Think before you tweet.
At just 140 characters, tweets are short. There isn’t room for anything too controversial in a message that short, so you couldn’t possibly have consequences from your tweets…. right?
I’ve already discussed that despite certain aspects of the internet that are constantly changing, the internet has a permanent quality about it too. Take Justine Sacco for example. Justine was a public relations executive that tweeted something before getting on a 12-hour flight to South Africa back in December 2013. The tweet was controversial and it got a lot of negative attention, all while she was without internet access on a flight. The tweet is below.
Justine had less than 500 followers on Twitter when she tweeted this but it quickly spiraled out of control. People were anxious for her plane to land and they used the hashtag #HasJustineLandedYet in tweets. Justine was seen as a racist and some of her earlier tweets revealed other racist and insensitive tweets in her past. Justine was fired from her job because of this incident.
Let’s switch gears a little bit.
Mo’ne Davis is a 13-year-old who became the first girl to pitch a shutout in the Little League World Series. That’s a big deal. A Disney Channel movie is going to be made about her (and if you’ve seen any Disney Channel movies before, you know they’re great).
Here comes my piece of advice once again: think before you tweet. I’m looking at you, Joey Casselberry. (Below is a tweet sent by Casselberry and includes language that may be offensive to some people, FYI).
Casselberry, a junior baseball player for Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania (the state where Mo’ne is from) was dismissed from the team because of this tweet. Before deleting the tweet and his Twitter account, Casselberry tweeted an apology saying that he isn’t sexist and that he’s actually a big fan of Mo’ne, but the damage was already done.
When Mo’ne heard this news, she emailed the school to urge them to give him a second chance because “everyone makes mistakes.”
The school is standing its ground and keeping its decision as of now, but this goes to show that a message of 140 characters or fewer can impact your life in a negative way.
Both Joey and Justine got a lot of negative attention following their tweets but they had real consequences as well.
You should think before you tweet so that you don’t become the next Justine Sacco or Joey Casselberry.