Fired Over a Tweet

"I'm downtown eating. Surrounded by Mormons and repressed sexual energy." It's not the most sensitive or politically correct thing to tweet, especially when you live in Salt Lake City, but it's certainly not illegal and should fall into the "Freedom of Speech" category, correct?

Well sure, unless you happen to send it out on the company feed, and that company happens to be a major television network affiliate that depends on the viewership of thousands of Mormons.

The unidentified employee who is reported to have worked in the promotions department at KTVX, the local ABC affiliate in Utah, was asked for his resignation as soon as his superiors became aware of the unfortunate message. The tweet was quickly deleted, but not before it was retweeted and read by thousands. Apparently, the sender had intended it for his personal Twitter account, but accidentally sent it out on the company feed.

Two hours later, an apology was posted that read: "A personal tweet went out that in no way is consistent with the station views. This issue has been addressed and we apologize for the tweet."

Soon thereafter, KTVX general manager Matt Jaquint, confirmed that the employee who wrote the tweet turned in a letter of resignation, and that it was accepted by station executives. Although Jaquint wouldn't name names, he did say that the person was not an on-air personality.

TwitterSo what's all the fuss about? Some twitter users that found it amusing, although there were plenty who found it offensive. "Fired for telling the truth?" wrote one, "Now that's a shame." "The guy SHOULD be fired! Seriously!!" said another. Salt Lake City media specialist and former anchor Randall Carlisle explains: "It is just plain stupid to Tweet something negative about members of the LDS Church just when thousands of them have arrived in Salt Lake for their General Conference," he says. During the first weekend in October, Mormons from all over the world collect in Salt Lake City to hear their leaders speak.

"At the same time," Carlisle continues, "I would defend that person's right to Tweet anything he or she wants if they are willing to pay the consequences. In this age of instant social networking one has to be careful, even if a comment is meant to be a joke and not intended for the general public."

This is not the first time a member of the media has been fired over an inadvertent tweet. A few months ago, CNN correspondent Octavia Nasr was let go after tweeting about her admiration for Lebanon's Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, an anti-American linked to bombings and the deaths of hundreds of people.

A study by the internet security firm Proofpoint says that 8 percent of companies polled have fired someone for behavior on social-networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. But most people are smart enough not to post photos of themselves lounging on the beach when they're supposed to be home sick, or video of them doing tequila shooters with the boss's wife--you'd think.

You'd also think that most people would be smart enough not to hit the wrong button and send a message that could be interpreted as offensive by a large segment of the local population. Still, anyone who uses the internet has probably hit 'send,' when they didn't mean to. This is just another reminder that when it comes to social networking, you can never be too careful.

Next: To Tweet or Not to Tweet: 5 Fast Pros & Cons of Twitter >>

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Oh come on, mormons are just asking to be made fun of.

October 07 2010 at 5:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What ever happened to freedom of speech? It is supposed to be what makes this country, great! Should the man really lose his job? Really? Come on, people!

October 07 2010 at 4:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Brenda's comment

Another person who clearly didn't pay attention in 9th-grade Civics class.

This is NOT a "Freedom of Speech" issue.

The First Amendment ONLY protects citizens from having their words curtailed by the GOVERNMENT.

A nongovernmental employer absolutely can legally fire an employee for something like this.

October 07 2010 at 3:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Keep It SIMPLE..

People are more interested in believing the bad, the lies, the craziest stories they hear.

Its impossible to educate blind eyes & deaf ears when they have set ideas, So .. As a Latter-Day Saint, I would rather not wage war against those who have previously falsely accused our Religion, Prophets and/or Teachings.. It won't benefit any of them to try to explain our beliefs because their very hearts are hardened and proud beyond the capacity to accept anything else. I know for myself that The Church of Jesus Christ is TRUE. ..The vigor & relentless attempts from Anti's to bash on It only further solidifies my beliefs.. Anything that causes fear, unrest, doubt or confusion is of the divine workings of SATAN himself. So I know better than to tire myself with the many falsities that have been spoken here.

