A Brief History of People Getting Fired for Social Media Stupidity - Rolling Stone
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A Brief History of People Getting Fired for Social Media Stupidity

17 of the most offensive and dumb Twitter, Facebook and Instagram fails

Social Media Backfire

Social media fails are a sadly pervasive plague on modern humanity.

Not a day goes by, it seems, without a new story of someone posting an unbelievably tasteless, offensive, stupid, racist, homophobic, sexist or otherwise inappropriate thing on social media. Bigotry expressed in private is inexcusable, but bigotry voluntarily scribbled upon the un-erasable blackboard that is the Internet is a new kind of unbelievable. It boggles the mind that people will actually document and broadcast their terrible ideas online – especially given the documented and broadcast history of people getting fired over similar behavior. And yet, they do.

Just this month, we've gotten fresh examples of the genre from Paula Deen, who apparently likes ethnic drag as much as she likes cooking with butter; and from the British bankers who thought it would be fun to playact an ISIS beheading. Here's a look back at those and some of the other most ridiculous and terrible things people have posted to their Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts before losing their jobs as a result. We apologize in advance to anyone whose idiocy and/or bigotry didn't make the cut, but if we listed everyone we'd be here all month.

perverted teacher

Guy checking internet with laptop at late night with dark room, view from above. Internet addiction.


The Teacher Who Facebook-Creeped on His Students

Chadwin Reynolds, a high school teacher in the Bronx, added several female students on Facebook and left comments like "this is sexy" under their photos. Reynolds wanted to make sure nobody was missing the creepy "I'm a total pervert" vibes he was sending out through his Facebook comments – so, just to be sure, he had a catchy Facebook tagline that concisely captured his sketchiness: "I'm not a gynecologist, but I'll take a look inside." He was fired.

Police brutality

Woman with the Handcuffs

The Cop Who Documented Her Own Police Brutality

Senior Corporal Cat Lafitte of Dallas claimed she was acting in self-defense when she threw her boot at a hospital worker. Unfortunately for her, her Facebook posts tell another story. Lafitte thought it would be a good idea to brag on Facebook, "I threw my boot at him, Jerry Springer style, and nailed him in the face. It broke his glasses and cut his face and bruised it up real good." Lafitte also posted to Facebook a photo of a small black boy surrounded by police officers and the comment, "Quick . . . sprinkle some crack on him!" An equal opportunity offender, Lafitte also disrespects homeless people and described herself on Facebook as an "Official Bum Roller." She was fired for the attack on the hospital worker and for Facebook posts that put the department in a bad light.

trayvon martin

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 14: People hold photos of Trayvon Martin at a rally honoring Martin at Union Square in Manhattan on July 14, 2013 in New York City. George Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges in the shooting death of Martin July 13 and many protesters questioned the verdict. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Mario Tama/Getty

The Blackface Halloween Costume That Made Fun of Trayvon Martin

Two white guys named William Filene and Greg Cimeno decided to join forces and work together on a horrifically offensive Halloween costume. One would be George Zimmerman and the other would be Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teenager whom Zimmerman infamously murdered. It's hard to say which of the two bigoted revelers was luckier. Sure, one got to dress up as their racist vigilante hero – but the other got to wear blackface, which apparently some racist morons find super-fun. When Caitlin Cimeno, a Massachusetts mother of two who posed with the two numbskulls, posted a deeply disturbing image of the group to Instagram – so awful that we're not including it in this post – the Facebook user Stop Blackface on Halloween contacted her employer and was told she had already been fired. More time for Halloween costume-planning!

Jeb Bush

The Jeb Bush Employee Who Ranted Against Sluts and Gays

Ethan Czahor was the chief technology officer for Jeb Bush's political action committee, Right to Rise, until he was forced to step down over some offensive tweets. To be fair, he did start deleting the social media trail he had left behind him, but it was too late. The screenshots had been taken. In a uniquely American twist, Czahor went on to invent an app that scans your social media accounts for things that could get you fired or force you to resign. And he would know.

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