We’ve all heard the admonishment to be careful what you post on Facebook and Twitter. We are reminded that employers frequently check these sites to find out about a prospective employee. Okay. I’m down with that. If all of someone’s posts indicate they are a knucklehead then as an employer I would probably have second thoughts. But, where do you draw the line? Should a person’s politics come into play? Should this affect your writing gigs?
Here’s the story. Back in January, I happened to be on Twitter when the Gifford shooting went down in Arizona. Within minutes, the hate and inaccuracy and idiocy of folks came through in spades. I used it as an opportunity to folks who in my opinion were absolutely too annoying to be in my Twitter stream any longer. Most were relatively unknown to me so unfollowing those folks was painless. For folks with whom I had interacted with in the past, the decision to unfollow was a lot more difficult. Some of those folks I actually kept around.
This scenario changed how I use Twitter. I had avoided any kind of political slant for the most part. Well, I decided to be true to myself and so I now have no problem voicing my political opinion or retweeting things I believe in. I never thought for a minute it would lead to losing a writing gig.
I was a contributor to a blog. Nothing much, a post or two a month. Non-paying gig. The owner hired a managing editor who happens to be one of the folks I had interacted on Twitter with quite a bit. They were also one of the folks who I kept around even though their political views are so out in left field I can barely comprehend it. Not long after the Gifford incident, this managing editor rejected an article I had written for the blog. Even though the article was spot on for the blog audience I was told it wasn’t in the vein they wanted to see for the readership.
Fine. One less blogging obligation.
On the other hand, what the Hell? No matter how screwed up someone’s political beliefs may be, I would never let that compromise my professional integrity.
I guess it just goes to show that you really can never know another person.
What say you? Would you sit quietly while your country goes to hell on the oft chance that your opinions may cost you a writing gig?