Not Exempt From the Rules: Donald Trump Could Be Banned From Twitter

Our President-Elect is probably best known for his outrageous use of the popular micro-blogging site Twitter and I have certainly shared my annoyance with this on my personal blog.

Recent Tweets from Trump might be landed him in hot water with Twitter as his bullying tactics have entered the realm of violating the site’s terms of service which could get Mr. President-Elect banned for life.

Twitter’s Terms state that users “may not incite or engage in the targeted abuse or harassment of others”. It makes clear that it will consider a range of factors when deciding whether to lock or ban someone’s account – including whether the reported account is being “one-sided or includes threats”, or is “inciting others to harass another account”.

The following tweet directed towards an Indianapolis Chuck Jones has raised eyebrows regarding Donald’s social media usage.

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Following the tweet Jones began receiving threatening phone calls and messages.

This tweet and the abuse that followed closely echoes the behavior that saw Brietbart contributor Milo Yiannopoulos being banned from Twitter earlier this year. He was permanently banned from having an account on the site because he sent public messages harassing Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones which led to an onslaught of racial slurs and hate speech from others.

From any standpoint this kinds of behavior is troubling from the man who would be President and it’s sending a poor message to all that this is an acceptable way to act whether online or off. This has been a major issue for me since Donald announced his campaign and moreso now that he has won. What kind of example is his setting for our youth?

Regardless, this is certainly a fantastic “teachable moment” as we move towards the holiday break and a reminder for all to be respectful towards one another both online and off.

What are your thoughts on Trump’s almost obsessive use of twitter?

Josh Gunderson is an award-winning Bullying Prevention and Social Media Specialist. Josh has appeared on MTV, Comedy and National Geographic. For more information about Josh and his educational programs please visit www.HaveYouMetJosh.com

You can purchase Josh’s book “Cyberbullying: Perpetrators, Bystanders & Victims” on Amazon! Available in paperback or for Kindle.

Anti-Gay Internet Trolls Are No Match for J.K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling is easily one of the greatest voices the in world. While she certainly isn’t perfect, she is one that will not hesitate to sound off when she sees something amiss in the world. She is an advocate in every sense of the word and stands for what she believes in. So when a Christian group on Twitter began making homophobic remarks about one of her countrymen, she was having none of that nonsense.

Another person I greatly admire is Olympian Diver Tom Daley. He is not only an amazing athlete but another who stands for what he believes in and inspiration to many.

Following Daley’s early exit from the Rio Olympics UK religious group Christian Voice took to twitter to voice their opinion on the matter:

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Despite instant and insane backlash over the tweet, the group wasn’t fazed and continued on with their anti-gay rant, dragging Daley’s fiancé (screenwriter Dustin Lance Black) into the mix:

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A number of people came rushing to Daley and Black’s defense, most notably J.K. Rowling who shut it all down with her no-nonsense attitude:

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Christian Voice seems to forget that, despite coming in last for the men’s solo 10 metre platform diving, Daley won a Bronze medal during the men’s 10 metre synchronized dive with teammate Dan Goodfellow.

This wasn’t the first time Rowling has shown support and love for the gay community. Following the shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Rowling showed her support, not only for the entire community, but for those who were working at the Harry Potter areas of Universal Studios in Florida including my friend Luis Vielma.

Rowling wasn’t the only big name jumping to Daley’s defense. One British politician jumped in with another shut down:

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It wasn’t all negative following the diver’s from the olympics. Fiance Dustin Lance Black voiced his support

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Despite being “heartbroken” by his shock early exit from the competition, the diver hinted to the BBC that he will be returning for another shot at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Josh Gunderson is an award-winning Bullying Prevention and Social Media Specialist. Josh has appeared on MTV, Comedy and National Geographic. For more information about Josh and his educational programs please visit www.HaveYouMetJosh.com

You can purchase Josh’s book “Cyberbullying: Perpetrators, Bystanders & Victims” on Amazon! Available in paperback or for Kindle.

Ellen Catching Heat for “Racist” Twitter Post

We live in a very politically correct world so this story really comes as no surprise.

Everyone’s favorite human being (and voice of the beloved Dory) has cause a bit of a stir by posting the following meme on her twitter account:

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In case you aren’t following the Olympics at all (I’m not) the man in the picture is Usain Bolt who won the men’s 100 metres gold medal with a time of 9.81 seconds. With this win, Bolt became the first athlete to win the event three times at the Olympic Games.

