When not writing about the legal issues raised by my favorite TV shows, most of this blogger’s Law Law Land blogs have involved either employment law or social media issues. So you can imagine my sheer delight when the news of Pax Dickinson’s now-infamous Twitter account emerged, since it is a perfect disgusting marriage of these issues, as well as a cautionary tale to employers and employees alike.
In a nutshell, this is a story about an employee who was fired for writing offensive Tweets. But the reason this made national news is that Dickinson was Chief Technology Officer of the website Business Insider, which has over 23 million unique views each month and top executives from other dotcoms. In other words, these guys know a little something about the Internet and social media. And yet, Dickinson was tweeting his biased worldview for all to see—including his real name and title at Business Insider—for four years (and more than 10,000 Tweets), and the company did nothing until Dickinson was outed by Valleywag’s Nitasha Tiku and the story went viral. What’s more, at least one of Dickinson’s high-up colleagues previously knew about his Twitter shenanigans and even blocked Dickinson on Twitter.