Adam Orth demonstrates importance of social media self-awareness
‘Opinions are my own’. Four little words that Twitter users slap on their bios to distance themselves from their employers in case of tweet controversy. What’s it worth, though? And what if you and your company are inextricably linked, regardless of any disclaimers you might announce on your Twitter page?
Last week, Microsoft’s creative director Adam Orth weighed in on the ‘always on’ model of online gaming. Weighed in in spades:
This of course infuriated the gaming community, not to mention the residents of Janesville and Blacksburg, and his string of unhelpful and hostile tweets went viral around the web.
Microsoft then issued a grovelling apology, referring to Orth as ‘this person’ (ouch).
“We apologize for the inappropriate comments made by an employee on Twitter yesterday. This person is not a spokesperson for Microsoft, and his personal views do not reflect the customer centric approach we take to our products or how we would communicate directly with our loyal consumers. We are very sorry if this offended anyone, however we have not made any announcements about our product roadmap, and have no further comment on this matter.”
Then, fast forward to today, and Adam Orth is reported to have left the company. His Twitter account has been locked down, and he’s allegedly removed his LinkedIn account altogether. No word as to whether he jumped or was pushed, but it’s safe to say the Twitter controversy acted as a catalyst for the move.
We’ve seen numerous examples of individuals losing their jobs because of social media foul ups, and this latest example demonstrates that even the high and mighty are not immune. If they enjoy an audience of thousands tied inextricably to the fact that they work for a certain company, then a simple ‘opinions are my own’ isn’t going to cut it. Is an element of self-censorship is the price to pay for the privileged position they’re in?