In the past few days we have seen a few news stories where tweeting has got the senders into the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
One such example is when a Palestinian envoy to Canada was called home for a controversial tweet that the Canadian federal government considered offensive to Jews. In her defence she claimed that the link to a video she retweeted could not be seen on her Blackberry. Unfortunately, when you are the “charge d’affaires’ and your job is being a diplomat there are not take backs. As I write this, the envoy is on her way home.
What have we learned? Think before you hit that tweet button.
A second story in the news comes to us from @LAMurderCop, a 30-year police veteran in LA who’s been in homicide for 25 years. Unfortunately for the public and his employers @LAMurderCop is a prolific tweeter at work and at home. Recently one of his tweets had a picture attached showed a gang shooting victim lying dead on the street. The tweet said ‘Guess where I’m at, it never ends’. Currently the actions of @LAMurderCop are under review.
Other than the obvious issues of how it’s affecting the administration of justice and bringing policing into disrepute in LA, what have we learned about tweeting? Over sharing is not acceptable. This is especially true when you are in a profession where confidentiality is of the utmost importance.
I am not personally a big of Twitter user. I have a hard enough time managing the rest of my digital life and who knows what new digital fads are around the corner. However, here are a few observations:
- Once you tweet there’s no taking it back – it is out there
- Most people really don’t care what you tweet
- And really, most things you tweet are not relevant (no one cares that you just ate a piece of toast)
Better to be thought a fool, than tweet and remove all doubt.
What are your thoughts on the effects that Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ can have on our personal and work lives? Do you think social media has had a positive or negative effect on our day-to-day lives?