News & Views

A little birdie told me…

BY Katy Marshall
Employment law
BG Purple

The recent furore over the forced resignation of Paris Brown, the UK's first Youth Crime Commissioner serves to underline the importance of social media on an individual's future job prospects.

Seventeen-year-old Paris was appointed to the role with Kent police in the hope that the post would foster closer links between the force and local young people. Unfortunately for Paris and Kent police force, no-one thought to check her social media presence before offering her the job. It turns out Paris had been regularly posting foul mouthed and potentially discriminatory tweets on her twitter account since she started it up aged just fourteen.

Needless to say, when the posts were discovered by the media, the ensuing scandal forced Paris to resign. Kent police force now says it will review its recruitment policy to incorporate pre-employment social media screening. The case serves as a warning to employers and employees alike about the damaging effects an individual's online presence can have, even many years down the line.

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