Will Your Social Media Post Cost You Your Reputation?
A Florida police officer was terminated after posting a racially charged selfie on social media back in 2018. Just five months later, a Detroit officer was dismissed due to similar social media postings. That same month, a Milwaukee officer was fired for posting "racist" and "derogatory" content on social media about the arrest and tasing of NBA player Sterling Brown.

Recently, the Philadelphia Police Department placed 72 officers on desk duty based on an ongoing investigation into racist and other offensive Facebook posts by the police officers. The PPD has stated that they expect to fire "dozens" of these officers.

Public safety officers do not have a "First Amendment Right" to post whatever they want on personal social media accounts. You must expect that your department can and will take disciplinary action for proven instances of inappropriate posts, forwarded posts, comments, photos, etc.

This week, a new investigative news story was published detailing social media posts of purported active and retired Customs and Border Patrol agents who posted racist, misogynistic and material calling for violent acts against other people. Allegedly, they participated in a "private" Facebook group. Their posts were shared outside of the "private" group and now those agents are facing public humiliation, will likely face discipline, and, unfortunately, their alleged actions will be the focus of public and media attention in the coming weeks.

We are confident that our members are not displaying this type of social media behavior but it is worth a reminder.

We want to make it clear: we will not condone or defend any speech or social media activity that is racist, homophobic, misogynistic, attacks religions, promotes the violation of anyone's civil rights, advocates violence, or any other inappropriate content. We will forcefully speak out against those who engage in this behavior. It's that simple.

Posting on the internet or one's social media accounts takes only seconds and just one "send" click. Those seconds can be the difference between holding a job and being reprimanded. Please think before posting any content that could otherwise jeopardize your reputation or your department's. Before posting, sharing, or "retweeting" content, think to yourself "would I be comfortable with the fact that my family, neighbors, friends, and millions of people could potentially read this?"

Remember, nothing is ever really "private" on social media, even when posting in secret, private, or closed groups.

If you wouldn't say it in a uniform at a press conference, don't post it on the internet.
Check out these other social media facts
According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, more than half of employers have found content on social media that caused them NOT to hire a candidate. At least 12 percent of them would not hire a job candidate because they post too frequently.
Stay informed and involved with all things PORAC and Law Enforcement. Follow & Like us on Social Media for the most up to date content!