1The Math Teacher Who Tweeted About Getting High
In January 2013, Carly McKinney, a 10th grade math teacher at Overland High School in Aurora, Colorado, was put on administrative leave. A local news station uncovered tweets containing revealing photos and boasts about bringing marijuana to school.
One post read, "Naked. Wet. Stoned," while another said, "Watching a drug bust go down in the parking lot. It's funny 'cuz I have weed in my car in the staff parking lot." Other messages suggested that the teacher was grading papers while under the influence of drugs and spending time on Twitter instead of being productive during the school day.
In her defense, McKinney claimed that she and a friend created the page as a parody, and in reality she never was in possession of drugs during the school day.
Her students thought her racy photos and tweets about marijuana were pretty cool and protested online to get her back. Nonetheless, McKinney was fired.
2The Taco Bell Employee Who Was Fired After Urinating on Nachos
In July 2012, Cameron Jankowski of Fort Wayne, Indiana, posted a photo of himself taking a leak on a Taco Bell order and posted the photo to Twitter. He addressed it to Hunter Moore (@Huntermoore) with the hash tags #pissolympics and #nachobellgrande and a link to the photo. In response, hacker group Anonymous tweeted a link to a YouTube video that reportedly listed Janowski's personal details. The video also included screenshots of tweets posted and retweeted by Jankowski.
Jankowski claimed that the nachos weren't served to any customers and it was just a joke, but the damage was done and he was fired.
3The Director of Corporate Communications Who Tweeted a Racist and Insensitive "Joke"
In December 2013, Justine Sacco, a communications director of the New York-based internet empire InterActive Corp., was fired after she sent a dumb and racist tweet before boarding a flight from London to Cape Town. It read, "Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just Kidding. I'm White!"
Despite Sacco only having around 200 followers, the message quickly spread to news organizations, with social media users around the world expressing their disgust.
The irony of a supposed public relations expert tweeting such an insensitive comment – and the fact it could not be corrected during a 12-hour flight – was not lost on the general public. The hashtag #HasJustineLandedYet was soon trending on the social media site.
By the time Sacco had been pictured landing in Cape Town, the fallout was swift. She deleted the offending tweet, then her whole Twitter account, before finally removing her entire online presence – Facebook and Instagram included.
Though she issued a full apology, IAC removed her details from their site and said they had “parted ways with the employee in question."
4The Restaurant Server Who Was Fired for Complaining About his Uniform
In 2009, Tim Chantarangsu, a server at California Pizza Kitchen, was none too happy about a recent uniform change and turned to Twitter to vent his frustration. He tweeted, "@calpizzakitchen black button ups are the lamest shit ever!!!"
The tweet prompted a response from the company and eventually Chantarangsu was tracked down to a Long Beach CPK and fired for his behavior.
In response to the firing, Chantarangsu posted a YouTube video explaining the circumstances around his controversial tweets and firing. Apparently jovial about the situation and clearly not interested in getting his job back, the former CPK employee isn't ready to let the situation lie.
5The Woman Who Was Fired For Dressing Like a Boston Marathon Bombing Victim
In November 2013, Alicia Ann Lynch, 22, was fired after tweeting and Instagramming a photo of herself dressed as a Boston Marathon bombing victim for Halloween. Shortly after she posted a photo to Twitter, the insensitive and tasteless tweet sparked a tremendous amount of internet rage.
It didn't take users long to discover that Lynch had once posted a photo of her driver's license, and they used the information to attack Lynch and her family.
Twitter users circulated nude pictures and videos of her found on Tumblr. Lynch deleted all of her social media accounts, but later reopened her Twitter account in an attempt to be forgiven for the costume.
In November 2013, Lynch reported she had lost her job over the costume.
6The Waiter Who Was Fired for Tweeting About a Celebrity Dine and Dash
In 2009, Jane Adams, star of HBO's Hung , ordered a soup and lemonade at Barney Greengrass in Beverly Hills. Her check came to an entirely reasonable $13.44. Adams, unable to pay, explained that she left her wallet in her car and said she'd go out and get it, but never returned. Her frustrated waiter, Jon-Barrett Ingels, tweeted about it.
Her agent paid the bill the next day minus a tip causing Ingels' to issue another tweet, "Tues: Jane Adams, star of HBO series "Hung" skipped out on a $13.44 check. Her agent called and payed [sic.] the following day. NO TIP!!!"
Adams did return to the restaurant to tip Ingels about a month later, but it was too late. Barney's Corporate saw his Twitter account and encouraged his manager to fire him after 5 years of employment.
7The Student Who Lost an Employment Offer After a Negative Tweet About the Job
In March 2009, Connor Riley had a job offer from Cisco on the table. Unfortunately, Riley's master's degree in information management and systems at University of California, Berkeley, didn't prevent her from mismanaging her own information on Twitter. She tweeted, “Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.”
Shortly thereafter, there was a reply from Cisco employee Tim Levad offering to pass her sentiments along to the hiring manager. Obviously, Riley lost the job before it even started.
8The Obama Administration Employee Fired After Being Disovered as a Twitter Troll
In October 2013, Jofi Joseph, an Obama administration national security staffer, was fired following an internal investigation into the source behind the Twitter handle "@NatSecWonk."
The account was created in February 2011. With it, Joseph spent years disparaging national security policy and administration officials and even leaked vital security information. Also, many of Joseph's tweets were offensive to women.
9The Sportscaster Who Was Let Go After Tweeting His Opinion on Same-Sex Marriage
In May 2011, freelance broadcaster Damian Goddard was fired after he supported anti-gay sentiments on Twitter: “I completely and wholeheartedly support Todd Reynolds and his support for the traditional and true meaning of marriage.”
A few days earlier, Reynolds had sent out a tweet criticizing New York Ranger forward Sean Avery, who had made a public service announcement in support of gay marriage. “Very sad to read Sean Avery's misguided support of same-gender ‘marriage.' Legal or not, it will always be wrong.”
Of course, the Reynold's firing led to a media frenzy over the use of Twitter and again brought the issue of gay rights within the professional sports community to light.
Goddard believes he was discriminated against for standing up for the beliefs of the Catholic Church, and that his freedom of speech and religion were violated when he was fired.
10The Firefighters Who Were Removed for Posting Sexist Tweets
In August 2013, two Toronto firefighters were removed from duty for posting sexist tweets.
In November 2012, a tweet from the account of Matt Bowman, @ Hero_Matt, stated, “Reject a woman and she will never let it go. One of the many defects of their kind. Also weak arms.” A tweet in March 2013 from the same account read,“I'd never let a woman kick my ass. If she tried something I'd be like HEY! You get your bitch ass back in the kitchen and make me some pie!”
On June 5, 2013, a tweet from the account of Lawaun Edwards read, “would swatting her in the back of the head been considered abuse or a way to reset the brain?”
According to a spokesman, the City of Toronto and Toronto Fire Services terminated the firefighters.