Social Media Blog

'@realDonaldTrump does not exist' – When social media employees go rogue

Posted by Rita Khodeir on 14 Nov 2017

In breaking news recently, a Twitter employee decided to leave the company with a bang, taking the time to deactivate President Donald Trump’s twitter account before they left.

For more than 10 minutes on Thursday, 2 November, visitors to the account’s page were greeted with the following:

In a sign of just how big this event is, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that “Time stopped. The sun rose in the west and set in the east. What, the watchers wondered, would happen now?”  

Shortly afterwards, Twitter posted a statement attributing the cataclysmic event to human error. 

This statement was amended not too long after with an interesting turn of events:

Aside from the fun the twittersphere had with the news, there are some important considerations for employers to think about – ideally before an employee takes it on themselves to delete President Trump’s social media account:

  • Do you have a social media policy that outlines expectations around social media usage for ALL employees? 
  • Does your policy extend to out-of-hours behaviour, posts relating to the workplace and comments that may reflect poorly on your brand (for examples, posts of a racist nature)?
  • Do you have guidelines in place for staff managing your social media? Think tone, crisis management, etc. 
  • Do you have crisis management strategies in place for yourself? For instance, do you distance yourself like Twitter did in this situation?
  • What strategies do you have in place for exiting employees responsible for your social media? For instance, is there a handover period and do you update passwords? Are you monitoring what staff are up to on social media in the lead up to their departure?
  • You can read some more about rogue employees on social media in our blogs – Protecting your business from social media and 9/11 social media campaign puts Miracle Mattress in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

In the meantime, if you have any concerns around putting strategies in place around social media managers turned keyboard warriors using your brand as their tool, please contact: