One might be surprised to learn how much damage he could do in 140 characters. Twitter can be a great tool to interact with faceless strangers and with friends, but it can also be a dangerous weapon if somebody does not realize what harm he or she can do while using the social media website. A former digital communications manager for National Basketball Association club the Houston Rockets got a little carried away when he was making what he thought was an innocent joke. That joke that he sent out to the world via Twitter got him fired, and it is thus a message that he probably regrets Tweeting.
Comedian Gilbert Gottfried had an easy gig playing the voice of the Aflac duck. All that he had to do was say one word in his well-known voice, and he made a decent living doing so. That job disappeared all because Gottfried made insensitive jokes about a tragedy that affected that country of Japan. There are some incidents that can be considered to be humorous or that can be joked about. Others, however, have serious and sorrowful affects on fellow human beings. Gottfried seemingly forgot this as he opened up his Twitter account, and his Tweets caused him to be fired by the company.
Fans of television shows have been known to get upset when “spoilers” have been leaked via websites such as Twitter. One actress received more than responses from upset fans when she decided that she wanted to use Twitter to give away a future storyline for the program Glee. The show’s producer was less than pleased to see the post that had been Tweeted out by the actress, so much so that he took to the website to hint that she had been fired from that show. Twitter can provide entertainment, but it can also lead to you looking for new work if you are not careful each time that you open up your account page.
10. The Glee Extra
Fans of the show Glee wanted nothing to do with spoilers of future storylines. Nicole Crowther had a role as a recurring extra on the program when she found out about this in April of 2011. Crowther used what was once her active Twitter account to inform Glee viewers about a rumor that she had heard. That Tweet was seen by the producer of the show, who publicly informed her that she should probably look for other work. While Crowther did deactivate her account, she later told the LA Times that she was not all that sorry. Crowther, per the Times, said the following: “I have nothing to be ashamed of, I have nothing to hide. I’m telling the truth and I’m going to prove that to everyone.”
9. Chrysler Contractor
Scott Bartosiewicz was working for Chrysler in March of 2011 when he found himself frustrated with the traffic situation in Detroit. Bartosiewicz naturally logged onto Twitter to vent his anger, and he posted the following: “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to (expletive) drive.” There was just one problem. Bartosiewicz sent that Tweet from the official Chrysler account rather than from his personal page. That miscue, as was explained by the Associated Press (h/t NBC News), understandably got Bartosiewicz fired.
8. Octavia Nasr
Octavia Nasr had spent 20 years working for CNN when she learned about the passing of Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah. Nasr logged onto her CNN Twitter page to post the following about the matter: “Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah. One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot.” Fadlallah was, according to The Guardian, “instrumental in the establishment of Hezbollah,” and so the Tweet was controversial in the eyes of some. CNN apparently agreed, as the company elected to part ways with Nasr not long after her Tweet went viral.
7. Australian Comedian
Australian comedian Catherine Deveny had a job as a columnist for Melbourne newspaper The Age in early May 2010. Deveny went too far in the eyes of her employers when she Tweeted some offensive comments, one of which was that the 11-year-old daughter of the late Steve Irwin needed to “get laid.” Editor Paul Ramadge, Deveny’s boss at the time, released the following statement that was posted by the Digital Spy website: “We are appreciative of the columns Catherine has written for The Age over several years but the views she has expressed recently on Twitter are not in keeping with the standards we set at The Age.”
6. Fired Before She Started
Cella was a teenager living in Texas in February 2015 when she was preparing to start a job working at a local pizzeria. Young Cella was clearly not excited about this new employment opportunity. She went on Twitter and delivered the following message about the matter: “Ew I start this f— a– job tomorrow.” Cella also added multiple thumbs-down Emojis. Her boss, known as Robert Waple on Twitter, had some news for her after he saw the Tweet: “And…no you don’t start that FA job today! I just fired you! Good luck with your no money, no job life!” Ouch.
5. Fired Sportscaster
“Stick to sports.” It is a mantra that is commonly repeated on Twitter whenever a figure in the sports world uses the website to voice his opinion on a political matter. Damian Goddard of Rogers Sportsnet chose to not stick to sports when he Tweeted out the following regarding same-sex marriage: “I completely and whole-heartedly support Todd Reynolds and his support for the traditional and TRUE meaning of marriage.” The company was not OK with this take, per WEEI, and Rogers sent out this statement in response of the Tweet: “Mr. Goddard was a freelance contractor and in recent weeks it had become clear that he is not the right fit for our organization.”
4. “Dirty Mexicans” Radio Personality
Diehard Major League Baseball fans may remember Mike Bacsik for being the pitcher who gave up home run No. 756 to slugger Barry Bonds. Bacsik made news in the spring of 2010 when he went on Twitter to deliver a hot take about the National Basketball Association series between the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs: “Congrats to all the dirty mexicans in San Antonio,” was what Bacsik posted on Twitter. You should not be surprised to learn that Tweet was a no-no. Bacsik was, as explained by ESPN, fired because of that Tweet, one that he never should have sent out in the first place.
3. AIDS Joker
“Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” This was the Tweet that made Justine Sacco famous in December 2013. What she thought was a harmless joke posted on Twitter went viral, and her employers did not see any humor in the post. Sacco was fired because of the Tweet, one that affected her in ways that she could not have imagined. According to the Daily Mail, the saga was rather stressful for Sacco: “I cried out my body weight in the first 24 hours. It was incredibly traumatic. You don’t sleep. You wake up in the middle of the night forgetting where you are.”
2. Gilbert Gottfried
The earthquake and subsequent tsunami that affected Japan in 2011 was no joking matter. Comedian Gilbert Gottfried thought otherwise, Tweeting out the following about the matter: “I just split up with my girlfriend, but like the Japanese say, There’ll be another one floating by any minute now.” “Japan called me. They said maybe those jokes are a hit in the US, but over here, they’re all sinking.” There were other offensive Tweets that were pointed out by websites such as the International Business Times. Gottfried had been working as the voice of the Aflac duck at the time, but that changed all because of his use of Twitter.
1. Houston Rockets Communications Manager
Official Twitter accounts for professional sports teams use the website for banter. It’s fun, and it is a way for those clubs to get noticed by fans. Chad Shanks was working as the communications manager of the Houston Rockets in April 2015 when he went a bit too far on Twitter as Houston was on the verge of defeating the Dallas Mavericks. He posted an image of a gun pointed toward the head of a horse, along with the following message: “Shhhhh. Just close your eyes. It will all be over soon.” Shanks went to his personal Twitter page to apologize for his actions. That was after, per Deadspin, he was fired by the Rockets.