The World Wide Web is a vast place with users from all over the world, but that doesn’t mean what you post privately won’t come back to haunt you. Here are five cases of ex-employees who should’ve just kept their mouths shut.
A female working for a St. Louis area not-for-profit organization led quite the double life. She was the average, presumably “normal” employee during the day, and a sex blogger by night. She describes herself as being “Clark Kent” with keeping her extremely secret sex blog private. Her undoing was using Twitter. I have to hand it to her, as a single mother and keeping her blog anonymous, she probably could’ve gotten away with her unconventional lifestyle had she steered clear of social media. The reasons behind her being fired should be quite interesting to explain to future employees.
2. Guilty or not guilty? Take my poll!
This has to be without a doubt, one of the worst decisions ever made in making use of social media. A juror in a child abduction and assault case–which is clearly a very sensitive matter and a private issue–in the UK was uncertain of whether or not the defendant was guilty. She was so conflicted with making her decision, she took to her Facebook and asked her friends: “I don’t know which way to go, so I’m holding a poll.” It goes beyond the stupidity of revealing secret case details to a bunch of 200 Facebook friends. With non-existent privacy settings at the time, the information was laid out for any Internet users to see! She was obviously dismissed for breaching a fundamental rule of jury service. Next time, make the decision on your own or with the persuasion of the other jurors.
3. Attention Internet, I want to be fired!
A woman clearly misjudged the innocence of updating her Facebook status to a rant about why she wants to be fired–I mean, why her job is awful. Either thinking her privacy settings would keep her boss and co-workers from seeing her hate-filled post, or simply forgetting they were friends, she was in for quite the surprise to see a few hours later she had in fact been fired. Though for her it was likely a dream come true since she allegedly had the worst boss ever, she’ll go down in social media history of what not to do. It just goes to show you, swearing at your boss and vocalizing your hate for work in a public domain will not make you employee of the month.
Don’t try to take down the celebrities. It surely will never end well. Waiter Jon-Barrett Ingels found out the hard way when he took to his Twitter to complain about actress Jane Adams, who allegedly skipped her bill on account of having forgotten her wallet. It was later paid, but without tip, to his horror. Well, Jane Adams isn’t one to stand for defamation. She returned, with tip and complaint in tow. Diss a celebrity, get fired. Yet Mr. Ingels definitely didn’t see that one coming, since he bitterly continued to complain on Twitter. Guess it would’ve been smarter to keep your comment off the Internet in the first place. Point one goes to celebrities.
5. Art is great, no ifs, ands or butts
One of my personal favorites is the story of Stephen Murmer, also known as “Stan Murmur”, whose love of art took him to do unusual things on the web. Though YouTube isn’t always on people’s radar, it can still cause quite the stir, especially if the video goes viral! For this art teacher, his strange…talent and poor disguise branded him a “teacher gone wild on the web” and lost him his high school art gig. While his fame as a “painter” grew, Stephen was able to keep his identity quiet until an interview came out with his true identity revealed. Though he wasn’t fired outright, the board voted to fire him unanimously, saying as a teacher he really wasn’t setting the positive example for students that he should’ve been. The lessons to be learned from Mr. Murmer: don’t post your butt on Youtube for the world to see, even if it is for the sake of an art piece (especially if you’re a teacher, but that should really go without saying) and perhaps keep certain odd talents to yourself.
So there you have it, a list of just some of the weird, the wacky, the equally horrific stories of being fired from social media. Don’t let this be you! Take these ex-employees as examples of what not to do (unless you’re a really good butt artist, but then you should open an art gallery or something and save yourself the extra drama) and there’s no reason Twitter, Facebook or even YouTube can bring you down.