Dear Racists, please keep outing yourselves on social media

Haters out themselves on social media via #MissLoriTV

When I saw the news about the ten incoming Harvard freshman who had their acceptance rescinded due to inappropriate social media memes my immediate instinct was to write a motherly blog post response. As the parent of an incoming freshman I have spent the last 3 years immersed in the application/recruitment milieu. Given that I have worked in the social media marketing arena since 2009, I am hyper aware of the intrinsic link between social media and the financial bottom line for brands. As such, I drilled into my son that his college acceptance is really more of a brand merger; his personal brand with the university brand. Once he became a student of his accepting institution everything that he would do online or in person would reflect back onto the university. Likewise, the actions of the university would reflect back onto him as a student and ultimately as an alumni. Thus it is critical that each brand, both his and the university’s, protect the integrity of their individual social stock to keep the merger bright and successful.

I was excited to write this informative post, however, before I could really get rolling I read about a journalist being fired from Breitbart news for an anti-Muslim tweet following the London bridge attack. Which reminded me that last month a Denver journalist was fired for a racist tweet about an Indy 500 driver, AND a tennis player was banned from the French Open for sexually harassing a journalist during a live TV interview. I started googling, digging deeper into the subject of consequences for social actions and I found more students, journalists and athletes causing trouble, but also teachers, police officers, bankers, real-estate professionals and even Walmart shoppers all experiencing life-altering repercussions for caustic posts, rants and activities.

Then it hit me, the very last thing I want to do is tell racist, homophobic, misogynist hate mongers not to “post.” I don’t want to explain to them that social media isn’t private, or that you should never post something you wouldn’t be willing to say over a microphone. I certainly don’t want to remind them that almost all cellphones have cameras and their owners have become quite adept at capturing bombastic behavior and posting it for all the world to see. I especially do not want to point out that there has been an uptick in bans, firings and arrests following racist, sexist and phobic behavior and social media content generation. No, I want such people to continue to broadcast their ignorance all across the social sphere so that the rest of us can see them for who they truly are. More importantly I want them to expose their true selves so that their employers, community, and, if warranted, law enforcement, can take the appropriate action in response to the revelation. I don’t want people like this informed and cautious. I want them emboldened and reckless so that they will, hopefully, be removed from positions that impact innocent people, and ultimately suffer the consequences their actions duly deserve.

Therefore, let me make a personal plea. For all you folks out there like those 10 Harvard freshman -oops- I mean those 10 “no longer” Harvard freshman, please keep airing your dirty laundry across the internet. I promise you, we the people, we’re definitely paying attention.

Trolled with hate via #MissLoriTV

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