[Ed. – Welcome to the land of the free.]
On the night Roy Jones clicked his mouse and lost his dream job, he arrived a half-hour early to his tan two-story west Omaha office building, plopped down at his computer and logged on to Twitter.
The Marriott customer care manager intended to spend his eight-hour overnight shift doing what he always did: helping hundreds of Marriott customers around the world as they shot complaints, questions and reward-point requests to the hotel chain’s official Twitter accounts.
Roy wasn’t planning to start a geopolitical firestorm, infuriate China and receive dozens of death threats. He didn’t intend to become a cautionary tale of social media’s enormous power or a casualty of an American corporation’s intense fear of the Chinese government. Roy sure didn’t mean to get fired from his $14-an-hour online customer service job, a job the 49-year-old says was his best ever.
But Roy Jones did get fired. He got fired because he … inadvertently liked a tweet?
While logged into an official Marriott Twitter account, he believes he probably — and accidentally — clicked “like” on a pro-Tibetan tweet thanking Marriott for listing Tibet as its own country, and not a part of China, on a survey.