Social media can be a wonderful way to share what’s going on in your life. But it can also prove to be somewhat of a minefield, especially for those who have jobs they enjoy. This is even truer if the people in question are public figures or have a large following, because one slip up can send the wrong message to way too big of an audience. Employers are becoming more and more mindful of what their employees are posting on social media, but some people just aren’t waking up to this brave new world where we have to really watch what we say on the internet.
For some reason, Instagram seems to get a lot of people fired. We don’t know what it is, but many people seem to think Instagram is this “anything goes” area of the internet, where employers can’t see what they’re doing. Or maybe they just think that their employers don’t care. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are countless examples of people who have lost their jobs as a result of posting the wrong thing on social media.
Sometimes these posts are racist, sometimes they’re just insensitive. Sometimes they are just plain bizarre, while other times they’re extremely embarrassing for the company. Whatever the case is, each of these 15 examples should leave you with the following lesson: Be careful what you post to Instagram.
15. Insensitive Nurse Gets Fired For Instagram Photo
33-year-old Katie Duke was fired after a pretty insensitive post she made on Instagram. The ER nurse, who had previously been featured on reality television, was stunned to see her employers give her the boot after 7 years of employment. The whole reason she was fired was because her Instagram photo seemed to poke fun at a man who had unfortunately been hit by a train. In the photo, she added the caption, “Man vs 6 train.” The photo also shows the treatment room.
Explaining her actions, Katie Duke said: “I got a call at the end of my shift telling me I was being let go after seven years in the ER. I was told I was being fired for being insensitive. If you hung around nurse’s station and heard the way we talk about injuries, life and death, you might get the wrong impression — but it’s just a coping mechanism. Now I check my posts so no one gets offended or thinks I am a cold-hearted person.”
14. Ariana’s Backup Dancer Fired For Using Racial Slurs
Another person who was fired for being insensitive was a backup dancer for Ariana Grande, known by her stage name as “Lady Cultura.” But her actions were a very different kind of insensitivity when compared to the nurse previously mentioned. This backup dancer was immediately fired by Ariana Grande herself after it was made public knowledge that she had used an extremely offensive racial slur in one of her Instagram pictures. Although the slur wasn’t used in a way where it was intentionally meant to offend anyone, it still crossed a very serious line. Even if you’re just using that word to try and sound cool, it’s definitely not okay if you’re not black.
The internet responded with huge support for Ariana Grande after this happened, and people all over social media recognized that the pop star did the right thing. They started posting reaction gifs and saying things like “She deserved it.” And you can’t argue with that; this backup dancer really did deserve it. It’s kind of sad, because she probably really regrets her actions.
13. “Sandwich Artist” Posts Disgusting Stuff On Instagram
Another employee who lost their job after an Instagram post was a very strange and perhaps disturbed young person by the name of Jett. This person thought it would be funny to post pictures of himself resting his privates on Subway’s bread, as well as doing other unspeakable things like baking bread in the shape of a phallus, and freezing his own urine at work. Underneath all of these Instagram posts was the slightly sadistic caption, “I’ll be your sandwich artist today.”
When this was discovered, Subway’s actions were swift and merciless. They released a statement saying: “This isolated incident is not representative of SUBWAY Sandwich Artists™. These actions are not tolerated and the franchise took immediate action to terminate the two employees involved.”
12. HSBC Bankers Pose For “Mock ISIS Beheading”
A group of HSBC England bankers all lost their job after a photo was taken that was extremely distasteful. What they did was recreate a mock ISIS beheading, and for some reason, they thought this was a good idea to post on Instagram. Many people immediately responded with extreme disdain, saying things like, “Supposed educated individuals. Bunch of absolute morons more like,” and, “Imagine what goes on in private at that place.”
There was no doubt that the company’s reputation had been severely damaged, and so there was no other option but to fire them publicly. The company who was hosting the event said: “We do not in any way condone this shocking behaviour. The abhorrent video was filmed without our knowledge, during a private party booked by one of our corporate clients and we would not wish this to reflect negatively on Teamworks. We have complained to HSBC and understand that the individuals involved have since been sacked.”
11. Daycare Worker Makes Fun Of Kid On Instagram
Imagine the shock this mother felt as she checked Instagram only to find a picture of her three-year-old son being made a fool of. Apparently a childcare worker thought it would be funny to make fun of this child because he could not speak. This borders on abuse, and it comes as no surprise that the daycare center immediately fired the person responsible for posting this image to Instagram as a direct result. By the look of things, this child had been exposed to much taunting and abuse, because as his mother admits, he looked “defeated.”
