Firm News

Delete that Tweet!

September 13, 2018

How you can take control of your social accounts and avoid controversy

Social media has become a powerful tool in our world. World leaders, celebrities, and athletes are using platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to streamline communication with their followers. Rewind, there was a time when social media wasn’t quite as powerful, and we were all just figuring out the role social media would play in our lives. Over the years however, social media has been archiving our lives, allowing our past to stay in the present. Recently, well known individuals such as Roseanne Barr and “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn are finding their lives and careers ruined because controversial tweets from their Twitter pages are resurfacing. Brands and businesses are showing zero tolerance in response to irresponsible use of social media and that is important for everyone to note.

Here are some ways you can take control of your social media:

1. Check your privacy settings

If you’re looking to take control of who access to your social media, privacy mode will be your best friend. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and most social media sites allow you to make your profile private, meaning that only individuals that you approve can view your profile and information. Furthermore, sites typically allow you to select specific individuals who can view or not view specific information you may provide on your page. To set your Twitter profile to private, click on your account settings, select ‘Privacy and safety’ from the list and check ‘Protect your tweets’. That’ll mean nobody outside of your followers can see your tweets, even if you’re engaged in a conversation with someone with a public account. Privacy is usually the best way to monitor who has access to your social media and this function can be set in your account settings for all social media sites.

2. Review your archives

All your social media pages have been archiving your activity since you joined the network. Your archive is where you may rediscover many of the embarrassing and cringe worthy things you have posted online. Reviewing and deleting can often be a tedious task, but there’s hope in several apps that can assist with this process. TweetDelete or Cleaner for IG are services that allow you to mass delete posts, tweets and followers. To download a list of everything you've ever written on Twitter, simply go to your settings, then 'Account', then scroll down to 'Request your archive'.

3. Think before you post

Once something is on the internet it is there forever. When posting on social, make sure what you’re posting is something you want the world to see. For example, Rosanne’s now infamous tweet about Valerie Jarrett set off a wave of controversy ultimately leading to the cancelation of her #1 sitcom. In response to the immediate backlash, Barr described the tweet as a “bad joke,” but the tweet ultimately led to her dismissal from ABC. Take a few minutes to review your post to avoid any potential misinterpretation. 

Tyler Ales is an Intern at Bond Moroch.