When I got up at 4 a.m. this morning as this was first breaking, my initial reaction was that this was a significant overreaction by ANet, but not out of the realm of possibility for putting someone with 1/10 of her followers on blast for something that was really just mildly ignorant at worst.
But it didn’t take much imagination to see that that was all just a smokescreen for a bunch of people who never had any intention of operating in good faith. I mean, does O’Brien not see the irony here? Price (and Fries to an even greater extent) got annoyed and, in a snap judgment, lashed out at someone on Twitter. O’Brien got annoyed and, in a snap judgment, put two people out of work.
I’m continually amazed at humanity’s inability to recognize things that are staring them right in the face.
I will say, I don’t find the “personal Twitter account” argument compelling at all. For a few reasons:
-As a public service employee, one thing we have drilled into us: on our own time, we are private citizens; except, if we are directly discussing our work, people will of course assume we are representing our agency. It doesn’t mean we can’t discuss it, but we should treat it as if we are doing so in an official capacity even when we aren’t.
-There are an uncountable number of “personal” Twitter accounts across virtually every industry you can think of where creatives (for lack of a better term) openly talk about their work, art, etc. and either ignore or engage with replies. Like it or not, that’s the platform. To expect people to treat your account differently is just pure hubris.
-There’s no way if someone said something shitty, sexist, racist, etc., would the people making this defense now make the same defense then. And they shouldn’t. But you can’t have it both ways: either what you say on your personal account matters, or it doesn’t.
I guess what I’m saying is, if you want a personal account that is a personal account, just fucking lock it.