By: Brandon Yee
As the news of Kobe Bryant’s death spread across various news outlets almost two weeks ago, a cascade of posts flooded social media in the hours and days following the helicopter crash that ultimately claimed nine lives in Southern California. While the majority of the posts across social media shared an overwhelming sentiment of grief and remembrance for Bryant, one Facebook post from the principal of Camas High School has drawn significant scrutiny. Liza Sejkora, the principal of the school posted after the news first broke of Bryant’s death, “Not gonna lie. Seems to me that karma caught up with a rapist today”. Although the post was deleted only an hour after it was originally authored, the damage had been done. With Sejkora receiving backlash online and in the local community, she was placed on administrative leave. Prior to Sejkora being placed on leave, students threatened to walk-out of class in a show of solidarity against the comments and in remembrance of the victims.
This should be a very real reminder that everything posted on social media has a degree of permanence. It should also serve as a case study for others to remember to always ask ‘what’s the worst that can happen?’ prior to posting online. Specifically, in a time when millions of people across the world are mourning the loss of global icon and the innocent lives of children and families, it may be best to moderate your online reactions. This can also be a lesson to brands as well. When tragedy strikes, the world is not awaiting your witty reply or disingenuous post. More harm than good can be done to your credibility and trust.