5 stories on how social media could ruin your life.
Social media is becoming our society’s favorite pastime. It lets us connect with family members and old high school friends. Plus, we can be the nosey society we are without feeling guilty or ashamed about it (as long as you don’t accidentally like your ex’s picture from 6 months ago).
It has plenty of positive qualities to offer. However, it can also be the reason you lose your job.
Caught TORCH Handed
Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard the news about the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Just in case you DO live under a rock here is a short recap of what happened:
-On August 11, 2017, there was a massive white supremacist rally at the University of Virginia. White nationalists were carrying torches and yelling the Nazi slogan “Blood and soil.”
-On August 12, 2017, a rally was planned to protest against the removal of the statue of General Robert E Lee, a Confederate Icon.
-On August 12, 2017, anti-racist protesters rallied and clashed with the white nationalists because of the white supremacist rally.
-At 1:42 pm on August 12, 2017, a car rammed into a group of anti-racist protesters. The driver, James Alex Fields Jr was with the Vanguard America group during the rally, killed a 32-year-old, Heather Heyer and injured at least 19 others.
A twitter account @YesYoureRacist, with the help of its followers, began exposing the faces of a few of the white nationalist that attended the rally.
Cole White was the first person to be identified online after he was caught on camera carrying a torch and shouting the Nazi slogan.
LA Times reported that Top Dog, Cole’s now former employer, spoke to Cole White and said: “Cole chose to voluntarily resign his employment with top dog and we accepted his resignation.”
Since social media is remarkably powerful, Cole White didn’t even have to post on social media to reap the consequences; twitter did that for him.
Tweet Gone Wrong
Justine Sacco, former PR Director at InterActiveCorp, was fired for her racist tweet that went viral in a matter of hours.
On December 20, 2013, at 10:19 AM she tweeted, “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!”
She posted the tweet shortly before an 11-hour flight from London to Cape Town, South Africa.
She only had about 200 followers, but someone emailed it to Valleywag editor Sam Biddle. He tweeted about it at 1:30 pm the same day. Then subsequently, other media sources, like BuzzFeed, got ahold of the news.
Justine Sacco didn’t have any Internet service while she was on the plane. However, by the time she deplaned, she realized her tweet on Aids had been reported by BuzzFeed and gone viral on Twitter with the hashtag #HasJustineLandedYet.
Shortly after landing, she deleted her tweet and her entire Twitter account. However, the damage had already been done.
On December 21, 2013, BuzzFeed News reported that InterActiveCorp made a statement: “The offensive comment does not reflect the views and values of IAC. We take this issue very seriously, and we have parted ways with the employee in question.”
On December 22, 2013, Justine Sacco issued an apology to a South African newspaper: “Words cannot express how sorry I am, and how necessary it is for me to apologize to the people of South Africa, who I have offended due to a needless and careless tweet.”
She also stated: “This is my father’s country, and I was born here. I am very sorry for the pain I caused.”
Goes to show, you don’t need a huge following to become viral. All you have to do is tweet something racist and BOOM you’re the next trending topic (and not in a good trending topic way.)
Police officer, Melissa Adamson, was fired from McKeesport, PA Police Department after a photo from Snapchat circled social media. The picture included Melissa Adamson and a racial slur.
“I’m not a racist. That’s not how I plan on portraying myself,” Adamson told Pittsburgh’s Action News 4. However, that didn’t stop the McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko from posting a statement on Facebook:
“Without hesitation, my office and the police chief’s office immediately concluded that this officer’s actions will not be tolerated in the city of McKeesport. She has been relieved of her duties, and her employment has been terminated.”
Melissa Adamson also resigned from another part-time job she had as a police officer in Versailles.
Unfortunately, one photo cost Melissa Adamson both her jobs. Lesson learned, when in uniform stay professional!
Pamela Ramsey Taylor posted a comment to Facebook that cost the Clay Mayor Beverly Whaling and herself their high ranked positions in Clay, West Virginia.
The Washington Post reported that Pamela Taylor, former Director of a nonprofit group, posted on Facebook “It will be so refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady back in the White House. I’m tired of seeing a Ape in heels”.
Shortly after, Clay Mayor Beverly Whaling responded to Pamela’s Facebook post.
However, it did not take long for the residents of Clay to share her post. After it went viral, an online petition started to have Beverly Whaling and Pamela Taylor fired. In the end, it got more than 200,000 digital signatures.
Beverly Whaling, now former Clay Mayor, stated, “I was referring to my day being made for change in the White House! I am truly sorry for any hard feeling this may have caused! Those who know me know that I’m not of any way racist! Again, I would like to apologize for this getting out of hand.”
According to The Washington Post, Taylor told WSAZ that the heated public response to her Facebook post had become a “hate crime against me,” saying that she and her children had received death threats. Also, that she was planning to file a lawsuit against people who had slandered her.
On November 8th, 2016, Clay Mayor Beverly Whaling resigned and Pamela Taylor was fired from her Director position.
Joel Husk, a now former Talladega Police Officer, posted several racist memes on his Facebook page, including one about Melania Trump and Michelle Obama.
Another meme, reported by The Washington Post, showing President Obama with the words: “Was Dallas a terrorist attack? Yes! Carried out by Obama’s own homegrown terrorist group!”
The Washington Post reported that Joel Husk was terminated Wednesday for violating the department’s social media and code of conduct policies, City Manager Patrick Bryant said.
And the Moral of the Story is. . .
Social media is taking over the world, one like and retweet at a time.
So be careful what you post, you never know who’s watching!