As a follower of Ellen, I saw the tweet the other day on honestly thought nothing of it. I chuckled an moved on with my day.

Other people seemed to have a different interpretation of the meme:

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Not everyone was on board with the idea of racism however and quickly came to the TV host’s defense:

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While the post has seemed to cause friction in the online world, Usain Bolt retweeted the image, finding the humor in it.

Ellen did respond to the onslaught of criticism but as of this posting has not removed the original tweet.

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Many have called for a boycott of the TV host saying that the tweet was in poor taste.

I see this as a great teachable moment to discuss with students as we head back to school. Was the tweet offensive? Is this a good time to reinforce the idea of ‘think before you post’?

What do you think?

Josh Gunderson is an award-winning Bullying Prevention and Social Media Specialist. Josh has appeared on MTV, Comedy and National Geographic. For more information about Josh and his educational programs please visit www.HaveYouMetJosh.com

You can purchase Josh’s book “Cyberbullying: Perpetrators, Bystanders & Victims” on Amazon! Available in paperback or for Kindle.

Twitter Polls Become Cyberbullying Tool

In late October of this year Twitter introduced a new way for its 500 million users to interact with one another by launching Twitter Polls. While Twitter has always offered ways for users to gather information and opinions TwitterPollsthrough hashtags or simply having users cast their vote through either retweet or favorites, this new polling option offers an easier alternative. While the poll questions and tallies are public information, who voted and how is kept anonymous.

Unfortunately, teens across the world have twisted this new option into a new form of cyberbullying.

Since being launched, reports of cyberbullying through Twitter polls have surfaced in middle and high schools in Utah, Montana, and Michigan.

How the Polls Work

The Twitter polling system is rather simple in nature. Users ask a question TwitterPolls02and can add up to four options as an answer. Once the poll has been broadcast the ability to respond remains active for 24 hours before polling is closed.

How Students Are Using It

In some cases, students have stated that the polls being posted were just jokes but soon they took a turn for the worse. Some polls being posted included: “Who is the Ugliest Girl In School”, “Who is Dumber: John or a Brick”, “Who is the Biggest Slut?” While the polling closes after 24 hours, the results remain on the account.

Is This Cyberbullying?

Absolutely! Bullying is defined by actions that are deliberate, repeated, and hostile behaviors intended to harm another. Cyberbullying has been defined by The National Crime Prevention Council: “When the Internet, cell phones or other devices are used to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person.” These polls have added an entirely new level to this.

Who Is Responsible: Parents or School?

I’ve spent the last hour pouring over all of the articles regarding this subject and there seems to be a common theme- no one wants to take responsibility over the issue. One school principal currently dealing with this issue had this to say in one story, ” the school has no connection to or control over the polls. That hasn’t stopped parents calling the school with concerns about what is being posted. He said he hopes Twitter can shut the accounts down before one of the polls leads to tragedy.”

I bring this up because it seems to be a common theme when it comes to social media, bullying and the law.

It’s important to first remember that each state has a different law when it comes to bullying both online and off. To learn more about your state’s law, I encourage you to visit bullypolice.org for a breakdown.

From there I want to remind both educators and parents that when it comes to raising our kids it takes a village. It’s corny. It’s overused. It’s true.

It’s important that communities work together to educate and prevent these issues from coming up in the first place.

Rather than turn myself into a broken record, I’m going to point you to an entry that I wrote last year regarding internet safety: Teaching Internet Safety: It Takes A Village. While a bulk of this entry talks about internet safety, I think the lesson can be applied to situations surrounding bulling. From there I’ll also recommend another entry for parents: Fight The Bully: What Parents Can Do.

Josh Gunderson is an award-winning Bullying Prevention and Social Media Specialist. Josh has appeared on MTV, Comedy and National Geographic. For more information about Josh and his educational programs please visit www.HaveYouMetJosh.com

You can purchase Josh’s book “Cyberbullying: Perpetrators, Bystanders & Victims” on Amazon! Available in paperback or for Kindle.

Texas Teen Fired Via Twitter Goes Viral

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million time: TAKE TIME TO THINK!

A young teen in Dallas, TX found herself out of a job before even starting after a tweet was spotted by her manager.

JetsPizzaThe teenager in question, Cella, posted on her twitter account “Ew I start this f*** a** job tomorrow” with a series of thumbs down emoticons.

The tweet was spotted by her manager who responded with, ““No you don’t start that FA job today! I just fired you! Good luck with your no money, no job life!”

