Caution urged when posting on social media


Do you know who Joey Casselberry is?

It’s likely you do, just maybe not by name. He’s the Bloomsburg University baseball player who was kicked off his school team for posting an offensive tweet about teenage American Little League pitcher Mo’ne Davis.

In the tweet, Casselberry called the teenager a derogatory four-letter word starting with an “s.”

These days it’s more important than ever that social media users monitor what is posted online.

Just by typing in your name, an employer can pull up almost anything you’ve posted on the Internet. With information being passed around at the speed of light, deleting a tweet seconds after posting it won’t stop it from circulating for anyone to find.

How? One word: screenshot.

Casselberry’s removal from the team, which Davis asked the university to reconsider, stands. More and more, universities and colleges are giving athletes guidelines to responsible social media use.

Delta’s Athletic Department Manual is currently being updated with new policies and procedures for proper use of social media, according to Dr. Daryl Arroyo, Delta’s Athletic Director.

But this isn’t just an issue concerning athletes.

Another story arose about CFO Adam Smith who recorded himself berating a Chick-fil-A employee about the company’s ethics and posted it.

Chick-fil-A is not only known for its chicken, but the company is also known for its stance on gay rights, so Smith thought he was defending the gay community by making this video.

The day after he posted his video, Smith lost his job and his family was forced to move into an RV. He found a new CFO position three months later, but was then fired after his boss found the video. Smith went from making $200,000 a year, to living on food stamps.

One post can ruin your career.

Consider Justine Sacco. She was making her way to South Africa to visit family, when she sent out a tweet she thought was harmless. Sacco tweeted, “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” then boarded her flight, not realizing that her actions had consequences.

By the time she landed, Sacco went from having only 170 Twitter followers to having thousands of strangers attacking her. Once she returned home, she lost her job as the senior director of corporate communications at InterActiveCorp.

Recently, Britt McHenry, an ESPN reporter, stepped out of sports broadcasting and stepped into the controversy when she posted a video criticizing the appearance of a woman.

McHenry left her car overnight in a private parking lot, and as a result, her car was towed. After she picked up her car, an edited video was uploaded of her degrading Gina Michelle, a woman who worked at the impound lot. McHenry repeatedly took digs at Michelle’s weight, hygiene and educational background. McHenry has been suspended from ESPN for only a week.

Take a minute and think before posting a video of yourself ranting or before you decide to tweet something that could be easily taken out of context. The things we post stay on the Internet forever, that’s right, it’s not going away. No matter what you post, someone out there most likely has a screenshot of it saved.

It’s easy to post a rant, especially when you’re angry. Instead of resorting straight to Twitter or Facebook, take a few minutes to cool down before you pick up your phone or open your computer to type. If you wouldn’t show it to your mother, then you shouldn’t post it.