Twittering Your Way out of a Job

FTVLive has often warned you to be careful when using social media. 

We really believe that using Facebook, Twitter and other social media is something that everyone that works in TV News should do, but you have to be careful as you enter the social media waters.

FTVLive has reported too often about people losing their jobs for something they said on Social media. A News Director was unemployed after making a comment about a "drunk Indian" on his lawn. An Anchor was suspended for political comments. The stories go on and on.


KTVK in Phoenix says it is not just media people that get in hot water for what they post on Social Media. They write that a single sentence posted on Facebook changed Amy McClenathan’s life forever.

“It was a very small sentence, but it was one of the most powerful sentences I’ve ever typed in my life,” she said.

McClenathan says she was having a rough day near the one year anniversary of her mother’s death. She says she was not in the mood to be at work that day.

“I posted, ‘I wish I could get fired some days, it would be easier to be at home than to have to go through this,’” she said.

McCleanthan says she was fired the next day by the title company she worked for because of her social media post, and she is hardly alone.

In 2010, former Arizona Daily Star reporter Brian Pedersen was fired for Tweeting about a wave of homicides in Tucson.

Pedersen, who worked at the newspaper for 11 years, describes the posts as sarcastic in nature. He says the killings became so regular that local police officers referred to Fridays as “homicide Fridays.”

“I was saying, ‘WTF! No overnight homicides? You’re slacking Tucson,’” Pedersen said.

Another Tweet read “You stay homicidal, Tucson. See Star Net for the bloody deets.”

Pedersen says he has a sarcastic sense of humor, that he never posted about a specific crime, and that he made the posts as a way to deal with the horror around him.

“For humor, sarcasm, kind of lighten the mood, I guess,” he said.

Pedersen said he had been reprimanded once before for Tweeting about work conditions.

“Things like the building being too cold,” he said.

Pedersen took his case involving the homicide Tweets to the National Labor Relation’s Board, which ultimately ruled that the newspaper was justified in firing him. The Arizona Daily Star had no comment on the story, other than to say the ruling speaks for itself.

Sio the next time you want to tell the world that your News Director is an asshole, you might want to take a few breaths and think before you Tweet.

The job you save, might be your own.

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