After 11 years of bringing you local reporting, the team behind the Vancouver Observer has moved on to Canada's National Observer. You can follow Vancouver culture reporting over there from now on. Thank you for all your support over the years!

Fired for tweets: cautionary tales

In 140 characters or less, you can find yourself updating people regarding your daily trivialities or posting controversial, regret-worthy statuses that can destroy your career.

Photo courtesy of TwitNine

  Twitter can connect you to the world. But 140 characters can also result in  loss of face, or job for the irresponsible tweeter. Case in point, New York Democrat Anthony Weiner's recent mistake of posting a suggestive photo to a college student.   While Weiner managed to hang on to his post, he was subjected to public ridicule and shaming.  But others have lost their jobs over tweets. Here are a few tales to make you think twice before you send your thoughts and reactions into the twittersphere...

1. Nir Rosen

Respected U.S. journalist Nir Rosen, who served as a war correspondent and reported stories from Iraq, found himself treading hot waters when he tweeted rude and unsympathetic remarks following Lara Logan's sexual assault in Cairo. Though he apologized profusely, Rosen resigned from his fellowship at NYU the following day.

2. Gilbert Gottfried

Noted for being the "spokesduck" for insurance firm Alfac, comedian Gilbert Gottfried was quickly fired for making insensitive comments about Japan in the wake of the recent tsunami. Since Alfac is the largest insurance provider in Japan, the firm didn't hesitate to fire him. 

3. Rashard Mendenhall

Steelers football player Rashard Mendenhall tweeted a controversial comment on Osama Bin Laden's death. Mendenhall took it upon himself to criticize people for cheering Bin Laden's death, saying "What kind of person celebrates death? It's amazing how people can HATE a man they have never even heard speak." Though he managed to keep his job, Mendenhall was instantly dropped by his sponsor, sports equipment maker Champion.  

4. Octavia Nasr

CNN senior editor Octavia Nasr caused a stir when she made a disturbing tweet announcing her respect for Mohammad Hussein Fadallah. Fadallah is connected to the 1983 bombing which claimed the lives of US marines and French paratroopers. Despite her apologies, CNN fired Nasr, bringing an unceremonious end to her 20 years at the news station.

5. Scott Bartosiewicz

Working as a social media strategist for Chrysler, Scott Bartosiewicz accidentally expressed his personal opinion on the company's twitter account, thinking that he had logged on to his own account. Bartoseiwicz dropped an F-bomb as he angrily criticized the citizens of Detroit for their poor driving. Needless to say, he was fired.

Let these serve as a lesson to fellow twitterers out there to think carefully before posting. Remember the adage: once it's on the internet, it's there forever.

More in Technology


SIGGRAPH 2018: Virtual circus comes to town
Chris Priebe and Karen Olsson of Community Sift

British Columbia tech firm guards virtual worlds from cyberbullies

VANCOUVER — As online communities come under the attack of cyberbullies, racist speech and spam, a British Columbia tech firm has developed technology to keep the trolls under the bridge. Community...

B.C. tests remote undersea glider to prevent whale-ship collisions

VICTORIA — A remote undersea glider equipped with acoustic sensors is patrolling deep water canyons off the west coast of Vancouver Island in a bid to set up a traffic alert system to prevent large...
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.