Fired Because of Social Media
Jessica Miller-Merrell | HR, Social Media| By
It is a digital and social media world we are living in with the use of social media, blogging, video tablets and smartphones only growing in popularity. This new level of personal and professional transparency combined with the availability of mobile technology heightens the likelihood that your workplace will be impacted with social media in some way. It’s likely that your recruiting team is using social media as a candidate recruiting and sourcing tool. Quite possibly, your organization is using internal social media and collaborative communication tools to increase productivity and connectivity. Due to the increase of employee firings, layoff announcements and terminations that are happenings through social media channels, I thought it best to create a timeline of known events and case studies that are brought to our attention through the power of social media, online media and traditional news sources.
Fired Because of Social Media
This list you see before you is not meant to be all encompassing. It is ever growing and changing as new instances are brought to our attention through the power of you by leaving a comment below. This list was created to show how important social media and technology is in our lives as well as work and to help executives and business leaders make a decision to embrace the tools not ban them from organizations. Because of the prevalence of technology, companies have two decisions they can make: 1) Embrace the technology or 2) Avoid the technology. The problem is that even without a company’s involvement social media and technology is being used to share and tell their story. Companies have to embrace the technology and find ways to educate and train their employees how to use it while also preparing for the inevitable social media misstep that will take their company viral.
- Dan Grilo, a Hilary Clinton volunteer lost his job from Liberty Mutual after mocking a widow of a Navy Seal on Twitter.
- School administrator and social media manager, Katie Nash roasts kid on Twitter loses job.
- Michigan firefighter, Ryan Hudson fired after posting racist comments about black lives matter on Facebook.
- Canadian nurse, Carolyn Strom who vented on Facebook found guilty of unprofessional conduct.
- Police officer, Rodney Lee Wilson threatens child on Facebook and loses job.
- Bank of America terminates employee after racists Facebook rank goes viral.
- Two Memphis police officers suspended for Snapchat updates.
- Claire Shepherd was fired 30 minutes after she started her job as a Retail Merchandiser at Dee Set for a hand tattoo.
- Vulgar Tweets to MLB star Curt Schilling’s daughter, forces Curt to tweet back which gets the Cyber Bully fired.
- Rap Genius CEO fired after comments made on Facebook about the California shooter.
- Server, Chelsea Welch fired from her job at Applebee’s after posting a customer’s receipt on the online website, Reddit
- Social Media Manager, Poppy Rose live tweets department layoff from the HMV corporate Twitter account. Story goes viral as managers are scrambling to reset corporate Twitter account password
- ‘Bitter Barista’ Matt Watson was fired over his snarky blog
- 23 year old Colorado teacher was fired for tweeting naked twerk photos and pictures of her smoking marijuana
- KFC worker fired for posting photo of her licking a bowl of potatoes on social media
- Adria Richards is fired from SendGrid after she tweeted about conference attendees discussing topics she found to be inappropriate and of a sexual nature. SendGrid announces her termination via Twitter and Facebook
- Groupon CEO, Andrew Mason announces that he was fired via Twitter to employees, investors and customers
- Australian Miners fired for posting Harlem Shake video on YouTube
- Carly McKinney, 23 year old high school teacher, was fired after tweeting nude photos of herself while calling her students jailbait and talks about getting high
- Taco Bell fires employee for licking tacos and posting photo of it on Facebook
- Subway employees fired for posting pictures on Instagram and Twitter of male private parts in sandwiches and frozen urine
- Investigative reporter, Shea Allen fired after posting a confession on her blog that included sleeping on the job and stealing mail to snag a story
- Employee, Marina Shifrin resigns from job using a recorded dance video. Oddly enough, the company produces videos
- Pax Dickeron, CTO of Business Insider forced to resign after company discovers his inflammatory and offensive tweets
- White House Aide, Jofi Joseph, fired after admitting he was a Twitter Troll
- High School Coach Was Fired For This Facebook Photo
- PR Exec is fired for offensive tweet
- Adam Smith’s life has been turned upside-down in the 36 hours that followed his posting the video of his protest at Chick-fil-A, which involved letting a young female employee at the drive-thru know what he thinks about the company
- Cameron Jankowsk, an employee of Taco Bell is fired after someone posts a photo on Twitter of him peeing on a plate of nachos
- Three employee’s fired at Burger King in Ohio for posting a photo that when viral on Reddit as well as social media of employees stepping in bowls of lettuce meant for paying customers.
