Culture

Careers That Were Ruined by Social Media  

Jacob Shelton
13.4M views 40 items

For all intents and purposes, social media is a great thing. It helps you keep in contact with friends and family across the globe, you can find out about all manner of cool stuff going on in your neck of the woods, and you get to be on the ground floor when a person or corporation has a total meltdown. Occasionally, these social media mistakes have led to hasty firings and many people who instantly regretted their tweets and Facebook posts, having lots of time to reminisce, thanks to their newly unemployed lifestyle.

If you're lucky enough, you get to see these social media faux pas and Twitter meltdowns happen in real time. This list is all about those moments when someone put a thought into the digital landscape without realizing that what they said could be read by one important person, or by millions of consumers ready to tear apart their corporate overlords, 140 characters at a time. These posts resulted in people with no job, ruined careers, and a whole lot of time on their hands all of a sudden.

We've all said things that we wish we could take back, and in the 21st century, we've all written things on social media we wish we could delete forever. Most of us are lucky in that our online lives haven't popped up to bite us in the back in the middle of a board meeting or while we're having dinner with our parents. Most people haven't been fired over Twitter posts or let go thanks to a Facebook photo, but not the people on this list.

These people may have led normal lives, hated their bosses, or liked to party. The only difference between them and you is that they put something negative on social media and the world sat up and listened. While that may seem like a good thing, the folks on this list didn't think so at the time - most of them lost their jobs, were fired over Facebook, and faced a landslide of mockery that continues to this day.

Who has made the biggest social media mistakes and been fired for social media posts? Read on to find out and let us know about your own Twitter or Facebook blunders in the comments. We promise we won't use them against you.

BBC Radio Broadcaster Danny Baker Fired After A Tweet About The 2019 Royal Birth
BBC Radio Broadcaster Danny Ba... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Careers That Were Ruined by Social Media
Photo: @prodnose/Twitter

BBC Radio Broadcaster Danny Baker was fired because of an inappropriate tweet about Prince Harry and Meghan's new child. The tweet features a black and white photograph of a man and a woman walking hand-in-hand with a chimpanzee dressed in a suit with the caption, "Royal baby leaves hospital."

A BBC spokesperson told CNN, "This was a serious error of judgment and goes against the values we as a station aim to embody. Danny's a brilliant broadcaster but will no longer be presenting a weekly show with us." 

Barker insists the tweet, which was promptly deleted, was in no way meant to employ a racist stereotype, but rather was a joke about the "Royals vs. circus animals in posh clothes." Regardless, his actions have caused many to question his judgment and he was subsequently let go from his position with the station.

CrossFit Fired A Trainer After He Called LGBTQ+ Pride 'A Sin'

In June 2018, a CrossFit gym in Indianapolis, IN, canceled a Pride Month workout. Most social media users were enraged, but Russell Berger, an Alabama-based Christian pastor and CrossFit trainer, applauded the gym for its "convictions." The tweet from June 6, 2018 read:

As someone who personally believes celebrating "pride" is a sin, I’d like to personally encourage #CrossFitInfiltrate for standing by their convictions and refusing to host an @indypride workout. The intolerance of the LGBTQ ideology toward any alternative views is mind-blowing.

When Berger faced backlash on Twitter, he defended his response, saying

The tactics of some in the LGBTQ movement toward dissent is an existential threat to freedom of expression. The lack of tolerance for disagreement, which has been replaced with bullying Twitter mobs promising "consequences," should be a concern regardless of your political stance.

CrossFit was not having any of this. The company went on damage control and quickly tweeted their support of the LGBTQ community and made an official statement declaring Russell was fired. In an interview with Buzzfeed News, CrossFit founder and CEO Greg Glassman said: 

He needs to take a big dose of ‘shut the f*ck up' and hide out for awhile. It’s sad. We do so much good work with such pure hearts - to have some zealot in his off-time do something this stupid, we’re all upset. The whole company is upset. This changes his standing with us. What that looks like, I don’t know. It’s so unfortunate.

CBS VP Fired For Writing That Las Vegas Victims Don't Deserve Sympathy
CBS VP Fired For Writing That ... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Careers That Were Ruined by Social Media
Photo:  Facebook

On October 1, 2017, Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd attending a music festival in Las Vegas, dispatching 59 people and wounding over 500. The next day, Hayley Geftman-Gold, a vice president and senior legal counsel at CBS, took to Facebook. Calling some of the victims "Republican gun toters," she claimed they didn't deserve sympathy, and said she doubted the "Repugs" in power would "do the right thing."

CBS immediately fired her and released a statement that read: 

This individual, who was with us for approximately one year, violated the standards of our company and is no longer an employee of CBS... Her views as expressed on social media are deeply unacceptable to all of us at CBS. Our hearts go out to the victims in Las Vegas and their families.

Geftman-Gold's comments have since been deleted, and she has publicly apologized.

Source: Washington Post

Professor Fired For Saying Hurricane Harvey Was 'Karma'
Professor Fired For Saying Hur... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Careers That Were Ruined by Social Media
Photo: @klstorey/Twitter

On August 27, 2017, Kenneth L. Storey, a visiting sociology professor at the University of Tampa, tweeted suggesting that Hurricane Harvey was "instant karma" for Texas voting Republican. He quickly removed the tweet and deleted his account, but the damage was done. The school received a flurry of criticism for the post, and Storey was promptly fired.

Storey issued an apology on the 28th, saying he "never meant to wish ill will upon any group." The university, meanwhile, said it "stands in solidarity with the people impacted by Hurricane Harvey."

Source: NBC News