Presidential elections bring out the best and the worst in people. Unfortunately, some people in the public eye go too far, forgetting that what they say on social media may be construed as their employer’s opinion, not their own. A West Virginia mayor found that her racist Facebook comment about Michelle Obama caused outrage in her community and she had to resign, reports the Huffington Post. To make matters worse, the mayor’s comment was in reply to a post by the Director of the Clay County Development Corp., who replied to the comment by saying “Just made my day Pam.” The director, who oversees services to low-income and elderly clients, should have realized that her rely might indicate that she would tolerate racism in deciding which clients to serve in the community.
Both of these women will probably look for another job one day, and then these comments will resurface, even if their racist remarks were not widely reported by the media. Anyone who plans on searching for a job in the future should watch what they say on social media. Opinions are fine, however, if you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see your comment, don’t post it on social media. Even self-employed individuals shouldn’t tweet or post anything on Facebook that they wouldn’t want potential clients to view.
Even if a potential employer happens to agree with you, they will believe that you should know better than to post offensive comments, because they will worry that if you get emotional and post something that will offend someone, it will be associated with their company. Play it safe and assume nothing you say on social media is truly private.