Jack E. Sandline, an Indiana Senator and owner of private investigation firm Jack Sandline and Associates, shared a post on Facebook mocking the women who participated in the post inauguration Women’s March as being fat and unmotivated. Sandlin shared a picture of the march which read: “In one day, Trump got more fat women out walking, than Michelle Obama did in 8 years.”
The post was quickly deleted, but it was too late. People had already taken screenshots of the post and it began spreading like wildfire. After the post was deleted, a second post appeared on Sandlin’s Facebook wall apologizing, but it was also deleted shortly after. Sandlin told the Indy Star he didn’t make either post, but he allow the possibility that he, “…could have hit something.”
Social media is a powerful tool. It can connect you with your audience directly to strengthen your brand. It can also destroy all of your hard work if you post the wrong thing. Here’s a few times people’s social media posts got them into hot water.
It’s no secret that Saturday Night Live and Donald Trump have an adversarial relationship. Alec Baldwin has been portraying Trump in less than flattering ways ever since Trump announced he was running for president. While SNL has a history of lampooning anyone and everyone, even they had to draw the line when one of their writers tweeted about Trump’s youngest son, Barron.
On the day of Trump’s inauguration, SNL writer Katie Rich published a tweet that said, “Barron will be this country’s first homeschool shooter.” The reaction across social media was swift and strong in its condemnation of the tweet. People were outraged Rich targeted a child with an insult.
Rich deleted the tweet and even deactivated her Twitter account after the backlash, but it was too late. Executives quickly suspended her for indefinite amount of time for the tweet. Rich’s name was removed from the credits of the following show.
Justine Sacco was the director of corporate communications at IAC when she caused a social media meltdown. Sacco was sitting on a plane waiting to take off for Africa when she tweeted, “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” Sacco’s flight took off shortly after the tweet was sent.
Sacco didn’t have internet access as she flew and had no idea her tweet was causing the uproar it did. With only 170 followers, it’s unlikely Sacco expected any significant response to her tweet. Unfortunately social media is unpredictable and it’s difficult to know what will and won’t blow up. By the time Sacco’s plane landed, there were numerous blogs calling her a racist and she had lost her job.
In case you thought only lower level employees would lose their jobs over social media posts, Matt Harrigan is here to prove you wrong. Harrigan was the CEO and President of PacketSled, a network security company before resigning due to some ill advised social media posts.
In multiple posts across his Twitter and Facebook pages, Harrigan wrote about wanting to personally kill Donald Trump.
Twitter and Facebook accounts tied to Matthew Harrigan, the President & CEO of PacketSled, included comments threatening Trump Sunday afternoon, according to an NBC 7 source.
“I’m going to kill the president. Elect,” was one of the posts on Harrigan’s Twitter account. It was followed by the comment, “Bring it secret service.”
“…getting a sniper rifle and perching myself where it counts,” reads a post to Harrigan’s Facebook account. “Find a bedroom in the whitehouse [sic] that suits you motherf—er. I’ll find you.”
After Harris’s social media posts began to garner attention, he tendered his resignation to the PacketSled board of directors who quickly accepted. As if losing his job wasn’t bad enough, his comments were also reported to the Secret Service. Harris did apologize for his comments, but it was too late.