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Your views DO reflect those of your employer

Never post anything you aren't comfortable seeing on the front page of the news.

It's an all too familiar tale. Someone messes up, journalists dig into their social media accounts and report on unsettling posts, adding insult to injury - and fuel to the dumpster fire. In this case it was the Deputy in Georgia who misspoke at a press conference, which led to the inevitable digging into his social media feeds. And when you dig into someone's private social media - all too often you'll find what you are looking for.

I won't comment on the nature of the posts, and whether or not they are racist or just poor taste. The point is that they shouldn't have been there in the first place. You have to treat each post as if it will come back to haunt you, because it probably will.

It may not be fair, but If you are a public servant, you simply don't have the luxury of a personal account.

You can have a non-work account that features your personal thoughts and feelings - but always work under the assumption that your posts can and will be seen by your boss, your media and the public - if not today, then one day if you are under the microscope.

"But Yael, what if my account is locked and private?" Nope. Screen shots are forever.

"It's ok, I have a super secret account and no one knows it's me" Think again. If you have a digital paper trial, you can rely on the internet to find it.

"But my bio says my views don't reflect my employer" - I'm not a lawyer but I doubt that will hold up in court, and it definitely won't mean anything to the court of public opinion. So go ahead and remove it and save yourself some space.

"Well, it's my first amendment right!" - this isn't about being right. It's about being smart.

I hate to say it, but it's best not to have a personal account if you're a public official, or have one but treat it with extra caution. It's not fair, but we are held to higher standards, and we must live up to the expectations.

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