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Mar. 02, 2018

4 Social Media Mistakes That Can Get You Fired

Have you ever posted something on a social media platform and woke up the next day regretting it? Most of the time it’s easy to delete and forget it ever happened, but sometimes you might not be so lucky.

One wrong move could have your post trending among hundreds of strangers, or worse—in front of your employer. Here are five ways a seemingly harmless post on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter could get you fired.

Making offensive comments

Posting negative comments or photos regarding race, color, sex, national origin, age, or disability should always be off-limits—even if you don’t have ill intent.

Publicly expressing an opinion that is demeaning toward another group will land you a trip to the HR office. Employers are legally required to ensure there is no discrimination or hostility in order to maintain a diverse and respectful workplace.

Not aligning your social media posts with these values gives your employer reason to believe you would not contribute to a non-discriminatory workplace.

Complaining about your job, boss, or coworkers

Not all complaints can get you fired—valid complaints about unfair or hazardous working conditions are protected but general defamatory comments are not. So while you can’t get fired for saying “This is an unsafe working environment,” you can get fired for saying “I hate my job.”

If you have a complaint about the safety conditions of the workplace, it’s best to take this up with someone who can actually do something about it like your manager or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), not Facebook.

If your gripe is about annoying colleagues—be careful. It’s unprofessional and you never know who will be happy to pass on the sentiment.

Sharing confidential information

Think twice before revealing business information that has not been made public. This could include details of your own promotion, a company merger or reorganization, or the release of a new product.  When in doubt, don’t let it out! Check with your boss to give you the go-ahead before posting.

Behaving unprofessionally

No matter what industry you’re in, there are types of posts that are particularly taboo for your profession. As a teacher, you wouldn’t want to be posting excessive party photos or making status updates that put down the kids you teach. If you have a job in the food and beverage industry, you shouldn’t post about or perform any act that is unhygienic.

We get it—it’s fun to use social media to keep your friends and followers updated on the latest and greatest things happening in your life. But sometimes, keeping thoughts to yourself and inappropriate activities offline is the best way to go.

Realized there might be more on your social media accounts than you want your employer or future employer to see? Check out our tips for cleaning up your online image.

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