Eric Spitznagel wrote an articlepart humor, part horrorabout the many ways in which people have damaged their careers and their reputations all thanks to that little bird that tweets. (Great Moments in Twitter Blunders Bloomberg Businessweek 6/11/126/17/12, pp. 8889.) The tagline to the piece says it all: How much career damage could you possibly do in just 140 characters? Turns out, quite a bit.
Hey, fewer characters than that have gotten many a character in trouble!
One gentleman, a social-media manager, was having a frustrating moment in Detroit traffic. He decided to tweet a disparaging remark about Detroit driversfrom his clients corporate account (just happened to be a little company named Chrysler.). Not long after that, he and his agency were fired by the client.
In another case, a politicians staff was tweeting about the amusing and illicit ways in which they were passing time in the office while on the taxpayers dime. Sadly, it took that politician four months to catch on to the farce. One he did, he fired his entire staff.
On the other end of the scale, a CFO for a major womens clothing store was fired, apparently for extremely boring tweets. He was expected to be engaging the public via social media. One of his more exhilarating tweets was, Board meeting. Good numbers = Happy Board. Really?
My mom used to say to me, Think before you speak. Perhaps we can all be reminded to do the same before we tweet. After all, we would hate to receive bad news preceded by, A little bird told me . . .
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