Freedom of speech–probably many people’s favorite right to exercise, but when it comes to controversial topics or statements, people are always quick to find ways to shut it down, specifically if they don’t agree with it. The internet has long proven to be an effective tool to literally say anything you want, but ever since the introduction and growth in popularity of Social Media, the exposure to possibly sensitive topics to more concentrated audiences of people has caused companies, organizations, etc. to place restrictions on its usage by anyone representing that entity.
Think, for a moment, of controversial or easily misconstrued statements made over the course of the last couple years by highly exposed individuals in the media. Artists such as Kanye West and Moby, several people in sports such as NBA representatives Marc Cuban and Charlie Villanueva, NFL representatives Chad Ochocinco and Larry Johnson, or even News Anchor Al Roker from the Today Show have made the mistake of revealing too much information on Twitter, specifically their personal thoughts and emotions related to certain experiences.
Need some references? See if you can guess who posted any of the below.
1. “Had nightmares though about 300 pound women in thongs gnawing on chicken wings while grinding on me. Scary.”
2. “An abortion can cost a ballin’ n—-s up to 50gs maybe a 100. Gold diggin’ b—–s be getting pregnant on purpose. #STRAPUP my n—-s!”
3. “this line from jay z/kanye cracks me up: “Put some colored girls in the MoMa.” the museum of modern art, that is. the new hood, i guess.”
4. “my father got more credentials than most of these pro coaches…. google my father!!!!!!!” and “My father played for the coach from ‘remember the titans’. Our coach played golf. My father played for redskins briefly. Our coach. Nuthn”
5. “I respect your criticism, but be fair! People enjoyed last night! I’m guessing you’re gay? And my masculinity offended you? Well f**k you!”
7. “Friends don’t let jackasses drink and drive.”
8. “Japan called me. They said ‘maybe those jokes are a hit in the U.S., but over here, they’re all sinking. 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.”
9. “If you a man and your over 25 and you don’t eat pu**y just kill your self damn it. The world will be a better place. Lol”
Bonus points if you can guess how many of those people still had a job after those posts–You can almost be certain that all of those people lost followers/fans, and some respect from others. What if those remarks effected the outlook of the company they represent? That’s a chance a lot of companies just can’t and aren’t willing to take.
The extreme opinions of an individual could result in media or consumer backlash. The image or reputation of the entities these people represent could become tainted. Some statements can result in fines or lawsuits, or other costly consequences, financially or otherwise, and because of this fact companies are looking for ways to prevent the negative impact of Social Media usage for its employees, whether it’s legal to place restrictions or not.