Let’s start this post with a few caveats
- Employers, Human Resources Managers and Digital Managers should implement a Social and Digital Media Policy that clearly coveys your company’s expectations regarding Social Media, what is acceptable and what repercussions may be. Employees must understand and sign off on it.
- If you are an employee you must know that even with profile disclaimers, you may well be liable for your tweets / actions and may loose your job for them.
It’s been covered over and over again to no avail – in schools and workplace meetings alike. Watch what you share online, don’t post anything you wouldn’t want on the internet forever.
Sometimes we forget but to what end? Would you tweet that you would like drugs delivered to your place of employment AND NAME YOUR EMPLOYER? Sigh.
Tuesday August 13th 2013…
… Sunith Baheerathan tweeted:
“Any dealers in Vaughan wanna make a 20sac chop? Come to Keele/Langstaff Mr. Lube, need a spliff.”
So, this guy basically announced to the WHOLE WORLD that he was looking for a drug dealer to deliver drugs to his place of employment. No detail was too small for this guy to leave out of his tweet. He included the name of his employer and the location. What was he thinking? Before we get into what ensued, let’s break this down a touch further.
Do you know who’s a partner in Mr.Lube? Jim Treliving, that’s who. He is an ex-RCMP officer, and one of the Dragons on CBC’s Dragon’s Den. A savvy entrepreneur who (I would assume), hires only the smartest and brightest to work with him. So you can be assured that Mr. Lube and the other companies that Mr. Treliving has holdings in maintain a squeaky clean image. I might aslo go as as far as to assume that they also have staff who monitor social media channels for things that may affect the brand.
What happens on Twitter Stays In Real Life
Sunith’s tweet was met with a response from (don’t act suprised), York Regional police (who seem to be doing a great job monitoring themselves):
Awesome! Can we come too? MT @Sunith_DB8R Any dealers in Vaughan wanna make a 20sac chop? Come to Keele/Langstaff Mr. Lube, need a spliff.
— York Regional Police (@YRP) August 13, 2013
York Regional Police was retweeted, and Sunith was berated and made fun of. He took it all very lightly even suggesting that the police made him famous. When I went back to check on his tweets his account was locked (now, it seems this account has taken on a different life… ), and then I heard the news that he was terminated.
I’ve checked news sources hoping to find out why he was terminated and if it had to do with his social media blunder but, I didn’t find anything concrete. Mr. Lube did tweet about it:
@YRP Thank you to the York Regional Police for your help and great work. The matter has now been handled.
— Mr. Lube (@mrlube) August 14, 2013
It would seem that some of the online population believes his termination is unjust. I suppose to them it’s not a big deal. It’s just a spliff but, doesn’t the employer have the right to not be dragged into the personal (possibly criminal), online life of an employee?
You can also bet that employers will do what they need to, in order to protect themselves and their brand from negligent employees. Employees need to know and understand what trouble they can get into if they do / say something that may tarnish their employers brand / reputation. The End.
Don’t put things online if you don’t want people to see them / remember them…. Yup, that’s right, remember them because guess what? Sunith’s name is all over Google now. If a future employer Googles his name… he may not be hired.
At last count the message from York Regional Police was retweeted over 6,000 times.
Tell me what you think about this entire fiasco… I’d love to hear it.