Yet another high profile Twitter user has been caught up in all shades of trouble because they didn’t clean house and sanitise their old posts and timeline.
We were tempted to create a new category on the site called “Seriously ?”, we might still do that – but for now we’ll just highlight the issue and hope you are smart enough to sort yourselves out.
Recently Phil Neville was offered and took a new job. You might not know Phil or if you do, you might not even care much about him. Phil is an ex-professional footballer who played at the highest levels of the game in England and Internationally. He earned millions throughout his career and alongside his brother (also a ex-international footballer, team manager and pundit) created something of a footballing family legacy; high profile reputation, knowledgeable and exceptionally experienced in all aspects and levels and roles of the professional game. In short, Phil knows his onions. Or so you would think.
A few months before, there was a scandal at the top level of womens football in the UK. The international womens’ team manager was sacked for bullying, harassment and racial remarks he made to international female players and staff. Looking to rebuild their reputation The Womens Football Association hired Phil Neville to take over that role.
Phil accepted – but didn’t think about previous comments he made years ago on Twitter account (or even consider they would be a problem). Considering the role and the sensitivity of the position regarding the circumstances leading to the post being open in the first place, it might have been a good idea to take stock or hire an image consultant to make sure he wasn’t likely to face any unforeseen issues relating to his social media footprint.
Well, he didn’t and sure enough the UK news media picked up on a few tweets me made some years before:
Without discussing or excusing (which you can’t) the topics of sexism and abuse, this is probably not what his new employer wanted to find on the front page of the papers and every UK news channel when the story broke.
Yes, millions of people make remarks (smarter and dumber than these) that are not appropriate, acceptable or great ideas. But millions of those people do not have high profiles or accept jobs where there will be an insane amount of scrutiny of everything they say, do and did. This guy knows better and on so many levels, screwed up. Deleting his account didn’t help and only made matters worse. If it goes on the net – it stays there forever.
Removing stupid and ill-placed posts from your timelines is always a good move. Most certainly before interviews and starting a new job.