Tomorrow, I will be speaking at Cumberland Law School's 18th Annual Employment Law Seminar. The topic of my speech is "Stupid Is As Stupid Does", which relates to the many stupid things people do on social media that gets them fired, suspended, arrested or is just plain stupid. Among the many social media snafu's that I will be talking about are:
Ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner and his sexting which led to his resignation
A lawyer who told a judge she needed a continuance due to her fathers death, and ended up going on vacation, posting about it on Facebook, and the judge finding out about it
A journalist who was terminated due to a twitter post that showed her holding a sign at an Occupy Wall Street protest, when she was supposed to be covering the protest
A German girl who posted her home address for her 16th birthday party on Facebook, forgot to mark it private, received over 16,000 RSVP's, canceled the party and had to have over 100 police at her house to keep keep the 1,600 people who showed up anyway.
Several nurses and staff members at a California hospital who were suspended or fired for taking pictures of a 60 year old patient who had his throat slashed so severely that he was almost decapitated, and posting the pictures on Facebook.
The gay Rutgers University student who killed himself after his roommate took a video of him having gay sex and then posting it on line.
And, as reported yesterday by the TheEagle.com, the CFO of Texas A & M's athletic department making what he thought were anonymous posts on TexAgs, a popular website for Aggie fans, about the school's president, calling him a "putz" and an "unqualified puppet". Another poster on TexAgs researched the screen name used by the CFO and found that he had previously identified himself as the CFO of the athletic department in a prior post. Stupid is as stupid does.
Practice pointer. Whenever posting on a social media site, one must always assume that you are not anonymous, anyone in the world may see it, and there are serious ramifications for posts that are not appropriate. With a single click, one can be suspended, fired, embarrassed, arrested, or lead to someone else killing committing suicide..