It is possible to find something out about pretty much everyone these days with the wealth of information and data accessible via the internet. This has led to a sharp rise in the level of concern surrounding privacy but, ironically, the internet has also led to an increase in the amount of information we willingly make public about ourselves.
While useful to have certain information out there - for example, I find it of great help to undertake a quick bit of due diligence on potential new clients. Other information some publish undermines their reputations. We share our thoughts, musings, loves and hates every hour of the day via social media. We tell ‘friends’ where we are (the bath, holiday) with many unaware that friends of friends or even anyone at all may be able to access this information and perhaps use it to hurt us (burglary, blackmail, black balling a job offer).
I advise clients to take care on social media to avoid an alcohol/adrenalin/anger fuelled post but also to be aware of others. The main peril of social media is increasingly just how hate filled and bitter some people unfortunately are.
This unthinking bitterness was highlighted when The Sun splashed with a story of a senior executive at the British Council attacking Prince George on Facebook.
The British Council, whose patron is The Queen, works to promote UK culture in more than 100 countries and is sponsored by the Foreign Office. It receives £154.9 million of taxpayers’ money every year - of that this week’s award winner, Angela Gibbins, receives £80,000 a year.
Gibbins was commented on a post that called three year-old Prince George a “f***ing d*******” by saying "White privilege. That cheeky grin is the innate knowledge he’s royal, rich, advantaged and will never know ANY difficulties or hardships in life.”
When other Facebook users picked her up on her attack, taxpayer funded Gibbins defended herself and was unrepentant, "I’m sound in my socialist, atheist and republican opinions. I don’t believe the royal family have any place in a modern democracy, least of all when they live on public money.”
Once the story was published and followed up in The Evening Standard, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph amongst others Gibbins social historic Tweets and Facebook profile were locked safely away - protected from all other than her confirmed followers and friends.
The British Council has said they are “investigating”. Gibbins, describes herself as socialist, atheist and republican, quite what she was doing representing the UK - the fifth largest economy in the world, a constitutional monarchy, and where over 75 per cent of people follow one of the main religions - abroad is indeed worthy of investigation. Maybe she was good at her job despite this contradiction.
What she has shown herself to be though is unnecessarily hate-filled to a three-year old boy and unthinking on social media to the detriment of her personal reputation. Forever when anyone searches “Angela Gibbins” her bitterness will be clear to all and for that Angela Gibbins is my Mis-Communicator of the Week.
Mis-Communicator of the Week is written by Edward Staite.
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