- Lindsey Stone is fired after posting a photo on Facebook of her disrespecting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier goes viral.
- Denise Helms was fired after calling Obama the N-Word and said she hoped he was assissinated.
- Meteorologist, Rhonda Lee is fired from news station after to responding to a viewer comment on Facebook criticizing her short hair cut.
- ACLU sends letter on behalf of employee, Robert Collins inquiring about Maryland Division of Corrections practice of requesting Facebook passwords as part of the employment process.
- Teacher, Ashley Payne, fired over Facebook picture with glass of wine and mug of beer
- Nir Rosen was fired after posting insensitive remarks on Twitter.
- Gilbert Gottfried is fired as voice of Aflac duck after he tweets racists comments after Japanese Tsunami.
- Scott Bartosiewicz worked for Chrysler when he posted a tweet that offended the entire City of Detroit.
- Teacher Christine Rubio was fired after joking about killing students.
- Nichole Crowther, Glee extra, fired over posting spoiler on Twitter
- Buckhingham Palace guard, Cameron Reilly, was relieved of royal wedding duties for posting rude comments about Kate Middleton on his Facebook page
- White Sox Manager gets suspended for two games after tweeting about his ejection from the baseball game
- Sportsnet host, Damian Goddard, fired over anti-gay marriage ads.
- Anthony Weiner tweeted lewd pictures of his man parts.
- Congressman Chris Lee Resigns Due to Embarassing Craigslist Photo
- Firefighter Jason Brown fired over Facebook post of viritual degratory firefighter video.
- CNN Employee, Mike Bacsik, gets fired over controversial tweet over passing of Lebanon leader.
- Employee, Rebecca Fobes, vents about job on Facebook, gets fired.
- Tania Dickinson was fired after describing her job as a very expensive paperweight
- Mike Bacsik fired from job as radio host after posting racist tweets
- Brixx Pizza fires waitress Ashley Johnson for Complaining About Tip on Facebook
- Catherine Deverny was fired after attacking various stars on Twitter during the Logie Awards
- Australian comedian was fired from writing job for tweeting joke in bad taste
- Ashley Johnson fired from job after complaining about customers on Facebook
- BMW dealerhsip fires Robert Becker over negative Facebook comments.
- Pittsburgh Pirate pierogi mascot, Andrew Kurtz, fired for bashing team on Facebook page
- Renee Gork was fired for wearing a Flordia Gators hat to an Arkansas Hogs news conference. She was a radio personality
- Seven doctors and nurses were fired for posting photos of them laying down on the job or planking on Facebook
- Frank Samuelson, youth football coach fired over racists comments on Facebook
- Eagles fires Dan Leone for calling them retarded on Facebook
- Connor Riley complained about his job on Twitter and got fired
- Swiss employee fired after calling in sick but was found to be spending time on Facebook. Company was said to have created ficticious persona that friended her on the social networking site
- David Le was fired after he posted negative comments about his summer youth job while on contract in DC.
- Jon-Barrett Ingles was fired after tweeting about Hung star Jane Adams not tipping.
- Timothy “DeLaGhetto” was fired for complaing about his job on Twitter.
- Employee, Dawnmarie Souza, fired over derogatory comments about her supervisor on Facebook
- Natalie Blanchard was fired for posting vacation photos on Facebook while she was off work for depression on disability
- Seven employees of the Farm Boy grocery chain fired for making derogatory comments about the Ottawa company and its customers in an internet chat room
- New England Patriots cheerleader, Caitlin Davis was fired photo was posted on Facebook that was controversial photo
- Teacher, Nora Carr fired after updating her Facebook interests which could be seen as discriminatory
- Patriots Cheerleader, Caitlin Davis, Fired After Facebook Swastika Photo
- Walmart employee, David Noordewier, fired after bomb threat joke fizzles online.
- Blogger, Heather Armstrong was fired from her job because she blogged about work colleagues on her website Dooce.com.
Did we leave some out?
