Many college students today know what they post on social media can come back to haunt them later in life. However, what they may not realize is that posts which may be considered allowable today, will not always be acceptable. One example of this is what happened to Guardians of the Galaxy Director James Gunn.
Gunn made tweets several years ago with themes of pedophilia and rape, which were by no means okay but was accepted because thats was how Gunn caught attention in the cut throat world of movie directing. However when these tweets resurfaced several years it ended up contributing to him losing his job with Disney. Gunn did apologize for the tweets and eventually did get his job back but this has not always been the case.
Unfortunately, companies will pay little attention to when these posts were made and how old you were at the time. This was the case with Iowa State student Carson King, who was 16 when he quoted Tosh.O on Twitter. These tweets resurfaced when King became a local celebrity, raising money for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.
Due to these tweets, one of King’s biggest sponsors, Busch Light, reacted by ending its deal with him. Since then, King has recovered and made a new deal with a different brewery.
The Gunn and King cases are not unique. Their social media posts came into the spotlight once they were in the public eye but in many cases, posts can affect you before you even get a job.
We are all human and will make mistakes. We also cannot change what has already been done. However, we can move forward and work on marketing our best selves on all social media platforms.
A few tips for social media are think before you post is the best advice. Do not share or comment on other posts with information that could potentially harm your professional career.