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A cautionary tale of ‘social media trespassing’

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in Office Communication,Workplace Communication

Our award for Worst Communicator of October definitely goes to Gerod Roth, who made the unwise decision to take a selfie with a co-worker’s 3-year-old child—without the co-worker’s permission—and then post it on Facebook.

The mere action of taking the picture without the mother’s permission is bad enough, but then to post it is a huge invasion of privacy. What followed was a downright travesty. Mr. Roth and his friends began slinging racial slurs about the 3-year-old on Facebook. We won’t repost the comments here because they aren’t worth the ink.

Little Cayden Jenkins’ mom, Sydney Shelton, decided to take the high road and chose to celebrate her son with a heartfelt message about the incident and adorable photos of the little boy. Her post went viral, as did the hashtag #HisNameIsCayden, sparking outrage across the country. Incidentally, Shelton receives our Best Communicator of the Month for keeping her cool and showing ultra-class.

Roth was fired—although his former employer Polaris Marketing Group cites “unrelated reasons” for the termination—as were some of Roth’s friends who spewed racism when he posted the picture. Polaris employees have spoken out about his abhorrent behavior, perhaps to distance themselves from him, and I am guessing it won’t be easy for Roth to find work anytime soon.

Roth? He thinks he is a victim. Just perfect. Do a horrible thing and claim you’ve been victimized. Methinks Roth hasn’t learned anything.

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