It used to be that people could just be idiots in peace.
There wasn’t that much backlash when a sports broadcaster said something incredibly sexist on air. Nobody really cared when a hot teacher printed out seductive pictures in her underwear. And a Halloween costume making light of a terrible bombing would cause, at most, a loss of respect from friends and family. These types of things used to happen every single day without documentable repercussions. Maybe a few people found out, but the event quickly disappeared from the collective memory. What you did in your social life usually wouldn’t affect your professional life.
Thanks to Twitter, stupid people doing stupid things have to be on their guard.
Twitter has changed everything. One Tweet, picked up by a certain account, or posted on Reddit, has the ability to reach the entire world. And every proclamation, thought, and event, once recorded, is frozen in time forever. They are magnified thousands of times for the world to see as they circulate over and over and over. Thanks to Twitter, the world gets to watch as dumb people lose their jobs for doing dumb things.
These 15 people below never quite figured out this digital monster, and they paid the price.
15. Toronto Firefighters Tweet Lightheartedly About Domestic Abuse
Firefighters are the best people in our society. They literally go through hell and back every day for us sorry, flammable citizens. They are strong, courageous…. and unbelievably sexist? Toronto firefighters Lawaun Edwards and Matt Bowman were fired from their fire department after their flagrantly sexist tweets to the world. In one, Edwards asked if swatting a woman in the back of the head is “considered abuse or a way to reset the brain.” Bowman, with the ironic and self-aggrandizing handle, @Hero_Matt showed his lack of self-confidence and poor judgment to the world when he tweeted “I’d never let a woman kick my ass. If she tried something, I’d be like HEY! You get your bitch ass back in the kitchen and make me some pie!” Good one dude. Hope you can afford pie while unemployed.
14. School Board Employee Fired For Tweeting About Student’s Spelling
In this case a dumb tweet did get Katy Nash fired, but it wasn’t her dumb tweet. Nash, a mother with children in the Frederick County Public School system, in Maryland, took on the job of web experience coordinator. With a $44,000 salary, Nash decided that she wanted to create a joking tone for the profile. Her clever response to a student asking, “close school tammarow PLEASE” received more than 1000 retweets, far more publicity than the profile had ever received. The school board, however, did not like Nash’s direction. They fired her five days later. Even though the student tweeted at Nash that he didn’t take it personally and thought the tweet was funny, and a few students started a #freekatie campaign, she never got her job back. Her biggest frustration is that the school board didn’t tell her their expectations for the account’s tone in the first place.
13. Geraldo Rivera “70 Is The New 50” Tweet
Look, if I have a body anything close to this at 70, I’m going to be proud too. I might even take some unabashedly bad mirror selfies. I would not wear those glasses because they are awful. But the point is, I would deserve to do all these things. What I would never ever ever do is post those seductive geriatric selfies on twitter. That is exactly what Fox News contributor Geraldo Rivera did on July 21, 2013. Rivera explained himself by saying that he was drunk and lonely and just couldn’t stand not sharing his body with the world. Rivera was promptly removed from a panel at the Catholic Duquesne University that claimed his tweet was “inappropriate and not in line with the school’s values as a Catholic university.” Whoops.
12. Texas Preschool Teacher Tweeted At Her Friend To “Kill Some Jews”
Preschool is a critical part of a child’s life when they are inquisitive and learning from the role models around them. They are like sponges, taking in everything they hear. Like Jews deserving to die? Some preschoolers in Texas potentially took in some pretty heavy stuff from their Palestinian teacher. Nancy Salem, a Palestinian-American preschool teacher at the Children’s Courtyard preschool used Twitter to wish her friend a happy trip to the motherland and hoped she would “Kiss the Palestine ground and kill some jews! <3 #IMissYouAlready”. In a separate, virulently anti-Semitic post, Salem responded to one Twitter user’s question about how many Jews died in the Holocaust, with, “Not enough… HAHAHAHA.” Needless to say, Salem was summarily fired from her job when the tweets were discovered.
