Just kidding. Let’s talk about how stupid people get on the internet!
For now let’s look at the second incident.
Riot Games Employee Daniel Klein
Riot Games, developers of League of Legends among other games, held several events at PAX West (a gaming convention) that were geared towards women and nonbinary identifying individuals. These events did not allow men to attend. Needless to say, this was a devisive decision and there was a fair amount of backlash. Enter Daniel Klein, a Riot Games employee who also chose to take to the Twittersphere to voice his opinion. He also decided it was a good idea to insult the player base by calling them “man babies”, “absolute assholes”, and referred to a Reddit thread about the subject a “toxic landfill”. Seems to be a pattern here.
I’m sure no one will be surprised to hear that both Price and Klein were fired by their respective employers, along with two others who became involved in those incidents. Both firings were done on the basis of violating company standards for how employees interact with customers. Both Jessica Price and Daniel Klein listed their employers in their social media bios, both accounts were public, and both were engaged in conversations related to their work. While not acting in an official capacity they were clearly speaking from their positions as people working in the industry and being employed by games developers.
What’s The Problem?
As I stated at the top of the article, we live in a very connected world. Anything you do online is effectively permanent. Both Jessica and Daniel deleted a lot of the tweets that brought about their firings but a thirty second Google search found screenshots and archives. The internet never forgets. These online actions can have real world consequences. Employers routinely look at social media profiles of prospective, and current, employees to get a better insight into who the person is. Even if it’s not your employer, coworkers often link up on social media and if a peer sees something concerning it can quickly become the talk of the office. Anything you do online can affect your professional life. Like it or not, that’s the world we live in. If you do something that is potentially detrimental to your employer, that employer is going to take action to protect itself. Companies have social media policies for a reason.
Should They Have Been Fired Though?
I’ve seen plenty of people saying that firing people over something done online was too harsh or too invasive. They argue that because the person wasn’t acting in an official capacity for the company their actions shouldn’t have cost them their jobs. That argument falls apart pretty quickly though I’d you think about it. Just because it was online doesn’t make it any different from a real life public space. Had either Daniel or Jessica been on a street corner shouting that their employer was horrible to work for or had they gone to customers and insulted them face to face, anyone would have understood their being fired. Had they done an interview for a news outlet or radio show and said the things they said they would have still lost their jobs. The fact that they were using their names, listed themselves as employees of their respective companies, and were engaged with customers of that company made them responsible for their actions on a professional level no matter the situation. The company had every right to fire them.
What About Their Side Of The Argument?
Others who defend Miss Price and Mr. Klein have done so from the viewpoint that they were both stating their beliefs and taking a stand against injustice. While I wholeheartedly support anyone defending their ideals, they both went so far afield as to destroy any credibility that argument might have.
In the case of Daniel Klein, he took the conversation far past the event being discussed and focused on his much broader philosophies on equality and societal power structures. Also, his resorting to insults further crippled his ability to take a moral high ground.
Jessica Price went even further. Jessica is the one who brought identity politics into the conversation. Derior never once mentioned her gender. She brought it up. Nothing about her firing was related to her being a woman. In fact, the coworker that was fored for supporting her was a man. She is the one who claimed that her employers valued her, and other women, less than her male counterparts.
What Does It Mean
There is a war of ideologies going on in the world and it seems to be ramping up daily. Politics, social matters, religion, and every other contentious subject are becoming more polarizing all the time. People havend they are going to voice them. Those actions, however, have consequences. Acting in an unprofessional manner can affect your professional life. We all live in a fishbowl of our own making when we post things online for the world to see. We have to make our choices accordingly.
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