You may have heard that one half of the radio team Opie & Anthony, Anthony Cumia was fired this week over what his employer SiriusXM called “racially-charged and hate-filled remarks on social media.”
The incident in question didn’t happen at work, but SiriusXM was pressured to make the move by folks, perhaps their customers, who found the tweets offensive. His tweets have since been deleted, but the incident raises the question about how much trouble one can get into by posting online. In this case, the individual in hot water is a celebrity, but regular folks get into relationship drama, fired from jobs or denied opportunities all the time because of online content.
There is one school of thought that anything you post online should be private as long as your accounts are set to private. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work this way. If you post something on a private account, and one of your friends with a public account shares it, it is no longer private and the evidence will be around for a long time, perhaps forever.
In general, the likelihood of you getting in trouble is at least in part related to how good someone with an interest in you is at looking for it. Who is particularly proficient at using the internet to uncover dirt?
- People who are offended by what you posted – it can spread like wildfire
- Big company HR departments
- College athletic recruiters and some college admissions officers
Regarding (1), Cumia lost his job because he offended some people or a group of people. Unless you’re self-employed, you don’t want that happening to you. Even then you are, you probably don’t want to anger a large group of people who may be customers or business partners.
It goes without saying that you will be best served if (2) and (3) know as little about you as possible.
If you’re at all concerned about the future, you are hoping that if they look for you online, (4), (5) and (6) only see positive or harmless stuff. Who defines harmless? They do; you don’t.
If you are spending time online, it is worth the effort to think about how others view what you are posting. If you’d like an impartial opinion, we can help.
Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for online reputation management.