A few months ago I recall reading on TVSpy.com about a Texas News Reporter who got some negative feedback from a viewer. The reporter posted it on Facebook. Needless to say he got a lot of sympathy from friends who also made disparaging remarks about the said individual, who was by the way, NAMED in the post. The viewer got wind of it, contacted the station and made a fuss, and long story short it made the newspapers.
Fast forward to a job interview a few months later, and the reporter had to explain the lesson he learned from the incident because the interviewer read all about it on Google. Talk about embarrassing, but hey, the Internet and Facebook are much like the Wild West, which requires careful navigation and learning from others mistakes. The reporter was lucky that the station forgave him and offered him a job.
I follow a lot of media professionals on Facebook and today my mouth dropped when I read that a news anchor was annoyed when a “FB Friend” called her out at the supermarket and claimed she was ignoring the “friend.” Why she decided to post it on her FB page, and include the man’s name had me question her judgement. I can understand her frustration, and I’m not taking sides here. But it seemed to me she needed to explain her side of the story to the man who felt slighted, not the rest of us.
I sent her a private message concerned for her reputation and suggested she just remove the post. She responded that she was in the right, station management knew about it, and supported her in this incident. Now I’m not sure I want to watch a newscast knowing the news team is out to ruin the reputation of someone who perhaps had a bad day. It obviously affected hers. The station could be subjected to a defamation lawsuit.
I’ve learned two things about arguing with idiots:
1. Don’t stoop to conquer.
2. Don’t get in a pissing match with a skunk, or you’ll both end up smelling bad.
Always remember your reputation is on the line with anything you post on the Internet. Facebook isn’t as private as you think.