THE MANY DIFFERENT WAYS TO SAY “DON’T BE STUPID”.
As Emerson, Lake & Palmer sang in their aptly named classic, “Welcome Back my Friends to the Show that Never Ends”, little did they know they would be warbling about social media in the 21st Century and it’s damaging effects on the reputations of those who should know better. Sadly this lesson focuses on the deadly Las Vegas murders.
I have to return to the admonition my sainted Granny gave me many times that “It’s not polite to call people stupid”, However, as I have noted to several friends and colleagues recently, I believe that were she alive today, Granny would shake her head at stories such as these and remark, “Well, there are exceptions to every rule”.
Honestly, I have tried but cannot think of another word that properly fits these examples. Unintelligent. Ignorant. Dense. Foolish. Dull-witted. Slow. Simpleminded. Vacuous. Vapid. Idiotic. Imbecilic. Imbecile. Obtuse. Doltish. They all come to mind but they all of course mean the same exact thing.
And in these cases, it has to make anyone and everyone wonder how someone can be so…..sorry, Granny….stupid.
APPLAUDING THE LAS VEGAS MURDERS FOR POLITICAL POINTS
How to be insensitive to the dead and dying and lose your job in the process.
Hayley Geftman-Gold was until recently a Vice President and Legal Counsel at the CBS Television Network in New York City. Let that swirl around in your mind for a moment. An individual of immense importance and upper-level management authority who should, at least one would expect, know the law and understand how what is written will impact your employment and reputation. Someone who has to understand the pitfalls of espousing hate of any kind, certainly not the killing of anyone, and that her employer has ever right to fire her if it indeed impugns the reputation of the company.
How incredibly unintelligent can one person be?
As a veteran broadcast and journalist, I applaud CBS for taking swift action. Geftman-Gold will hopefully never again be employed and allowed to stain the reputation of my craft and the solid, hard working people it employs. And if her next employer does as most of them do in this day and age, they will Google her and find this. She won’t be considered to clean toilets. Rightfully so.
Then again, let’s be honest. There are people who will wholeheartedly agree with her and cheerfully her her, friend her, and applaud her actions. The issue here is whether this is the kind of reputation and brand image you want, and one you think your employed will also appreciate.
Trading on the deaths of 59 people, the injuring of more than 500 to make a political point?
PASSING ALONG UNFOUNDED AND UNPROVEN RUMORS ABOUT THE LAS VEGAS KILLER
As I have stated many times, when you re-post something untrue, post something that is based on unproven facts and innuendo, re-tweet something that has no shred of truth to it and has been denied by those who know the facts, in this case the FBI, you then own it. It becomes your comment. Your Statement. Your belief. Fair or not, that’s how social media and opinion works. Which proves again that it is imperative you take a breath, take a step back, and do everything you can to verify the source of what some believe is fact.
DO NOT allow yourself to be the individual spreading what could be nothing more than rumor. If you WANT the kind of reputation, then go ahead. But as with everything else, realize and then accept the consequences.
There was at the time and as of this writing absolutely no evidence whatsoever that the Las Vegas mass murdered had any connection to ISIS or any other group. There is also no proof whatsoever he had a violent criminal past. All false, all nothing more than Internet clickbait innuendo and lies, and all now permanently attached to those who fell for it.
Don’t you be someone who falls for it. Protect your image at all times.
MAKING A JOKE AT THE EXPENSE OF THE LAS VEGAS MURDERS
Eric Golub calls himself a “politically conservative comedian”, of which I take no issue. There are certainly comics, performers, and others who have a popular spotlight that use their status as a way to espouse their own political and social views. As I state every time in a case such as this, that is their right, and it is your right to agree or disagree with them.
However, even those who might follow this “performer” could and perhaps should take issue with his Facebook posts in the wake of reports about the Las Vegas shootings.
After being excoriated on his Facebook site for being insensitive to those now bleeding and dying, Golub issued this attempt at an apology.
Golub then insisted to his critics that he apologized. Certainly, it would appear so. Yet the post with his joke regarding the shooting still remained on his Facebook page at the same time of his apology. And it went viral because as we know, anything on the Internet will last forever. Someone will take a screen shot and it will never go away.
Ask yourself what could possibly be going through the mind of someone who hears about an active shooting, and then seeks to capitalize on it by making a joke.
Ask yourself also if you would want this type of notoriety as your personal brand, and if you believe a current employer would retain you or fire you immediately. Also ask yourself what a prospective employer, business partner of even casual friend might think once they knew you joked about an event that took 59 lives and injured hundreds.
THE SIMPLE TAKEAWAYS
- This is not about politics. This is about protecting your personal brand at all times. Separate political and social commentary from how you want your personal brand to be publicized and understood.
- If you wish to make your personal feelings known on any form of social media, come to the conclusion it will be seen globally in seconds and it will last forever. Prepare to reap the whirlwind.
- There will be those who agree with you and applaud your stance. However, when becoming involved in controversy, there are those who will not and many of them are co-workers, employers and prospective employers.
- Employers, recruiters, human resources are always on the lookout for those who say or write things that will bring disrespect and damage to their corporate brand. They will not tolerate it and you likely will be fired or at the very least punished.
- Employers have every right to take such actions.
- Your personal brand, your reputation and image, encompasses a lifetime of work. Don’t take a chance on soiling that brand forever. You have one image. Protect it at all costs.