implications on your ability to be hired in the future.

While social media background screening companies like Social Intelligence respect the privacy settings on an employment candidate's social media accounts, there is no guarantee that over time and various platform updates your dark thoughts will stay hidden behind a privacy curtain. If you think a post could cost you your scholarship, your job, your elected position, just don't post it. #Theinternetisforever

For more information on the use of social media screening for pre-employment background checks, you can contact us here.