11. Michigan Native Tweets Picture Of Herself As A Boston Marathon Bombing Victim For Halloween
Halloween is a time for fun, laughs, fright… and making light of terror victims? 22 year old Alicia Ann Lynch epitomized the saying “too soon” when she dressed up six months after the Boston Bombing as a bombing victim. The Michigan native posted a cute picture on Twitter with fake shrapnel wounds and a bright smile. Unsurprisingly, the Internet absolutely ripped into her. Lynn was quickly fired from her job. They wanted nothing to do with her. Someone also discovered her nudes and posted them all over Twitter. Lynch paid with more than just her job and the pictures. She and her parents received death threats and had to consider closing the family business.
10. Texas Native Fired Before Even Starting Her Job
This story showcases a special kind of stupid. Of course, all of these are pretty “special”. This one is about a young girl who got a job at a pizza place. Sure, working with pizza (as awesome as it is to eat) might not be your dream job. But if you applied to make a little cash, then you grit your teeth and spin some pizza dough on your finger. In Mansfield, Texas, this teen was taking her first steps into the professional world and was anything but professional when she tweeted, “Ew I start this f*ck ass job tomorrow.” The manager of Jets Pizza was clued into his employee’s eloquent Twitter account and responded on Twitter: “And…No you don’t start that FA job today! I just fired you! Good luck with your no money, no job life!”
9. Hot 10th Grade Math Teacher Posts Nudes and Tweets about Her Smoking Habits
Carly Mckinney was a 23-year-old 10th grade math teacher in Denver. As you might expect, she smoked weed. As we know, that is no crime in Colorado. Mckinney privately tweeted about smoking weed… while half-naked. She didn’t know, however, that some friends were saving those tweets, such as, “Maybe some day I’ll teach high just to see what happens,” and “Such an easy day… Cant wait to roll up after school,” and posting them on a public twitter account. In one case the account posted one of her tweets about bringing weed to school. That is illegal and she was placed on administrative leave. You can’t really blame the school for firing her. How could a 10th grade boy possibly focus on learning math when he knew that the teacher standing up at the front of the class looked like that.
8. England Footballer Makes Fun Of Rival’s Stillborn Baby
Sports games can get some people pretty heated. Alfie Barker was a former midfielder from Bournemouth, England who was watching an Arsenal vs. Bournemouth game at a local pub. Frustrated that his team was losing, he searched for a target to lash out at on Twitter. When the game ended in a 3-3 draw, despite Arsenal almost winning, Barker tweeted at Arsenal player Harry Arter, saying, “@HarryArter big hype just for a disappointment like the 9 months leading up to your childs birth” with some laughing emojis thrown in. Barker was referring to Arter’s stillborn daughter, whose name he has tattooed on his arm. After the heartless tweet, the Football Association banned Barker from games and fined him for harassing another player. Barker tried to explain himself with a bumbling apology, “I’m not a horrible person. My aunt Stacey Hunt has actually had two miscarriages in the last five years.”
7. Burlesque Dancer Asks Someone To Assassinate The President
This past election got a lot of people fired up. Politics have never been more divisive, and it feels like a lot is on the line. That’s fine. Everyone gets a little heated about their politics. Heather Lowry, however, crossed way over the line of civil political discourse. Heather Lowrey was just a girl trying to make it in Louisville, Kentucky. She worked jobs at a realty office, a talent agency, and a burlesque club.
When Donald Drumpf won the election, Lowrey tweeted “If someone was cruel enough to assassinate MLK, maybe someone will be kind enough to assassinate Drumpf.” This was followed by the completely unironic hashtags “#bekind” and “#lovetrumpshate.” She was promptly fired from all three jobs and also interviewed by the secret service. Maybe she should’ve stuck with dancing and real estate, and left political commentary to the grownups.
6. Afflack Duck Makes Fun Of Japan After 2011 Tsunami
Afflack created a perfect marketing strategy with the famous Afflack Duck. The duck was an adorable, memorable, funny, and harmless character voiced by comedian Gilbert Gottfried. Gottfried, however, had a comedic voice that went far beyond quacking. After the 2011 Tsunami in Japan, Gottfried tweeted some jokes (cruel or hilarious depending on your point of view):
“Japan is really advanced. They don’t go to the beach. The beach comes to them.”
“I just split up with my girlfriend, but like the Japanese say, “They’ll be another one floating by any minute now.”