It would seem that the firing over the social media site didn’t bother Cella who later posted, “I got fired over twitter” and has since been relishing in the “fame” cause by attention to the story.

The manager, Robert Waple, responded to her candid attitude with a second tweet stating, “Working register, taking phone orders, making subs/salads. Eating free pizza. How hard would that have been?”CellaEdit

In the time since the incident took place Waple has cleared, not deleted, his account while Cella has been actively retweeting the praise and comments flooding her way.

“who needs that f** a** job you’re famous,” commented one admirer.

There is a lesson to be learned on both side of the table here when it comes to the misuse of Social Media.

For Cella, while the “instant fame” may be endearing to her now, the backlash in the future may end up costing her future employment. With this story being broadcast over major new outlets, it puts her name and face everywhere in a very negative light.

It’s important for young social media users to understand that incidents like this are “flash in the pan” fame that seem great at first but with no staying power, fades just as fast.

The long term effects of her actions will end up costing her in the future.

There’s also a lesson to be learned by her manager who has certainly been gaining negative attention since the incident.  The incident was cause for comment from his parent organization who released the following statement to news outlets:

“The location in question is an independently owned and operated franchise store. Jet’s America, Inc., as the franchisor, cannot dictate the employment practices or decisions of independently owned and operated franchise businesses…Nevertheless, Jet’s regrets to see the manner in which this situation has been handled by the parties involved.”

Waple cause himself some serious damage in this incident as well. For his own franchise he could potentially leave a sour taste in customer’s mouths who don’t appreciate his reaction to the situation. He also causes harm to his brand as its name is being dragged through the mud with this incident.

The situation was poorly handled by both parties and should be a lesson in social media etiquette for all. I have seen my fair share of people, young and old, lose out on opportunities for education and employment opportunities for tweets, status updates and photos. Additionally I’ve seen people lose their credibility for the same.

Take those few extra moments each time your online to think about what you’re about to post and how that one post can cost you more than you could ever imagine.

Josh Gunderson is an award-winning Bullying Prevention and Social Media Specialist. Josh has appeared on MTV, Comedy and National Geographic. For more information about Josh and his educational programs please visit www.HaveYouMetJosh.com

You can purchase Josh’s book “Cyberbullying: Perpetrators, Bystanders & Victims” on Amazon! Available in paperback or for Kindle.

DiGiorno Pizza Serves up Offensive Tweet

There’s a very good reason why my mantra will forever and always be “take time to think” in every part of life.

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The problem is that we live in too face-paced a world. Everything must be instant and it must happen now. Waiting is unacceptable and thinking is becoming a thing of the past.

Enter DiGiorno’s twitter feed.

This past week, in the wake of video footage of Baltimore Ravens running back hitting his fiancé in a hotel elevator, the twitter hashtags #WhyILeft and #WhyIStayed have gained momentum as women share their stories of survival and courage on either feed.

On Monday evening the often irreverent DiGiorno posted their own #WhyIStayed tweet, not fully understanding the conversation they were joining in on.

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It took the pizza conglomerate a full four minutes to realize their misstep and remove the offensive tweet but the damage to their brand was already done earning them strong backlash on Twitter and Facebook.

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While an apology was immediately issued the negative comments towards the company have continued.

DiGiorno’s twitter feed has always been known for hashtag high jacking- making light or poking fun at trending topics the pop up on the site. The best assumption that can be made for their community manager’s snafu is that the trend popped up on their feed (see the example from my personal trend feed) and they jumped on board making a joke.

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The lesson here is simple. Take the time to think. One simple click would have explained to the social media manager in question what the trend was all about and saved them from a world of hurt.

The biggest take away from this entire situation is the same as so many others that I have written and talked about over DiGiorno003the years- take time to think.

Let this be a lesson to everyone is taking those few extra moments to slow down in life and think about the consequences of their actions. To really take the time to know what they are talking about before they open their mouths.

I am refraining from offering any sort of personal commentary on either side of the argument in terms of the tweet and those it offended. I do want to say that I commend DiGiorno’s actions since the tweet took place. On both Facebook and Twitter they have taken the time to personally respond to each and every person that has reached out to the company. They are owning their mistake and working to correct it rather than bury it.

I hope that we can all take a moment to learn from this!

What are your thoughts on DiGiorno’s response to their tweet?

Josh Gunderson is an award-winning Bullying Prevention and Social Media Specialist. Josh has appeared on MTV, Comedy and National Geographic. For more information about Josh and his educational programs please visit www.HaveYouMetJosh.com

You can purchase Josh’s book “Cyberbullying: Perpetrators, Bystanders & Victims” on Amazon! Available in paperback or for Kindle.

