The Digital Footprint

Midday Friday, James Gun was fired by Marvel Studios from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3; he was in the process of writing the movie that he’d direct. The cause of his firing: Tweets he made in 2010.

Josh Hader of the Milwaukee Brewers went through a similar situation on Wednesday night, as he was pitching in the All Star game; old tweets from his high school days were resurrected to show his ignorance.

It begs the question: have people not heard about their digital footprint?

I’ve been hearing for years to watch what you put on social media; for a lowly white collar worker, it’s because your current or future employer could be checking your Facebook, Twitter, etc. It’s something that many people stress over (if you check my social media, you’ll see I’m a little more lax on it).

Gunn lost a job that made him a household name in comic book circles; he took a lesser know property and made it into a household name. Just because he was making some bad jokes.

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Of course, these tweets were brought up when he started on the first movie, and he cut his teeth making movies for Trauma. Disney, who owned Marvel when they started production on GOTG Vol 1, knew these tweets were out their; they could have had him or his people delete them (and probably should have). Instead, in this #metoo movement era, Gunn is looking for a new job and comic fans are now worried about the future of the Guardians.

Hader could be in a similar situation; the reliever for the Brewers has gained recognition for his remarkable season. Now he’s getting recognition for making some racist tweets when he was in high school (and just for the record, some of the tweets were out of context music lyrics).

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The Brewers should be vetting this stuff when they draft, sign, or acquire a player. The player’s agent and PR firm should be checking this stuff when they sign on with the agency.

I’m not absolving Gunn or Hader for their actions; some of what they wrote made me sick to my stomach. I’m am saying to give them the benefit of the doubt. How many of us have made dumb comments when we were younger? How many of us regret the ones we remember? How many of us could be in trouble if you go back 5, 10, 20 years in our social media history?

I’m using these situations to help my kids understand their digital footprint; I’ve been lucky to have schools that are teaching them this stuff in their technology classes (in Elementary School), but it’s the parent’s job to ensure they truly understand. It’s also part of the reason they aren’t allowed to have social media accounts until they are 18

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