From the Chrysler F-bomb to a fake migraine exposed on Facebook, here are a dozen cautionary tales on the professional dangers of social media.
A Jobvite social recruiting survey reported that 89 percent of U.S. companies plan to use social media in their employee searches. You can bet that what you put online will eventually be put “on file” when you’re applying for a job or after you get it.
Social media provides an excellent opportunity for showcasing your professionalism, intelligence, and maturity, which can set you apart from the competition.
Unfortunately, it seems the allure of making a fool of yourself through social channels is greater than the need to acquire and/or retain a job. Here are 12 examples of spectacular job losses due to social media stupidity.
1. The Weiner
Former Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York tweeted a lewd photo of himself in June to a young college student in Seattle, which he later tried to justify by saying it was supposed to be in a private DM and not a public tweet. Two weeks later he called a press conference and resigned—amid cheers, jeers, and cries of “pervert.”
2. The Chrysler F-Series
In March, an official @ChryslerAutos Twitter feed dropped the F-bomb to its more than 7,500 followers with this tweet: “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to f**king drive.” The 28-year-old social media marketer Scott Bartosiewicz was responsible for the tweet. His employer, New Media Strategies, Chrysler’s then social media agency, fired him. Chrysler, meanwhile, dropped NMS. Bartosiewicz called it a “technical glitch.”
3. Premature tweeting
Connor Riley was offered a position at Cisco in 2009, but was torn about the commute. So, naturally,she tweeted about it: “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 work.” Guess who didn’t get the job? (Riley claimsshe turned down the offer first.)
4. Did I say that out loud?
Back in 2007, David Noordewier, then an employee of Walmart, posted on Myspace that the country’s average IQ would increase if bombs were dropped on all the company’s stores. Noordewier had a pink slip bomb dropped on him. A Walmart spokesperson wouldn’t confirm whether the Myspace post was the cause.
5. The quack heard around the world
Comedian Gilbert Gottfried made jokes about the Japanese tsunami while employed as the voice of the Aflac duck. “Japan is really advanced,” he tweeted. “They don’t go to the beach. The beach comes to them.” Aflac dropped Gottfried and found his replacement online.
6. I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. Gumbel
A NBC staffer was fired in February for posting a video of “Today Show” anchor Bryant Gumbel demonstrating his incredible lack of knowledge about the Internet. At least he left a legacy. Here’s the video:
In February, veteran war correspondent and NYU fellow Nir Rosen tweeted his thoughts in the wake of the news that CBS foreign correspondent Lara Logan suffered a sexual assault. He tweeted: “I’m rolling my eyes at all the attention she’ll get” and “it would have been funny if it happened to Anderson too.” A real class act, although he wasn’t fired. Instead, he resigned from NYU, although it’s unlikely he would have done so had he not sent the tweet.
9. The six-toppings pizza special
Staffers at a Domino’s Pizza franchise posted the now-infamous video of themselves doing gross things to a pizza, which was apparently served to customers. Wonder if the former Walmart employee knew about these two.
10. Rule: Never ‘friend’ your boss on Facebook
An employee of Nationale Suisse called out sick one day, claiming her work computer would aggravate her migraine. Of course, she was later “seen” posting messages to a friend’s Facebook page. A termination notice was added to her Facebook’s wall—so her migraine wouldn’t be affected by reading it at work.
11. Crowd-sourced dismissal
Pro Bowl running back Larry Johnson sent a series of inflammatory tweets against a gay fan and his coach. More than 30,000 fans petitioned the team to fire him. He was crowd-sourced right out of a job.
12. Social doesn’t hide stupid
Texas Longhorns football player Buck Burnette shared his personal views with fans on his Facebook page after Barack Obama became the first black president of the United States: “All the hunters gather up, we have a #$%&er in the whitehouse.” What amazes me, besides the incredible display of hatred and sheer ignorance, is that what he chose to censor was “the N-word.” He’s worried about a racial slur, while publicly issuing death threats against a president. Seriously?
Sam Fiorella is the chief strategy sensei at Sensei Marketing, where he is responsible for strategic campaign guidance and marketing technology development that power the Sensei Customer Lifecycle Methodology. Follow Sam on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn. A version of this story first appeared on the blog 12 Most.