9 People Who Were Fired for Posting on Social Media

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In the age of social media, there’s a phenomenon that sees users across the world broadcast messages to the masses that they might not actually say aloud. Regardless of the number of followers you have, the examples below prove that inappropriate social media posts can have severe implications for your career and even your life.

With just a quick Google search, almost anybody can find out about you on social platforms like Twitter. Whether their post was intended as a ‘harmless joke’ or a genuinely appalling opinion, these social media faux pas lead to people being fired.

Businesses aren’t exempt from experiencing these mishaps. That’s why it’s important to consider investing in social media management.

1. The Jury’s Not Out – It’s on Facebook

The courts isolate the jury for a reason, but one juror couldn’t come to a conclusion on her own. To remedy this difficulty, one juror decided she needed a little help deciding on a verdict for a case and took to Facebook, sharing all the juicy details with friends and strangers alike. After creating a poll to identify a clear consensus, the juror in question had decided which decision she was going to make.

When a nameless good Samaritan tipped off the court, the British woman found herself thrown off the jury.

2. Rough First Day

Adults are seemingly only just getting the rude awakening that broadcasting insults about your job on social media is a bad idea – but this teen got the message early. After securing a job at a pizza restaurant, Texas teenager Cella took to Twitter so her friends could know how much she dreaded her upcoming first day, calling it a “f*** a** job.”

Texan teen's ill-fated tweet

Her friends may have found it funny, but her new boss certainly didn’t. This was made evident when he replied that she didn’t need to bother showing up; firing her before she even stepped a foot into her new place of employment.

3. 1000 Likes for a Dishonorable Discharge

Radical political opinions can get you in trouble no matter who you are, but when you vow to never follow orders from your Commander and Chief, and you happen to be a Sergeant, it can get you in real hot water. Former Marine Sgt. Gary Stein decided to voice his opinion on both the country and Obama in a long winded and highly negative Facebook post.

Altogether, he saved the most incriminating line for last, finishing his status with “Screw Obama. I will not follow all orders from him.” This ended with a dishonorable discharge and some pretty huge life changes as he watched his ‘Likes’ go up but his career go down the drain.

4. A Lack of Professional Decorum

The happenings in Ferguson certainly generated a lot of negativity and general hate on social media, but one employee’s opinions at a Houston hospital were violent enough that even all the angry users of Facebook stopped and gaped. When she posted a status filled with hateful notions of racial purging it didn’t take long for a huge backlash to explode.

She was fired from her job, since the hospital agreed that a person in charge of caring for human beings shouldn’t be so in favor of genocide and the hospital released this apology soon after.

Memorial Hermann's response tweet

5. Not so Cheerful now

Drawing all over your passed-out friends and posting the picture to social media is nothing new – but it’s a terrible and distasteful idea to add a Nazi theme to your “art”. Caitlin Davis, a cheerleader for the New England Patriots, drew several symbols on an unconscious party-goer, but most notable were the swastikas. To add insult to injury, Davis added distasteful anti-Semitic words.

When the photo found its way onto Facebook, fans and random viewers alike were understandably outraged – encouraging the Patriots to do the patriotic thing and fire Caitlin Davis.

6. Get Up

One hospital in Wiltshire, England, didn’t share the sense of humor displayed by its employees when they took a few seconds out of their workday to lie down in strange places around their workplace, tagging it “The Lying Down on the Job Game.” When a few hospital employees decided to play along, they posted pictures of themselves lying around the hospital on the floor or even on the helipad.

The higher ups decided if they had that much time on their hands, why not have more? They were all fired.

7. A One-Way Ticket to Unemployment

In this social media slip up, not only one Virgin Airlines employee was fired – but thirteen of them. This pack of dissatisfied workers banded together on Facebook to share their general hatred for their jobs. Claims of certain cabins being home to cockroaches and suggestions that the airplane engines were low-quality and dangerous flew back and forth.

Eventually the airline couldn’t look past the “totally inappropriate” insults as they began flying in the direction of Virgin’s passengers, calling them a range of colorful terms.

8. Be Careful

Daycare workers are bound to have bad days, and sometimes a large group of kids can wear your nerves thin. But this caretaker didn’t just screw up with an offhanded Facebook post complaining about their job. They went as far as posting photographs of the children on Instagram along with snide comments, which actually reached one child’s mother. Following this, the child’s mother immediately made justified complaints to the daycare, ensuring the employee was fired.

9. Communication is Key

Elizabeth Lauten spent her work hours as the communications director for the Republican Representative of Tennessee, but in her off time, she apparently forgot the value of positive communication. Lauten decided that Obama’s two daughters weren’t good enough for their station, and offered a few pieces of advice on Facebook: “I get you’re both in those awful teen years, but you’re a part of the First Family, try showing a little class”.

After criticizing the morals of the President and First Lady, Lauten ended her post with a final suggestion to “Act like being in the White House matters to you. Dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at a bar.” Her boss had a suggestion for her as well – apologize and then resign, which she did with this follow up post.

Elizabeth Lauten's apology post

Social media is part of your personal brand so you need to remember to keep it somewhat professional at all times. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun with your friends or vent from time to time but try to remember that nothing online is ever truly private. So use these examples as lessons and don’t post anything that could get you fired if seen by your boss!

Written by:
Dan’s a Senior Writer at Expert Market, specialising in digital marketing, web design, and photocopiers, amongst other topics.
Reviewed by:
Robyn Summers-Emler, Grow Online Editor, Profile Picture
Robyn started working on Expert Market in 2021 as a specialist in business websites and digital marketing. As the Grow Online Editor, she ideates, commissions and optimizes content on Expert Market that helps businesses thrive in online spaces and maximize their ecommerce potential. Covering everything from choosing a website builder to scaling a social media marketing strategy - Robyn uses her expertise to help startups, SMBs, and larger businesses realize digital growth in an increasingly competitive landscape.