Inc. recently published a list of the 7 worst tweets of 2012 – a cringe worthy list of offensive tweets that had the twitter-sphere up in arms. Don’t get me wrong, Twitter and other social media sites are a great outlet for sharing opinions. Who doesn’t love a funny tweet poking fun at a washed up celebrity or a politician caught in an affair?  But what happens if a tweet goes too far and offends your followers?  140 characters may not seem like much, but those letters also have the potential to insult your followers and ruin your reputation. Take Gap for example, the retailer recently fired off an insensitive tweet during Hurricane Sandy and the media pounced on it:

Here are a few things to consider next time you are wondering whether or not you should post that questionable comment:

  • Is it authentic? Is it insensitive?
  • Do you want people to be able to see it in 5 years?
  • Does it follow your company’s social media policy? Don’t risk your job security over a tweet!
  • Could it be interpreted as racially offensive?

Remember that everything you post is a reflection of yourself – and employers, employees, and many others can see it.  Don’t leave out your opinions and sense of humor but do think twice before clicking send. And when in doubt, ask a friend for a second opinion!

Click here to see Inc’s “7 Worst Tweets of 2012.”