You’ll have seen, in the news, that Andrew Sabisky – a former advisor to Boris Johnson – has had to resign over rather unpalatable (to say the least) post put out across social media, including Reddit and Twitter, in the past.
Here’s one of them, comparing black and white people, on the basis of IQ, and drawing the conclusion that black people aren’t as intelligent:
He claims that the media have ‘dredged up old posts’ and that ‘the media hysteria about my old stuff online is mad’.
The problem is, it wasn’t just one post – there were several.
There was one about unplanned pregnancies ‘creating an underclass’.
There was another one about giving a certain medication being ‘worth one dead kid’.
There was another one saying that ‘women’s sport is more comparable to the Paralympics than it is to men’s’.
The other problem is, the racial profiling tweet was written when he was 21 and the women’s sport one was written only last year.
He’s 27 now. To my mind, if you held those views when you were 21, you still hold them now – you just don’t want to admit it.
Andrew Sabisky had no idea, when he wrote all of those comments, that he would soon be an advisor to the PM. And therein lies the problem.
It’s the same with President Trump’s horrendous ‘grab ’em by the pussy’ quote. Yes, it was 15 years ago, but he was 58 when he made those comments. If he holds the view that those comments are okay at that age, then he still holds those same views now.
Everything you write online constitutes published material. It’s there for all to see (unless you delete it) – today, tomorrow, in five years’ time.
If you go to write something controversial, across any social platform, think about where you might be in 2, 5, or 10 years’ time, and whether you’d want that one tweet to be brought up in future. It might be enough to bring down an entire brand you’ve spend years investing in – in both time and money.
Think about that as you go to put your hands to the keyboard.