Last Updated: May 31, 2021
Last week, the Associated Press fired a journalist for violating the agency’s social media guidelines. The move by AP has been criticized by its employees, prompting the agency to declare it will be reviewing its social media policy in consultation with employees, the AP’s news department reported.
Speaking to the Guardian, the journalist in question, Emily Wilder, confirmed she had been fired over violations of AP’s social media guidelines after working for the agency for a little under two weeks. However, she wasn’t informed exactly which Twitter posts were in breach.
It is theorized that the tweets in question were pro-Palestinian comments on the Israeli-Palestine conflict that saw another period of intensification this past month. Wilder has previously been the target of right-wing interest groups on social media over her support for Palestine.
AP Employees React
In an open letter shared across social media, AP employees expressed concern for the agency’s treatment of Wilder and the handling of the incident. They requested clarity on the company’s decision and want to be included in the process of updating and solidifying AP’s social media guideline policy.
Media companies, on the other hand, are coming under increased scrutiny over the people they platform, either by benefactors, states, or their user bases at large. This has, in part, led to the creation of an entire industry dedicated to running background checks so that employers can know whether the people they hire would comply with their policies.
Even the most rigorous employee screening process, however, can’t guarantee a complete person-organization fit. Incidents like this one or even data breaches due to employee negligence of cybersecurity measures are still very common.