If you really, TRULY want the truth of our beliefs, It's as simple as kneeling in A SINCERE & earnest prayer & asking for knowledge.. Followed by MUCH dilligent studying of the scriptures. I wasn't at the least bit offended by the tweet the person shared.. It was sarcastic in nature & I could feel the lack for ill-intent in his actions... We do as Mormons tend to give off a bit of an "uptight aire" I'm sure, But that I credit, if in fact- as a very GOOD & COMMENDABLE characteristic in such a lack-luster & morally diminshing time & generation...

I hope in the long scheme of events, This world we know of will be better because a few Mormon's were a part of it :) We're all just trying to do our own "Bests'" .. For me- Being A member of the LDS Church is THE BEST! :D I'm a Proud Christian, Latter-Day Saint. If you have questions, even if you THINK you already know all about Us, Read the Scriptures again & AGAIN.. Thats the GREATEST way to LEARN FOR YOURSELF... Before you seek for reasons things could be "wrong" with it, try looking at all the ways it just could be ..RIGHT. *

Best Wishes to all...Mormon or not

October 07 2010 at 3:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As Spencer W. Kimball would say, "Hit birds flutter." LOL it is so true!

October 07 2010 at 3:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

All this because of the biggest rationalization of the unknown that is religion. If religion would just go away the world would be a much more peaceful place.

October 07 2010 at 2:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

People really don't understand their First Amendment rights. They think it means that they can say whatever they want, on whatever forum they choose, and they'll be shielded from any negative fall-out from anyone and anything, anytime. This is false. Your First Amendment rights are in place to protect you FROM YOUR GOVERNMENT ONLY. It means you can't get arrested for your speech unless it presents "a clear and present danger" to the populace. The example most often quoted is this: your First Amendment rights do not give you the right amuse yourself by shouting "FIRE!" in a crowded theater, because it presents a "clear and present danger" to the public if everyone should panic. When you send a tweet or twit or whatever the hell it is on a public forum, you might catch all kinds of hell for it; you may lose your job, you may be held up to public ridicule, you may be socially shunned. But you most certainly have NOT had your First Amendment rights violated, because the government hasn't come after you for it. You can sue your employer for wrongful termination, or your detractors for defamation, or for whatever wrong you think you've suffered for your nasty communication. But you can not claim that your First Amendment rights have been violated, because they most certainly haven't. Even Judge Judy should have known better when she mouthed off with "the N-word" on her show. Hello, you're a JUDGE? And you're whining that your "First Amendment rights have been violated" because you were canned for your poorly-thought-out comments? She needs a refresher course in Constitutional Law.

October 07 2010 at 1:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Nancy's comment

not judge judy... dr. laura... at any rate, judge judy does not always follow the law on her show, not because she doesn't know it (she's actually a first-rate jurist), but because the show is for entertainment purposes primarily..

October 07 2010 at 2:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As a Mormon I just want to say...I don't think the employee should have been fired. I wasn't offended by what he said and I doubt too many LDS would either. I think someone at the station over reacted. I hope he or she gets their job back.

October 07 2010 at 12:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nick Hamblet

There are many reasons for people repressing sexual energy. Forgetting any religious views, sex just plain ruins everything so kudos to those resisting it. Besides, there are people (like myself) to whom unforunate things have happened beyond their control and they cannot have sex lives. Ya'll should feel bad for people like that.

October 07 2010 at 12:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Steven R. Russell

"For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.
"For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him, might be saved" (John 3:16,17).

"The thief (Satan), cometh not but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I (Jesus), am come, that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).

October 07 2010 at 12:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Steven R. Russell's comment

Hitting someone over the head with bible verses is not a good way to communicate Christianity. Nor does it reflect God's love when you do. You have to know the person first. Blurting out scripture is a good way to piss someone off. It is not a good witness.

October 07 2010 at 12:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


October 06 2010 at 11:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Joe's comment

i don't know if it's true or not that mitt's family has polygamists currently. if they are, they are not LDS. they are not mormons. he probably has polygamists in his family line just as many LDS people do. yes, mitt is a mormon. he has one wife. it's not hard to keep stories straight when you are telling the truth. keep the two churches straight please. there is absolutely no connection now between the two churches. yes, they were both founded by the same person, but they broke off not long after that.

October 06 2010 at 11:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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