by Kim Niemi
As social media grows increasingly popular, so grow the odds of posting something that can get you into trouble. Even with social media policies the norm in the business world, missteps are still made.
Smaller companies and individuals with fewer resources (or people to answer to) may find themselves particularly prone to posting without thinking. It’s never ideal, but it happens (we’ve shared several examples in this space in the past). Here are three more people who wish they’d taken a beat before clicking “post.”
1. Elizabeth Lauten. The communications director for Rep. Stephen Fincher out of Tennessee criticized First Daughters Sasha and Malia Obama’s attire during the White House’s annual turkey pardoning event. Lauten implored the girls to “try showing a little class. At least respect the part you play. Then again your mother and father don’t respect their positions very much, or the nation for that matter, so I’m guessing you’re coming up a little short in the ‘good role model’ department.” Oh boy. Lauten later apologized for the remarks. And resigned.
2. Ted Bishop. The former PGA of America president was impeached after sexist remarks made on Twitter and Facebook about another pro golfer, Ian Poulter. While the posts were deleted, one reporter saved them (all the proof you need that the Internet is forever). Bishop apologized, but refused to resign when asked, so the PGA board voted him out.
3. Best Buy. It may have been 15 years since the murder of Hae Min Lee, and the Serial podcast’s debut season may be all about dissecting the mysteries surrounding the case, but jokes still fall clearly into the “too soon” category as evidenced by backlash after the big box store’s attempt to poke fun at an aspect of the case.
Faring better than Lauten and Bishop, Best Buy apologized, and seems no worse for the incident, but it’s yet another reminder of how easy it is to slip up online and land in the social sabotage trap.
And since you never quite know how an attempt at humor, or political commentary, etc. may strike the public, it’s always best to avoid going there in the first place. Even if you hit “delete” quickly, someone will always be quicker at grabbing a screenshot of your mistake.
So remember to take that beat, because there are no take-backs on the Internet.
Have a story to share about a social post that got you into trouble? Tell us how it all went down!
IMAGE CREDIT: HOBVIAS SUDONEIGHM