Misjudged Social Media Comments

Employment

Misjudged comments on social media result in loss of job and death threats


While more and more people communicate using social media like Facebook or Twitter, it appears that many users still do not realise that once material is posted online, it is very easy to lose ‘control’ of it and this can have unintended and grave consequences.

A perfect example of this is the case of Anton Casey.  Mr Casey, a British businessman living in Singapore, made posts on social media, one of which referred to users of public transport in Singapore as “poor people”, and another which referred to a taxi driver as a “retard” for wearing gloves and arm warmers in 37 degree heat.  Mr Casey’s comments went viral on the internet and as a result of the publicity he lost his job, received death threats and was forced to flee his adopted home.

Most people would agree that the comments contained in Mr Casey’s posts reflect negatively on him, however the consequences of his misjudged comments do seem unnecessarily harsh. 

There are few lessons to be learned from Mr Casey if you are going to make comments in social media:

First, check your privacy settings – is your post going to be seen by a select few of your close friends or is it immediately visible to anyone with a computer or cell phone that can access the internet? 

Second, if your employer sees the post is it likely to reflect positively or negatively on you? 

And finally, regardless of your privacy settings, remember that anyone who accesses or receives your post could then re-post it, expanding the audience exponentially. 

Ask yourself, given these risks, is your planned post really that amusing?

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