In the mother’s words: “I was concerned about my child, and I was hurt because I trusted them with Ethan. What? I pay them to humiliate my child? I was disgusted, and my feelings were hurt because they are making fun of Ethan because he isn’t able to talk. They are making a joke out of him… He looks so defeated in that picture.”
10. Chef Admits To Secretly Feeding Vegans Meat
We all know that veganism is becoming more and more popular these days, and vegans are generally not the kind of people who appreciate being disrespected. But that’s exactly what one chef did, and he did it publicly on Instagram. Not only that, but he publicly admitted on the social media platform that he feeds vegans meat on purpose at work! Needless to say, the hotel that employed him immediately fired him.
It all started when he got in an argument on Instagram with a woman. He told her, “being a vegan is a minority,” telling her that she “should find a better way to spend your time, my personal favourite is feeding vegans animal products and them not knowing.”
This sparked a major outrage, with the full might of internet vegans coming down hard on this chef and the hotel in which he worked. One left a review saying: “It is in writing that your head chef is purposely feeding vegans non-vegan food. If the head chef remains, I will never attend this establishment and will warn all my family/friends/vegan groups to avoid at all costs!”
9. Zahra Schreiber Posts Far-Right Symbols
One of the most bizarre and high-profile cases of people being fired over Instagram posts is ex-WWE diva Zahra Schreiber. She is of course the girlfriend of WWE megastar Seth Rollins, and she met an unfortunate end to her WWE career when people started to find some seriously weird stuff on her Instagram page. Among the pictures that she posted was a picture of a pony wearing a Nazi armband, and a piece of art on her wall depicting a German Eagle with a swastika.
When this was circulated around the internet, WWE was notified and immediately released a statement confirming Zahra’s dismissal: “WWE released Zahra Schreiber due to inappropriate and offensive remarks she made that were recently brought to our attention.”
Initially, when people questioned the ex-diva about her pictures, she responded by commenting: “I like history ha. The swastika means prosperity and luck. It was around way before Hitler turned it into an icon.”
8. Football Coach Gets Fired For The Dumbest Reason
Fernando Bryant is another person who unfortunately lost his job because of an Instagram post. In most of the other examples in this article, it’s the person’s actions that make it a stupid story to tell. But in this case, the firing is stupid because it was totally unjustified. The only reason this ex-NFL cornerback was fired from his position as a school coach was because of a picture posted many years ago in which he is holding an alcoholic beverage. That’s it!
He didn’t understand their logic because they had previously looked at his social media pages and found nothing controversial: “It is a little disheartening. I went through a long process. I don’t understand it from the standpoint of the day they hired me to the day they said they couldn’t have me as their head coach. Nothing had changed. Nothing changed from the standpoint of anything they knew about me.”
But Bryant reveals that he thinks it was one parent who had some sort of a vendetta against him: “If one parent or one part of a school can control it that much as far as Christianity, it makes you wonder what times we’re in,” he said. “I am a Christian, that’s the one thing that gives Christianity a bad name, when we start passing judgment on each other.”
7. Man Posts Paycheck And Is Fired Immediately
Here’s another example of an Instagram post that got a guy fired, and while it’s admittedly stupid, it’s also pretty sad. This guy actually worked for Lacoste, and posted his paycheck on Instagram to prove a point – that it’s difficult to be a single dad living in NYC. But did he really have to post his paycheck to prove this point? It seems pretty unnecessary. He could have just complained about it in his words. And if that wasn’t enough, this guy admitted to making $1500 a week selling shirts. What’s he complaining about?
He was fired after posting the image with the following caption: “Paycheck. Still silly to me. Ever since I was a kid I’ve thought it was completely insane that we have to work all our lives. I still feel that way. Especially when it’s only enough to live in a third world apartment with s—-y everything. Which for some reason in NYC is okay. Anywhere else only trailer trash lives this way. I’m done with it.”
6. Exec Boasts Of “Surviving” Mass Layoffs, Gets Fired
Okay, this one is pretty stupid as well. Alejandro Rhett was once the VP of Men’s Merchandising for the huge retail company, J. Crew. Back in 2015, the company was going through some seriously difficult times, and ended up laying off hundreds of people. Needless to say, many people were devastated and left in a pretty bad situation. That’s when Alejandro Rhett decided to make an absolutely abhorrent post on Instagram. He posted a pic of himself celebrating with alcohol after “surviving” the mass layoffs, comparing the situation to the popular movie The Hunger Games.