This is a running crowdsourced this of terminations and firings related to social media activities by employees. Leave a comment below with a description and link if available, and we’ll work to add it to the running list. Check out a related timeline of History of Mergers & Acquisitions for HR Technology by clicking here.
Tom Bolt says
This compilation is a valuable resource for those who may think they are invincible and can say whatever they wish. The one common thread through these firings is that they were not fired “‘because” of social media but because they were stupid.
Social media just leaves us so exposed that we need to be cautious about being stupid where people can hear and see us. We are constantly in the public eye without walls or boundaries. The value of using personal branding to create a positive image could be debated, but there is no question that a negative image is always a killer.
Jessica Miller-Merrell says
Thanks, Tom and I agree with you. Employers need to educate employees on the risks of oversharing. They are adults and can make their own choices. Employees need to know that companies are taking action and are listening to the information you share on social networks.
Be smart when using any type of social media! If you don’t want your spouse/children/boss to see/hear it…then you should not be posting it!
Michael D. Haberman, SPHR says
Ahhhh…. social media, especially Twitter, is the filter on the gene pool.
I think that the companies are out of line.
People should be able to enjoy their lives as they please and makes them happy. It shouldn’t matter to any company at all if a person enjoys a dance style that a corporate CEO doesn’t approve of. What should it matter if a CEO doesn’t like the way, style, movements or whatever it may be when a woman is dancing?
What happens in the workplace and what happens at home are 2 very different things. Its nobody’s corporate business what a person does in their private life, on their own time. As long as you show up to work on time, do what you’re supposed to do in a professional, productive way. Who cares if a woman is a stripper by night or a part of a nude colony or a religious activist. Who cares? It shouldn’t matter.
Ok, I understand if during a lunch break a woman throws on a mini skirt and starts dancing like a stripper inside the office and tweets it.. then yes.. of course.. fire her.. by all means.
..but other than situations where there is inappropriate behavior IN the workplace..
People should be able to be who they want to be and do what makes them happy to their hearts content without having to lose employment because somebody with a little bit of power doesn’t like that persons way of life.
glenn le santo says
missing: vodafone – the “fed up with dirty home I’m going after beaver’ incident:
glenn le santo says
it wasn’t his home that was dirty of course, it seems autocorrect’s a bit PC and not comfortable with the word ‘homo’ ;0)
Web Site says
I appreciate reading your web site. Thanks a lot!
Jessica Miller-Merrell says
Of course. thank you for reading.
Thanks for putting this together. I’m using your collection of sources to mine some raw data for analysis. Should be fun! Thanks and in the meantime, please update your huffpo link for Denise in November of 2012. (Pretty sure this is the article link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/09/denise-helms-california-woman-hopes-obama-is-assassinated_n_2104184.html)
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Valerie in Eugene OR says
I have an employee who stated on Face book “Depression, actually found out yesterday I am Bipolar ll, which idk if you know f a person with bipolar takes an antidepressant they like freak out get manic episodes and what not, a month on there antidepressant I had to go to the hospital because I felt like I was going to harm myself or others around me.”
This statement was made a year ago but re-posted by her last month. I feel obligated to fire her for the protection of 15-20 other staff members. She has only worked for my company for 5 months. What do you think or know about this situation? Thank you, Valerie
Cross-eyed Heidi made the headlines in December 2010 and became an internet
hit, winnijg more than 65, 000″ friends” vaporizer for smoking on social networking
website Facebook. This gives you a smokeless tobacco experience right
Alexander Jacques Sabucido says
We should know this history of terminations and firing employees.
ata loss says
Michael Huke a senior manager at Lloyds Bank Bristol HQ was reported for sending ‘Racist’ TEXT about black people, ‘Sexist’ TEXT about a female member of his staff performing oral sex on him to boost bonus’s, disdainful Text of a colleagues ‘mental health’ illness, all a clear breach of Company policy.
ether with other reported acts uploaded onto YouTube entitled ‘Michael Huke Lloyds Banker’ and ‘Banker Behaving Badly’ has made his managerial role unsustainable as his staff (and Lloyds Bank generally) holds him in contempt. Lloyds Bank in a beleaguered attempt to defuse broken working relationships has increased his home working. Comments on this man’s behaviour and Lloyds Bank handling of the problem would be interesting.