Too Soon: Jason Biggs Hasn’t Learned His Lesson

The world was stunned just a few days ago when news of the Malaysian Flight 17’s crash hit the newsfeeds. As a frequent flyer I found a pit in my stomach as I watched the details unfold. Soon to follow were reports of the plan being shot down. Over 300 lives lost in an instant.

As a comedian, I spend a lot of time looking at the world around me and finding humor in the moments where you would normally shy away from a smile. It’s a defense mechanism, really, but it’s something I embrace for the joy of others. I’m not the only one.

As an educator, I work the help others understand the world around them. My job is to teach them to see the reality in a world that has gone far too digital and become even more disconnected despite the 24/7 stream of consciousness that flows all around us.

JasonBiggsYoutubeThrough life and work I have learned many important lessons. I have learned that some things you can joke about and others are best left alone. There is a time and place for humor in situations. Saturday Night Live tackled with the same issue in the wake of September 11th, coming back on the air just two weeks after that tragic day. They handled it with great tact and grace. As a matter of fact, Saturday Night Live would be the place to look for how to handle humor in tough situations. How to acknowledge pain, loss and tragedy.

Jason Biggs is another story all together.

Shortly after the news of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 hit the air, Bigg took to Twitter and posted, “Anyone wanna buy my Malaysian Airlines frequent flier miles?”

He was then blasted by his followers for his vulgar comment, the common thread being that it was too soon.

Biggs retorted with: “Hey all you ‘too soon’ a–holes- it’s a f–king joke. You don’t have to think it’s funny, or even be on my twitter page at all.”

His rant continued in the following fashion:

“Truly- you losers are literally trying to find s–t to get angry about. Channel your issues elsewhere.”

“The idea that I wouldnt have any empathy 4 the victims or their families because I make a joke is absolutely ridiculous. U know that, right?”

“It’s saddest for the victims and their families, obviously. But Malaysia Airlines is apparently a GREAT airline. Gonna be tough to recover.”

Later on in the day, Biggs removed his offensive tweets and the subsequent rant and issued a four-tweet apology:JasonBiggsTweet

1) Hey all- ok, so- I am deleting my previous tweets. People were offended, and that was not my intent. Sorry to those of you that were.
2) This is obviously a horrible tragedy, and everyone-including myself- is sad and angry about it. Sending positive thoughts to the
3) victims and their families. P.S. No one is making me send these tweets- I simply understand that my comments might have come off
4). as insensitive and ill-timed. For that, I apologize.

But this incident isn’t Biggs’ first run in with the Twitter-sphere when it comes to the troubled airline. In the wake of missing flight 370, likened the situation to the plot line of the reality dating show “The Bachelor” tweeting:  “Nikki is looking for Juan Pablo to say ‘I Love You.’ She’d have better luck looking for Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. #TheBachelor”

In 2012 during the Republican National Convention, Biggs live-tweeted along posting what can only be described as the most disgusting tweets I have ever seen.

Since I would rather not have them printed here, please feel free to read the article on Salon here. Please be warned that they are vile, highly graphic and offensive.

At the time the American Pie star refused to apologize for his tirade and instead issued one final tweet seen at the bottom of the page on Salon.

The take-away from this entire situation is one that I stress to every audience I stand before. From the halls of elementary schools, high schools, colleges to the corporate world there is one simple rule above all that will help everyone when it comes to social media.

Take time to think.

If we take a second or two to really think about what we’re about to post it might save us a world of trouble.

There have been plenty of times that I have written a status update or tweet and really had to think hard about whether to post it. More often than not, I don’t. I err on the side of caution and let the joke go. Whether it be too soon or just not right for my particular audience, I’d rather not risk it.

So please Mr. Biggs learn your lesson (3rd time’s the charm, right?) and take care in what you tweet. A great lesson for all of us. The reality is, things like this can cost you your job, education, future. When in doubt- don’t post it maybe save the joke until your face to face with some friends and leave it there. The world doesn’t need to know.

Josh Gunderson is an award-winning Bullying Prevention and Social Media Specialist. Josh has appeared on MTV, Comedy and National Geographic. For more information about Josh and his educational programs please visit www.HaveYouMetJosh.com

You can purchase Josh’s book “Cyberbullying: Perpetrators, Bystanders & Victims” on Amazon! Available in paperback or for Kindle.