After a bit of a sabbatical and vacation I’m starting to get back into my work.

I may write about what it’s like to leave Microsoft after nearly eleven years to strike off and do my own thing, but that’s for later.

Today as I’m getting back into work, I’ve got people losing their jobs on my mind. Specifically, how in the world of the Twittersphere, you can find yourself out of a job after a mere 140 characters (or at least by shooting off your mouth in 140 character blocks).

In the past two weeks there have been two examples of people spectacularly flaming out on Twitter. First, last week there was Nir Rosen’s amazingly insensitive comments about the Lara Logan situation that led to his immediate resignation from NYU . Then this week Indiana deputy attorney general Jeff Cox was fired after tweeting that police should use live ammunition on pro-union protesters in Wisconsin.

There’s a good write-up on the Rosen situation and how NYU handled it (or didn’t) over at The Answer Sheet. And a quick rundown of Jeff Cox’s professional death-by-Twitter over at USA Today.

While the world is rightly marveling at how Twitter and Facebook have played major roles in enabling the uprisings in the Middle East, it’s good to remember that social media is really a force of nature. It can be a force for good or bad, depending on how one uses it. And in understanding how it can be a force for bad, it’s important to remember those wise words of H. R. Haldeman from Watergate days: You can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube.

So, think before you hit “Tweet”.

2 thoughts on “#igotmyselffired

  1. James Durden

    Simple rule: Never tweet or facebook anything you’re not willing to say to someone’s face. It could cost you dearly. Simple rule that so many disregard. Nice article. Keep them coming.

  2. Jim Zabek

    Good point, James.

    However, political correctness has run amok. Does anyone really believe an AG would condone the use of live ammo? Seriously? A sense of humor, stiff drink of common sense, and an apology by the AG should have been enough. Character assassination is too common these days. If folks are really wanting to play hardball, I suggest they take it Olde School: pistols or swords?

    It’ll make folks a bit less caustic in the tweets, and challengers might think twice before throwing down their gauntlet.

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