* Remember this?…
Gov. Bruce Rauner’s “body man” — a hand-picked assistant chosen to travel with the governor on a daily basis — was fired Monday on his first day of the job after a series of homophobic and racially insensitive comments were found on his Twitter page.
The exit is one of at least 20 since last week — when Rauner began a rash of firings, with others resigning in protest.
Ben Tracy was chosen by the administration to replace Kyle Haevers as the governor’s “body man.” Haevers on Sunday was told his services were no longer needed but that he could choose to work for another state department.
* He’s back…
Ben Tracy learned the hard way the price one can pay for inappropriate posts on social media.
Tweets he wrote as a high school student came back to cost him a high-profile job in Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office, Tracy told St. Joseph-Ogden students during a presentation this week at the high school.
The event started with Tracy warning SJ-O students that he was about to share some regrettable tweets — authored by some of them — that he had tracked down using a simple search.
“It took me 10 minutes to find these,” Tracy said as tweets from SJ-O students filled the screen behind him.
Tracy then went on to tell students what happened to him a year earlier, after he had graduated from college and started working for political campaigns. Among the positions he held — for less than 24 hours, anyway: a job as Rauner’s “body man,” the governor’s own traveling personal assistant.
* Radical Candor lets loose…
I wish RC would learn how to thread tweets, but click here to read the rest anyway.
*** UPDATE *** From Ben Tracy himself…
My goal in speaking to young people is to help them use social media responsibly. The things I tweeted when I was a high school and college student were hurtful and hateful. I am deeply sorry for the things I said, and I faced serious repercussions. There is no place in our society for derogatory thoughts, words, or actions, even if they’re not maliciously intended. I make that crystal clear in my presentations.
The truth is that young people don’t understand the lasting impact of the things they post online. Seventy percent of employers and 35% of college admissions counselors look at social media profiles of applicants. I learned this lesson the hard way, and I want to make sure others don’t make the same mistakes.
There have been examples of other people who have made similar mistakes in the news recently including Chicago White Sox pitcher Michael Kopech, Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Josh Hader, and Sarah Jeong who now sits on the New York Times Editorial Board. Instead of celebrating getting a great job or making it to the big leagues, these individuals had to answer for old social media posts – and rightfully so. This is a reality of the world in which we live, and I intend to help others understand the impact of things they say online both to themselves and the people around them.
We are inundated by the presence of social media on a daily basis and our online lives aren’t going away anytime soon. Because of this, I want to help young people learn from the mistakes I made and better understand how to use social media in a positive way.