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Awareness, Education & Training
on CyberBullying Prevention

Barcelona FC Footballer Fired Over 2 Year Old Tweets

 

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, your online reputation matters and what you put online stays online forever.

 

Sergi Guardiola is another young man that has learnt this lesson the hard way. Joining Julio Rey on the list of young footballers to suffer at the hands of their online reputation, Guardiola had the contract he signed with Barcelona FC in the morning, terminated on the very same afternoon. Whilst we know that Julio Rey’s online reputation cost him £22 million GBP we are not quite sure how much Guardiola’s contract was worth.

 

Aside from this though is the fact that this young man’s aspirations as a footballer were to play for the top team. As he said ‘ ‘Once you’re a professional, you support the team that plays best, and that’s Barcelona. Joining them was a dream, now it’s broken.’

When we talk to young people at schools across the UAE, we try to make this point. We do so by asking who of them wants to go to University, who would like a job and who knows what they want to do when they grow up. From about 10 years and up, they all have an answer for these questions. The reality is though that one inappropriate tweet, an insensitive comment, an offensive image and those dreams, some harboured since 10 years of age, are destroyed. Parents spend a lot of time and money to get their children the best education they can, to help them with their homework, their studies and their revision for exams – all this effort, time and money can be undone with one moment of absent minded posting.

 

Sergi claims in reports that it wasn’t him that actually sent the tweets. That he wouldn’t say things like that. That he’s from the area that he actually insulted and that he just wouldn’t do that. He even claims it was a friend that took his phone and tweeted those things as a joke. Whether that is true or not is irrelevant. The damage is done and he’s lost his job for the time being. To add insult to injury, his online reputation has cost him is job and now his online reputation will make it hard to get another one. If you Google ‘Sergi Guardiola’, guess what comes up? Yep, pages of results of this mistake he has made. What do you think any future club is going to think when they look potentially signing him?

 

The final point to make about this sad scenario is that there was a 2 year gestation period for these reported ‘joke’ tweets to have a real world impact on Sergi’s life. The tweets were made back in 2013 but cost him his contract in 2015. What goes online stays online – so we have to start consciously thinking about what we are putting out there. Moreover we have to start taking a lot more care when it comes to our digital devices. If what Sergi says is true and a friend took his phone and did this, the lesson here is to keep an eye on your device. Make sure that it’s password protected and locked at all times you are not using it. One of our favourite sayings here at Beat The Cyberbully is ‘Treat your passwords like your toothbrush, don’t share it with anybody’.

Taken directly from Wayne’s blog post on the subject, here are 5 top tips to consider when you are on social media, to protect your online reputation.

Here are a couple of handy tips which you need to keep in mind when using Social Media in order to protect and manage your Online Reputation:

 

1: Think twice before you post and share anything online.

 

2: Don’t get caught up with posting mean or inappropriate comments – even if you see others doing it.

 

3: Remember Social Media platforms by their nature are public spaces – ensure nothing comes back to haunt you.

 

4: Give a good account of yourself online. Remember it’s not just top Spanish Football Clubs who use Social Media – 93% of recruiters admit to using Social Media to screen applicants for job opportunities. So carry out a regular audit on your digital tattoo and be aware of any information you might have posted in the past.

 

5: Generate Positive Content – This is by far the best way to help protect and enhance your Online Reputation. With the massive jump in employers and recruiters using Social Media to vet you, the best way you can stand out in the crowd for the right reasons or get head hunted is to have lots of positive content online.

 

This is a prime example of organisations and businesses protecting their own reputation first and foremost. It’s up to you to look after yours.