A Fox Sports reporter took to social media Tuesday evening with a post she is surely regretting, but what she chose to do as damage control afterward is actually a blueprint for what not to do.
Erika Reidt is a freelance reporter for Fox’s Hispanic language sports affiliate Fox Deportes, and the topic she chose was a very sensitive one – NBA player protest gestures in support of Eric Garner. Many high profile players this week are wearing “I can’t breathe” t-shirts in warm up, and according to the Buzzfeed story, Ms. Reidt felt compelled to comment on both Twitter and Instagram.
Ms. Reidt has already been suspended by Fox Sports. Her mistakes were many.
Mistake 1: Especially if you’re a public figure, you should be very careful posting about sensitive topics in the first place. Even if you believe that you are right, a lot of opinions are best kept private.
Mistake 2: It may be that her Twitter and Instagram accounts are set up so that she posts simultaneously to both networks, or that she chose to make the same post on both networks. Either way, if you are going to post something that may be perceived as negative, broadcasting that thought as broadly as possible is a terrible idea. It gives more people an opportunity to interact with the comment and/or save the evidence before you’ve had a chance to delete it if you find out you’ve touched the third rail.
Mistake 3: She apparently lied, and claimed that her account(s) were hacked. She was immediately called out and had to back down from the claim.
Mistake 4: Don’t try to justify your actions. Once the “I was hacked” defense didn’t work, she claimed some kid of authority based on her Latina heritage, tweeting “I was raised in the hood…”. As you can imagine, that comment didn’t go over very well either.
Public social media accounts are no place for airing unpopular of controversial sentiments, unless you are trying to attract negative attention. That being said, being a troll is also a bad idea.
Ms. Reidt never should have made the comment in the first place. However, once she found that she had made an error, the best course of action would have been to delete the comments, issue an apology, and hope that the incident will soon be forgotten. Unfortunately, her newfound fame might have some staying power.
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