A Sobering Lesson About Alcohol, Bad Judgment and Social Media

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May 9, 2014

Rakesh Agrawal, a top executive at PayPal, is no longer working at PayPal following some questionable tweets that were recorded for posterity on the Internet last week.

Apparently Mr. Agrawal was having such a good time at the New Orleans Jazz Fest he decided to disparage his co-workers with a stream of crude dismissals.

He disowned the tweets the next morning, claiming he was merely testing out his new phone while intoxicated (as we all have done at some point).

It was later found out that Agrawal had resigned from PayPal before the Twitter war began, but PayPal was so incensed they decided to tell the world anyway:payPal-rakesh-agrawal

 Stop the madness

By now, after so many stories of people losing their jobs and having their reputations ruined from poor social media judgment, two things should be clear: you can’t delete a tweet, and Twitter is not your own personal therapist. However, as Mr. Agrawal’s fracas proves, that message is still having trouble sinking in.

For the benefit of everyone, here are some simple “Twitter Dont’s” you can put in your cap to avoid a situation like Mr. Agrawal’s in your own workplace:

  • DON’T insult your colleagues, bosses or company. Even when you’re upset, this is a poor communication method.
  • DON’T tweet about your daily work annoyances. It’s Twitter, not Facebook.
  • DON’T mix alcohol and social media. If you have to get drunk before you send that tweet, you probably shouldn’t send it.
  • DON’T “test” your new phone by doing any of the above. Try a more benign test tweet, i.e. “This is a test. #newphone”
  • DON’T go with the complete 180 denial after you’re caught. It has literally never worked.
  • DON’T delete your tweets in a cover-up attempt. Assume someone took a screenshot the second it was posted and emailed it to Valleywag – because someone always does.

There you have it, some helpful hints to navigate the Twitter jungle. Hopefully by following these tips, you can avoid public embarrassment, chronic unemployment, and being reduced to cruel nicknames like “Cisco Fatty.”

This was originally published on the Michael C. Fina blog.