Article Summary

As the use of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, TIKTOK, etc. continues to grow, the risk that you might make a post that will catch your employer’s attention also increases. There are growing reports of people who have been fired because of what they have posted on their social media. Examples of “dangerous” posts range from topics related to workplace safety (not wearing a mask during the pandemic), to racial issues (disrespecting a person of color), to diversity issues (objecting to “Pride Month”), just to name a few.

Can Social Media Get You Fired?

As the use of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, TIKTOK, etc. continues to grow, the risk that you might make a post that will catch your employer’s attention also increases. There are growing reports of people who have been fired because of what they have posted on their social media. 

Examples of “dangerous” posts range from topics related to workplace safety (not wearing a  mask during the pandemic), to racial issues (disrespecting a person of color), to diversity issues (objecting to “Pride Month”), just to name a few.

Many organizations have a “code of conduct” or “workplace behavior” policy you should be aware of. Even if the company you are working for at the moment does not have such a policy, it is always a good idea to avoid posting anything on your social media that you wouldn’t say out loud and in-person to your boss or management team.


Here are a few more examples of posts that could get you into trouble at work:

  • Posting during working hours: While you are working, your employer has the right to demand your full attention. Be conscious of the risks of posting on social media during work hours. Although employees may be at a lesser degree of risk when posting on  personal media sites outside of working hours, some prospective employers have blacklisted candidates who post questionable content on their social media. Messaging that could at some time in the future reflect negatively on the employer.  
  • Sharing Company Information: Posts related to staffing/hiring decisions, new or products in development, or any other private or proprietary information is not a good idea if you want to keep your job. If your company hasn’t shared the information online, it is better to hold off on your own post.
  • Providing references on LinkedIn: Before posting any colleagues' names as references, you should ask your employer about the company policy for doing so. Not checking might end up getting you a warning from your HR department, or worse.
  • Negative comments about your job or clients: Most social media platforms have privacy settings that can help you hide some information from unknown contacts, but you need to keep in mind that the online world is very small. If you make your online posts accessible to colleagues or former colleagues, they can intentionally or unintentionally take a screenshot of your post and share it with someone outside of your approved social circle. Once that happens, you lose control of where it can spread to. Think twice before posting how boring your job is or how much you hate your boss.
  • Deceptive posts: If you take a sick day at your job, and then post a picture of you at the beach or out with friends, this might get you into a load of trouble or impact negatively on the level of trust you hold with your boss or peers. 
  • Racist, sexist or inappropriate comments: Any of these comments can be problematic, but particularly so, if they are about your co-workers or clients. In a “worst case scenario” your post could go viral and land you in very deep trouble, out of a job, or both. 
  • Job search during work hours: In addition to the ethical issues of looking for a job during the time you are paid to fulfil your current one, using your office computer for personal gain is problematic. If your company has guidelines on computer use during  business hours, be sure to follow them.

Ultimately, the courts will decide whether an employer has the right to dismiss an employee for posting questionable content. Regardless of whether you retain your job or not, expect your reputation to be damaged if you don’t use good judgement when building your social media presence/reputation.

Stop and think twice before you post anything on social media, because once you post something it’s hard, if not impossible to take it back.

More articles

5 Tips For Writing An Entry-Level Resume
4 Reasons Not To Lie On Your Resume
8 Ways To Improve Your Leadership Skills
© Career Ferocious, a Stature Leadership Innovations Inc. company. All rights reserved.
Website design and development by Humanatronix Media Ltd.