Website that tells you if your tweet will get you fired

April 3, 2013 - All News

Special to SAF
What kind of tweets could get you fired?
Well, tweeting that you hate your job, hate your boss and want your co-workers killed could do the trick.
A new website tracks people who cross the line.
The website FireMe! has developed a detection system to measure the likelihood of your getting fired if your boss reads the tweet.
People’s tweets are tracked based on four categories: Haters, Horrible Bosses, Sexual Intercourse and Potential Killers.
The website includes a tool called The FireMeter! which determines on a percentage basis how likely you are to get fired.
The FireMeter! also allows you to enter another person’s Twitter username to see how exposed they are to getting fired.
We thought we’d try controversial Mayor Rob Ford’s FireMeter! score, and his tweets are judged to be clean and safe.
“Your FireMeter score is 0,” the website says of Ford’s tweets. “You are doing a great job keeping it to yourself!”
As a personal note, even though my tweets have not expressed any hatred toward my boss or co-workers, I was judged as having only a 1 per cent of getting fired.
The German developer behind this website, Eelco Herder, explained that I must have used a negative comment about some topic in the past 100 tweets to earn that 1 per cent score, which he said is “low impact” on the fire meter.
Others are clearly on shakier ground.
The website shows a list of tweets from people tweeting about how they hate their jobs. They are grouped under the category “People who want to get fired.”
In addition, FireMe! has compiled a leaderboard of people saying the most offensive things.
“If you’re on the leaderboard, you definitely have a problem,” Herder said.
Herder developed the website “to raise awareness about the danger of public online data”.
In a testing period last year, users who tweeted about hating their bosses received an automated alert indicating their potentially harmful tweets.
Each user could click one of three options when they followed the link: “Delete that compromising tweet!”, “Check my privacy settings on twitter”, or “I don’t care!”.
Out of 4,304 FireMe! alerts sent in the space of three weeks, 249 people decided to delete their tweets.
“That was only 5 per cent,” Herder said, adding that he was “surprised” by the low figure.
However, he theorizes that some people don’t care what is posted on Twitter, some may have quit their jobs already, and others may not have known how to delete their tweets.
Herder said he believes Twitter users could benefit from a “give a second thought before posting” tool on the microblogging website.
The FireMe! website includes links to famous cases of tweets that got people fired.
Herder’s research will be presented May 2-4 at the Web Science Conference in Paris.
— Torstar News Service