Bishop’s Royal Wedding Comments on Facebook= Suspension

Broadbent's profile picture from Facebook as used by Mashable

Posted by Laura Wittren

Seriously, when will people learn not to post certain things on Facebook and Twitter?  What part of social media do they not understand?  Apparently this lesson will never be learned because we have yet another example where someone gets in trouble because of a post.

Peter Broadbent is a bishop of the Church of England, or should I say he was a bishop as  the Bishop of London Richard Chartres suspended him. Why?  Because he posted several negative comments regarding the engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

According to The Guardian, he posted on Facebook: “We need a party in Calais for all good republicans who can’t stand the nauseating tosh that surrounds this event.”  He also posted that the marriage wouldn’t last more than 7 years.

And of course, the posts went public.  Although Broadbent apologized publicly, the damage was already done, and the Bishop of London Richard Chartres advised him to withdraw from the public ministry.

This is an ongoing trend.  According to Mashable, a recent study found that 8% of U.S. companies have fired an employee for what they’ve posted on social networking sites. However, Mashable also says the National Labor Relations Board recently argued that freedom of speech protects Facebook.

Do we really have the freedom to post whatever we want when our future employers can see what we say?  Is it unlawful to fire an employee because of a Tweet?

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12 responses to “Bishop’s Royal Wedding Comments on Facebook= Suspension

  1. I think this story is classic evidence of the dangers that come with social media. Personal responsibility needs to be practiced. Common sense needs to be practiced. I don’t condone what the bishop said, however, I believe he has the right to say whatever he wants. At the same time, consequences come with speech. Just because you can say whatever you want doesn’t mean you should.

  2. Trevor Mickelson

    I think we have freedom to post anything we want but there will always be consequences. I also dont think there is anything wrong with an employer firing an employee for something posted. People should be well aware that anything they put online has the chance to get back to an employer so they need to be careful. I’m not sure if I agree that freedom of speech also protects stuff posted on Facebook.

  3. Yes I definitely think people need to be more careful of what they say on things such as Facebook and Twitter. If people don’t want to face the consequences of what they say, they probably shouldn’t be saying it. Thanks for commenting!

  4. Obviously people have a right to post what they want on a social network, but they have to understand that it may have consequences. Especially if you are a bishop and people look to you for guidance and love, yet you’re posting negative things about someone’s engagement. Some thoughts should just be kept to yourself and not broadcasted all over the internet.

  5. katherine dewitt

    I agree with what everyone else has said. People obviously have the right to post whatever they want on Facebook and Twitter. But, you should be careful of what you post. I don’t think people should post anything about their work. If you’re worried if a specific person might see it, don’t post it. My mom actually works for a company where they can’t use any social media to talk about their job.

  6. Would people say bad things directly to their employer’s face? If not, then why would they say it to the millions of people who are on Facebook? Word of it is bound to come around to bite them. People absolutely need to be accountable for what they say. Sure, they have a right to say. Doesn’t mean it’s not stupid of them to share it.

    • I definitely agree with you Lizzie! I would never tell my boss bad things in person! It’s just common sense that things like that will get around, especially in the work world when sometimes you have coworkers who follow you on Twitter or are Facebook friends.

  7. I agree with Lizzie. I was always told to operate under the “if you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see it, don’t post it” rule for social media. I think that on social media sites people certainly have the right to say whatever they want, however, that does not always mean they should. I strongly believe in freedom of speech and non-censorship on such sites but I also believe there needs to be common sense and discretion.

  8. I’m sorry but I do not think the bishop’s comments were out of line. Where they wise? Probably not, but I did not find the comments all that outrageous or offensive. Of course as a bishop he should be smarter in what he publishes and all this example does is show us that in the social media, someone is always watching.

  9. I don’t know why people think they can say whatever they want just because it’s over the internet. I think people try to use the internet as a shield for things they would be too afraid to say out loud. I really don’t see the purpose of posting some of these comments, especially if you are a bishop. What kind of message is that sending?

    • Of course, I believe in freedom of speech and people being able to express how they feel. But it’s not realistic to think that ridiculous statements are not going to get out. People have to think before they tweet because it’s a lot more permanent than just saying something stupid.

  10. People really do need to be careful of what they say on Twitter and Facebook. Especially when bosses can see and employers check Facebook accounts of the people applying for a job. I’m careful what I say on Facebook just because my mom is on there. There’s no way I’d ever say anything that could get me fired!

    I think this is also a surprising case because this is a bishop. First off, I didn’t even think bishops used Facebook. It’s just really surprising that a religious figure would say something like that.

    Thanks for commenting everyone

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