The latest casualty of a social media blunder is newsreader, Alastair Stewart, who has left his ITN News job after reportedly making racist slurs in a Twitter post. Some say that his tweet was not racist and his comments were simply ill-judged but whatever your view, he is now without his job. However, he is not alone - in just the last year, there have been many other examples of high profile people loosing their jobs because of their social media posts (such as Danny Baker and Israel Folau).
Clearly this is a common problem so employers would be well advised to ensure that they provide social media training to their employees. Hopefully such action would go some way to minimise the risk of situations like this from occurring. The employee needs to clearly understand what is and is not acceptable for them to put on social media and what the repercussions might be if they breach the rules. It would also be sensible for employers to provide periodic refresher training to ensure that the teaching remains fresh in their employees' minds.
For other employment law tips on dealing with social media in the workplace, see here for one of my previous posts on the topic.
A tweet from Alastair Stewart’s Twitter account, which appears to compare a black man to an ‘ape’, has resurfaced. Alastair, 67, announced he has quit as presenter of ITV News after more than 40 years as a newsreader. ITN confirmed it was due to ‘errors of judgement in Alastair’s use of social media’ and ‘breached’ their editorial guidelines. They did not specify what exactly prompted him to step down. In light of the news, Twitter users are now circulating a tweet which Alastair reportedly sent on 13 January 2020. It quotes Shakespeare and was sent to a Twitter user, who happens to be black. ‘“But man, proud man, Dress’d in a little brief authority, Most ignorant of what he’s most assur’d – His glassy essence – like an angry ape”,’ the tweet read.