An emoji too far? Social media mismanagement
An experienced social media manager, two esteemed journalists and a single 'mom' walk into a bar. There isn't a punchline but a fair chance that phones will be left in pockets as each of them recounts how they lost their job after comments made on social media over the past two weeks.
In the midst of the NBA Playoffs, the Houston Rockets fired Social Media Manager Chad Shanks for the above tweet, in possibly the most high-profile firing in social media to date.
Chad showed great remorse and class as he bowed out from running the Rockets' social accounts the very next day, much to the disappointment of the NBA franchise's followers who found Chad's tweets a refreshing change to others who played it safe. Chad tweeted on the fans' level and it was that passion that led to his ultimate demise.
Fouth and 140 put it best when they said social media managers — whether they’re representing sports teams, car brands, TV networks and everything in-between — are not on an island. They did not set sail to Twitter’s unique and often misunderstood world of 140 characters by themselves.
While Chad was running the Rocket's twitter account as a social media professional, closer to home, SBS journalist Marion Ives was fired after reposting an article critical of her employer to her personal facebook page.
According to News.com.au Marion's sacking was in breach of SBS's social media guidelines and came a week after that of Scott McIntyre, whose controversial Anzac tweets not only led to his sacking, but also had Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
If professionals and journalists are landing themselves in hot water, then perhaps it comes as no surprise that every day civilians are starting to be held accountable for their unfiltered social media posts.
According to My Fox NY Kaitlyn Walls was excited to find work; however, she was not as excited about her place of employment, which was a daycare center in Texas.
She posted on Facebook, "I start my new job today but I absolutely hate working at a day care. I just really hate being around a lot of kids."
The post spread quickly with many attacking her on Facebook and her employer told her to not bother coming in for her first day.
What to make of all this?
While I feel for Chad and admire what he tried to bring to the Houston Rockets' social media accounts, he did cross the line. We can also rule out any leniency in using emojis to simulate unsavoury acts!
As for the rest, as the saying goes, if you haven't got anything nice to say — ensure your privacy settings are AIR. TIGHT.