Today, the world has become a global village, and we must be very careful about what we post online. People who have spent years building a reputation and gaining respect can lose it all by just one wrong post on social media. Here, we have shared the eight real stories of how social media ruins careers. These people’s careers and reputations were jeopardized due to social media posts.
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Real Stories of How Social Media Ruins Careers
1. Katie Rich
In 2017, Katie Rich, a scriptwriter for the American TV show Saturday Night Live, was suspended from her position after posting a sarcastic tweet on Donald Trump’s youngest son.
She had tweeted that Barron Trump would be the country’s first homeschooled shooter. She had intended to mock the 10-year-old child and meant that he could not adjust to society like a normal person.
This did not go down well with the general public, even those who didn’t support Donald Trump. Ms. Rich was bashed for her insensitive tweet. She later deleted the post and even issued an apology. But NBC was quick to react and immediately suspended Ms. Rich from her position at Saturday Night Live.
2. Nicole Kaiser
Nicole Kaiser had just gotten into the acting business when she bagged a small role in the hit American TV show, Glee. She was quite thrilled about it and shared the news on her Twitter account. However, amidst her excitement, she also posted a spoiler of the second season of the show online.
The management of Glee was quite shocked at this and took quick action. They had to remove Nicole Kaiser from the cast of the show.
3. Jofi Joseph
Jofi Joseph worked in the National Security for the US government when Barack Obama was president. In 2011, he had created an anonymous account on Twitter in which he dished out government secrets. He even criticized the Obama government.
The government searched for the person behind this anonymous account for two years. When they found out that the account belonged to Joseph, they immediately fired him.
4. Amelia Peterson
Amelia Peterson damaged her father’s career when she posted a video online. Amelia’s father worked as an engineer for Apple. On one of her visits to her father at work, she got to use the unreleased iPhone X.
But she violated the Apple company rule by filming herself using the iPhone X and uploading it on YouTube. The video also showed codenames of Apple’s unreleased products in the notes app.
Apple asked Amelia to delete the video, and her father even apologized on her behalf. But since Apple’s strict policy of not filming had been violated, the company fired Amelia’s father.
5. Charlie Sheen
Charlie Sheen is an American movie actor and former star of the show Two and a Half Men. In 2011, he wrote a post where he insulted the producer of the show, Chuck Lorre. In his post, he called Lorre, a clown. Charlie was then fired by the management of the show.
6. Amena Khan
Amena Khan is a British model with Pakistani origins. She had signed a contract with fashion giant L’Oréal and was the first model wearing a hijab to do so. However, she could not start her career with L’Oréal as her tweets from 2014 were unearthed by Twitter users. In those tweets, she had condemned Israel’s war in Gaza.
Amena deleted those tweets and even apologized for them. However, she later chose to step down from her L’Oréal campaign due to the backlash she faced.
She posted online, “With deep regret, I’ve decided to step down from this campaign because the current conversations surrounding it detract from the positive and inclusive statement that it set out to deliver.”
A spokesperson from the fashion company even informed the media that they had agreed with Amena Khan’s decision to step down.
7. Connor Riley
An American woman, Connor Riley, interviewed for a position at the multinational company Cisco in 2009. She cleared the interview and was offered a job.
Riley decided to share the good news on Twitter but maybe in an amusing way. She tweeted, “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 to hate the work.”
The tweet was read by one of Cisco’s employees who responded by posting “Who is the hiring manager? I’m sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the web”. The job offer was soon taken back, and Riley’s career at Cisco ended before it had even started.
8. Justine Sacco
Justine Sacco was the senior director of corporate communications at IAC. In 2013, she was visiting South Africa for a family vacation when she tweeted, “Going to Africa. I hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!”
When she next checked her phone after the 11-hour flight to Cape Town, she realized she had become a trend on Twitter. Her tweet had been re-tweeted over 2000 times with people all over criticizing her for her racist views. Later on, she was also fired from her job despite issuing a public apology.
It is extremely essential that we all keep a check on what we post online. Social media might seem an informal fling only, but sometimes it can get very sensitive. Therefore, one needs to be extremely cautious.
Moreover, it is also important to go through all our social media history and delete any hateful or insulting posts. In the case of people coming under the scrutiny of the public for their posts, they should immediately apologize. Do not try to offer unnecessary and irrelevant excuses. Try to prove that you want to change and then you may gain your respect back.