“I was talking to my Japanese real estate agent. I said ‘is there a school in this area.’ She said ‘not now, but just wait.’”
When the marketing department at Afflack saw these jokes coming from the voice of their company’s mascot, they were horrified. 75% of Afflack’s business is in Japan. The contract was voided a few days later.
5. Former MLB Pitcher Mike Bacskick Tweets A Congratulatory Racial Slur
Sportsmanship. Ideally kids learn to lose graciously and win humbly playing little league baseball or kiddy soccer. Of course, some people, no matter how many sports teams they played on, never quite learned the right lessons. Mike Bacskick was a former MLB pitcher for the Texas Rangers when he got a gig on “The Ticket” KTCK sports radio. Bacskick got drunk while watching the Mavericks lose game four of the NBA playoff series to San Antonio. His first tweet of the night, “If I get cancer and I’m going to die I wil blow NBA offices,” probably wasn’t cogent enough to merit any kind of response. Who even knows what he was saying. The second tweet, however, was concise and summarized his thoughts quite clearly: “Congrats to all the dirty Mexicans in San Antonio.” Once the tweet got picked up by national news, Bacskick’s radio career was toast.
4. New York Post Reporter Compared 2016 Election To Pearl Harbor And 9/11
Try to think, for a second, of how posting three dates on twitter could cause a publicity maelstrom and lead to you getting fired. I’ll give you a hint: one of those dates is Pearl Harbor, and one is 9/11. Can you figure it out now? Try “12/7/41. 9/11/01. 1/20/17.” An NFL reporter for the New York Post, Mike Hubbuch, felt particularly strongly about the election of Donald Drumpf. He could have said plenty of things on his private twitter handle that would not have gotten him into trouble. However, equating the election of a president he thought was a poor choice to the deaths of 2,403 Americans at Pearl Harbor and 2,996 Americans in 9/11 was not looked upon favorably. Hubbuch was fired a week after the tweet.
3. Loan Analyst Calls Michelle Obama An Ugly Black B*tch
Lisa Greenwood, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, showed a pretty ugly side of herself in an expletive-laced tweet about Michelle Obama. At the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, the first lady gave an impassioned speech about women in support of Hillary Clinton. Many Twitter users gushed about how powerful the speech was and how beautiful Obama was on stage. Greenwood, for some reason, couldn’t let that stand. She tweeted in response, “@FLOTUS beautiful??? Seriously she is an ugly black b*tch.” Twitter users pounced on the tweet and sent it straight to Greenwood’s employer, Home Point Loans. Unsurprisingly the company wanted nothing to do with her. Despite the tweet being on Greenwood’s personal account, her employer stated that its “responsibilities extend beyond the workplace and into our communities.” Bye bye Lisa.
2. Chrysler Media Rep Criticizes Detroit Drivers On Chrysler’s Twitter
Commentary on a city’s driving is a classic. Bostonians drive like Massholes. People from LA drive on highways like they do in parking lots (in LA those are usually the same thing), and in D.C. nobody knows how the hell to drive in the snow. It should be common sense, however, that when you represent a massive car company whose history, image, and manufacturing is based in the city of Detroit, you should keep your mouth shut. Scott held a job with a media company that was handling Chrysler’s media strategy. When he tweeted “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to f*cking drive,” he was quickly fired. But the repercussions were much larger. Chrysler terminated its contract with the company, and the 20 people in the Detroit office lost their jobs. Nice job Scott.
1. Running Back Tweets About 9/11 Conspiracy Theories
This one is pretty weird. Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall began a tweet rant when Navy SEALS killed Osama Bin Laden in 2011. In response to posts celebrating the end of a decade-long hunt for the terrorist leader, Mendenhall tweeted, “What kind of person celebrates death? It’s amazing how people can HATE a man they have never even heard speak. We’ve only heard one side…” Sure there is a time and place to be dubious of nationalism and the U.S. government, but most people would agree that Bin Laden was a bad dude. Mendenhall then went full conspiracy theorist and tweeted, “We’ll never know what really happened. I just have a hard time believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style.” Oh boy. In this case, Mendenhall did not actually lose his job, but his tweets caused enough of a storm that the team felt compelled to release a statement explaining that the Steelers supported the U.S. military.
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