Beware what you broadcast

Freshwater Creative explains why, like Celine Dion says, you should “Think Twice” before hitting send on that tweet…

With the relentless pace of social media, the first six months of 2014 has proven yet again why social media training and guidance for staff is so important. The lines between personal use and business use are increasingly blurred, and no matter how many disclaimers you put in your twitter biography, anything you publish has the potential to put you, and your employer, in the media spotlight for all the wrong reasons. 

Whilst we all have opinions on particular topics and subject matters, twitter isn’t quite the same as a chat in the corner of your favourite local with your mates – it’s a worldwide open forum – so it doesn’t bode well to take to the company’s, or your own personal, twitter account to express these opinions.

Something that PayPal’s director of global strategy realised after he took to his personal twitter account to tweet abusive messages about his work colleagues, including PayPal’s vice president of global communications.

Needless to say, a number of excuses were used to explain this recent outburst, including the fact that he thought he was sending Direct Messages, on his newly acquired android phone, to a friend.

While he was perhaps under the impression that he could blame it on the ‘Boogie’, (he was after all attending the New Orleans jazz festival when this incident occurred), he is no longer with PayPal.

Most of us would never dream of walking into our workplace and expressing our opinions in such a vocal manner – not least for fear of being accused of workplace bullying – so why do so many opt to do so online? As PayPal put it: “Treat everyone with respect, no excuses.”

And we agree. This mantra is something to integrate into every company’s social media policy and provide to staff when outlining guidance for both personal and company use of any one of the myriad social media channels out there.

Photo © spaxiax /


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