Here’s an issue that I never faced in nearly four decades as a broadcaster: having a company official tell me to take down a post on a Facebook account. I didn’t join Facebook until after I was forcibly retired from the biz a couple years ago. But a friend of mine who’s a TV reporter had to deal with the issue earlier this week.
Seems this friend of mine is very well acquainted with one of the candidates for statewide office, having worked with this person in the past. In the course of doing reporting work, my friend read the biography/resume this candidate had put online, and on a Facebook post, my friend commented that the biography/resume was grossly “stretched”, and that this person was hugely exaggerating in a number of areas.
I’m being deliberately vague here to protect the identities of both, but I think you get the idea.
The powers-that-be at my friend’s TV station became aware of the post, and asked my friend to take it down. I can well imagine that conversation – an on-camera reporter making a social media post clearly derogatory to a candidate for state-wide office. Long story short, my friend removed the post, and replaced it with one saying management at the TV station had asked that it be removed.
I sent a message to my friend, saying it didn’t surprise me that the folks in carpet corridor (management) at the TV station asked that the post be removed. My friend’s response was interesting. My friend said unlike nearly everyone else who has an on-camera job at the station, there is absolutely no “promotion” of work things on the Facebook account. It’s a completely personal Facebook page, and my friend has a personal acquaintance with every single “friend” on the account. Only friends with personal connections are allowed access, no “fans from TV land” who don’t really know my friend. Therefore, my friend was annoyed that management intervened, because ALL of us have opinions.
I would have told “management” to jump in the lake, but that’s one reason I’ve been fired so many times. (Me and Juan Williams, I guess…) What would YOU do?