Over-reaction? Gone-golfing tweet leads to social media worker's firing
It's not as titillating as Congressman Anthony Weiner's tweet saga, but a social media specialist's tweet about workers at a Lehigh Valley economic development agency leaving work early to play golf was deemed inappropriate enough to lead to her firing.
According to the Morning Call newspaper, the offending tweet from the Lehigh Valley Ecoonomic Development Corp.'s official Twitter account was: "We start summer hours today. That means most of the staff leave at noon, many to hit the links. Do you observe summer hours? What do you do?"
That was enough for Vanessa Williams, a newly employed social media specialist, to lose her job.
The agency head quickly told the local newspaper that the policy was for people to leave early on Friday only if they had worked their 40 hours for the week. The tweet was sent out last Friday and the head said no one left early that day, according to the Morning Call.
Do you think Williams' firing was appropriate or an over-reaction? If there was clarification needed -- i.e. something like: "actually, no one left early today but sometimes, when they do, they choose to go golfing after working their full 40 hours" --- why couldn't that have been accomplished in follow-up tweets without firing this person?
And yes, actually, I think it is a good thing for an economic development agency to know if its local companies have a practice of adopting summer hours. So I can see where the social media specialist may have thought she was doing a good thing to understand how local businesses were approaching the topic of summer hours.
Here's the problem, I think: too many companies and agencies are jumping onto social media without thinking through the ramifications. And they're using a hammer in touchy circumstances, when a soft touch would suffice.
What do you think?
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