NASA intern loses job after accidentally sending vulgar tweet to Space Counsel fellow
If you have a job, or you're applying for jobs, be careful what you post on social media. Companies notice when they're mentioned, and employers will look you up. If you write something troublesome - like, say, a vicious Facebook rant threatening to punch breastfeeding mothers - it might go viral. And then, even if you delete your post, the screenshots of it live on.
Twitter user Naomi H received a coveted internship at NASA. It's an exciting time to work for America's space agency, with the discovery of a liquid lake on Mars, and Elon Musk launching cars into orbit with messages for aliens. Naomi expressed her joy by tweeting, "EVERYONE SHUT THE F*CK UP. I GOT ACCEPTED FOR NASA INTERNSHIP."
When one user replied, "Language," Naomi wrote, "Suck my dick and balls I'm working at NASA." The user replied, "And I am on the National Space Council that oversees NASA." You see, this Twitter user wasn't a rando. It was Homer Hickam, an author, Vietnam veteran and former NASA engineer who trained the first Japanese astronauts. To quote another famous Homer, "D'oh!"
The interaction went viral. Naomi deleted her tweets and locked her account, but the screenshots spread. As a result, she lost her NASA internship. Some Twitter users took Naomi's side, and attacked Homer for punishing Naomi so harshly. However, it turns out Mr. Hickham was not to blame. Other NASA employees saw the online exchange, and made the decision.
If you're going to tell someone to S your D and two B's, you should probably check their profile first.
Some people pointed out that this is a cautionary tale.
Others couldn't believe that a NASA intern didn't know who Homer Hickam was. (Is he, like, the Kim Kardashian of NASA?)
Homer Hickham wrote a blog post explaining that he was not offended and did not fire Naomi. As of this writing, the post has been deleted. However, Newsweek, The Independent and other media outlets reported the transcript:
"Recently, it was called to my attention on Twitter that someone was being hired by NASA and that they were using the F-word in a tweet about it... I'm a Vietnam vet and not at all offended by the F-word. However, when I saw NASA and the word used together, it occurred to me that this young person might get in trouble if NASA saw it so I tweeted to her one word: 'Language' and intended to leave it at that."
After the interaction went viral, Hickam deleted his comments and learned Naomi had "lost her offer for an internship with NASA." "This, I had nothing to do with, nor could I since I do not hire and fire at the agency or have any say on employment whatsoever," explained Hickam.
However, the story may have a happy ending. Hickham said Naomi sent him an "unnecessary apology, which I heartily accepted and returned with my own." He added, "After talking to her and looking at her resume, I am certain she deserves a position in the aerospace industry and I'm doing all I can to secure her one that will be better than she lost."
Well, hopefully Naomi will get another chance, and celebrate without any F-bombs.