Needless to say, J. Crew was not amused at his little joke, and in a rather justified twist of irony, it was Alejandro that ended up getting fired as a result. Their official statement was: “We do not condone this behavior in any way. Individuals’ actions do not represent the culture of our company — this is not who we are. The tough decisions we made last week were not something we took lightly. We do our best to make decisions with care and compassion for all of our associates.”
5. His Only Crime Was Revealing The Truth
If he wanted to keep his job, Nick Evans made a very stupid move in posting this picture. That gross, moldy piece of equipment the MacDonald’s employee is holding is actually the bottom tray of the ice cream machine… Meaning what you’re eating might have some of this gross material in it. While some might say this young man was stupid for posting such an incriminating piece of evidence, others would say he did the world a service.
After firing this individual, Macdonald’s released the following statement: “We are committed to running great restaurants that provide our customers with high quality food, service and a clean environment. This is a part of our soft serve equipment that does not come into contact with any food and is required to undergo regular and timely cleaning.”
4. Professor Fired After Saying Texas Hurricane Is “Karma”
By now, it’s getting pretty obvious that the political climate in the United States is dividing people more so than ever. This division seems to manifest itself especially on social media platforms, and sometimes this can get pretty ugly. For an example of this, look no further that Ken Storey, a university professor who had the gall to suggest Hurricane Harvey was “instant karma” for voting for Trump during the elections. And this is a guy who is supposed to be well-educated…
Ken’s dismissal was swift, and his employers at the University of Tampa released the following statement: “We condemn the comments and the sentiment behind them, and understand the pain this irresponsible act has caused.”
To his credit, Ken Storey released an apology that read: “I deeply regret a statement I posted yesterday. I never meant to wish ill will upon any group,” he tweeted. “I hope all affected by Harvey recover quickly.”
3. Russian Paramedic Fired After Mocking Dead People
This one will just blow your mind. They say crazy things happen in Russia, but this one goes way beyond even normal Russian quirkiness. This girl was fired from her job as a paramedic after a picture was found of her mocking the death of a human being whose body was laying behind her in the ambulance. But the crazy thing is that there are a whole series of these pictures, where she is nonchalantly mocking dead people behind her, and in some cases even giving their deceased corpses the finger.
The captions are in Russian but some have been translated. She has labeled various dead people as “drunks,” “morons,” and other derogatory names. This level of disrespect towards the dead is stunning. It should come as no surprise that she lost her job as a result. Her actions might be explained by another one of her captions, “I hate my job.”
2. DJ Fired After He Posts Freddie Gray’s Criminal Record
Another employee who got the sack after a pretty insensitive post was a radio DJ by the name of MikeJax. He broke a major rule of broadcasting when he posted something very controversial – the full criminal record of Freddie Gray, an African American man who was unfortunately slain by police officers. The radio seemed to suggest that his criminal record proves that he wasn’t as innocent as many people claim.
Obviously, this was a ridiculously stupid thing to post and the radio station which employed him immediately told him to pack his bags. They stated: “We are dedicated to presenting journalistic integrity as well as being sensitive to our listeners and their concerns. WAMO 100 does not share the views or condone the comments expressed on a WAMO 100 personal social media page.”
The DJ then backpedaled a bit, releasing the following statement: “My intention was not to justify Freddie Gray’s death. It was to highlight that his arrest record DOES NOT justify his death.” That… doesn’t really make much sense…
1. Social Media Guru Fired After Jon Jones’ Instagram Gets “Hacked”
Another strange incident that resulted in the firing of an individual was a series of posts by UFC fighter Jon Jones. This came as a result of his rivalry with Swedish fighter Alexander Gustafsson. For some inexplicable reason, Jon “Bones” Jones decided it would be a good idea to taunt the fans of his Swedish rival with countless anti-gay slurs. This was obviously going to be very damaging to the American fighter’s reputation. But then Jon Jones suddenly claimed that his Instagram was “hacked,” and he fired his social media manager as a result.
Was his Instagram really hacked? Or was it just a case of him making comments he later regretted, and scrambling for a “fall guy?” Jon Jones admits that it looks pretty bad, and people keep questioning his version of events, but in his words: “No one believes me about it, but it’s one of those things where the people who decided to hate me are never going to believe me about it. So I just have to continue to be me.”
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