Twitter Can Get You Fired: On Chris Brown & Bad Anger Management
For those who use the social media micro-blogging site Twitter to comment about their jobs or industries, don’t be deceived by the ease at which you can transmit your inner most thoughts to the world.Those tiny tweets of 140 characters or less can have severe consequences when combined with poor impulse control and bad judgment.
In the latest example of Twitter gone wrong, R&B singer, Chris Brown, fresh off his graduation from court-mandated domestic violence classes, engaged in a highly publicized twitter scuffle with a former member of the group B2K, Raz B. During the hours long Twitter rant, Brown managed to sling homophobic slurs and mock child molestation all in 140 characters or less.
Initially only black gossip blogs went crazy about the Twitter scuffle, however, Chris Brown soon found his tweets to be the subject of posts on the powerful entertainment industry site, TMZ. It was not a good PR day for someone fighting to re-enter the public’s good graces following his brutal attack on pop star Rhianna. Shortly after TMZ posted his Twitter rant, Mr. Brown’s publicist wrote an apology for him.
During the episode, Mr. Brown complained that he was being treated unfairly:
its wack as f*ck that everybody can bash me… but soon as i defend myself its world war 3.I TAKE SH*T FROM everybody… its cool though. (Necole Bitchie)
To the contrary, young Chris, every day ordinary people are held accountable for what they tweet.
David Le worked for the Washington, D.C. Department of Employment Services in Anacostia. That is until Mr. Le sent tweets reportedly calling the people of Anacostia “ghetto.” In addition, he bragged about being lazy and being instructed to loaf around on the clock:
thank goodness my boss is making things easy, he told me to pretend to do work so he can mark me down for hours…one of the schools I am in charge of is Anacostia HS. If you are from here, you know ANACOSTIA… about 100+ murders in one year…
They decided to just pay us for 40 hours a week bc we are too lazy to sign in and out…In americas ghetto anacostia… If i get scared i will just yell chinese carry out! They will not shoot me.
Needless to say, David Le (who is Asian) was very quickly let go as a result of this thoughtless digital rambling.
But don’t let his story lead you to believe that you can tweet what you want between jobs. People even get fired from jobs they don’t already have for sending unprofessional statements over Twitter. After receiving a job offer from CISCO, Connor Riley foolishly tweeted thoughts pondering whether she would accept a “fat” check from CISCO despite they fact that she would hate working at there:
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.
Not smart. After CISCO caught on to her lack of gratitude, she lost her offer and no longer has to worry about that long drive.
You would think that stories like these are unusual, or that Chris Brown is a particularly idiotic case, but he is not. There are many long lists of people who have suffered severe consequences for what they have tweeted.
Twitter is not a toy. It is not your therapist. It is not your best friend on the phone that you share your most intimate thoughts with. Twitter is the front page of your local newspaper or the anchor desk of the nightly newscast. If you don’t want to see your thoughts on the front page of the local paper, then don’t tweet them. If you don’t want to get fired from your job, avoid tweets attacking your employer, customers or peers.
Did you know that the Library of Congress is preserving your tweets? Yes, it’s that serious. Even if you don’t have a high profile like Chris Brown, you still need to exercise extreme common sense when posting to your social networks. What you say on the Twitter platform might in fact last your lifetime.