Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders dismiss cheerleader from training squad because of Facebook photos
A couple weeks ago I was flipping channels when I came across “Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders: Making the Team” on CMT. I’ll be the first to admit I’m a sucker for reality TV, so naturally I started watching. After watching the show, it was easy to see that the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders are more than big smiles and tiny outfits. Director Kelli Finglass and choreographer Judy Trammell are no different than any business owner. They run a tight ship, and they take the girls actions and behaviors outside of the organization to heart.
Like most employers, Finglass and Trammell did their research on all the girls in the DCC training camp. They raided Facebook pages and Twitter accounts, as well as Googling the girls to see what else came up. At the end of every episode, Finglass and Trammell call girls into the back office to give them a warning or dismiss them from the squad. During this particular episode, Finglass and Trammell called in one girl who had already received warnings for posting inappropriate photos to her Facebook. These photos included the cheerleader partying, drinking and posing provocatively.
Since it was the second time Finglass and Trammell had called the cheerleader into the back office and she still hadn’t taken off the photos, Finglass and Trammell had no choice but to dismiss her. The following episode, Finglass held a conference with the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders to talk to them about the content of their Facebooks and how it reflects back on the DCC.
This is just another great example of how businesses and employers base decisions of employment based on the content potential employees post on social media. Despite best efforts to make Facebooks private and Twitter accounts locked, nothing is ever really private on the internet. So what you tweet about, the photos you post and the things you list under “hobbies” or “interests” can reflect negatively on a company that decides to hire you.
A number of media outlets including The Telegraph, CBS News and CNN have posted articles about how employers are using social networking sites to run background checks on or monitor potential employees. Last year, when I began to apply for internships, I deleted over 800 photos from my Facebook and began to monitor the content that I posted on my Facebook and Twitter. My Facebook account is still for personal use, but my Twitter account is mostly professional.
Video via UniversityNinja
The lesson behind the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader episode is simple: watch what you post on social networking sites even if your profile is private. Almost every organization and business are screening employees using Facebook and Twitter. If you are already employed and your boss asks you to take down content that may reflect poorly on your organization, do it. Or end up like that cheerleader.