Brand ambassadors beware: What social media gives, social media can take away.
The Gainesville (Florida) Police Department—and one of its most prominent officers—learned that hard lesson, spurred by a viral Facebook post surrounding Hurricane Irma’s deadly landfall.
The post, which has since been removed from the Gainesville Police Department’s Facebook page, features three officers, dubbed the “hot cops” after the post, posing while they prepared for their shift. The image brought more than 250,000 shares, media coverage and demands for a “hot cops” calendar.
That adulation didn’t last long.
The viral post led social media sleuths to discover unsavory Facebook posts written by Hamill, who was featured front and center in the “hot cops” photo. The offensive posts, which spanned from 2011 to 2013, included anti-Semitic jokes and calls for violence:
I find it funny that people will talk about how our government needs to do something about our economy and in reality it’s YOU who needs to stop taking advantage of our system and get a life and do something with your life. Gotta love reality when it hits you in the face. Stupid people annoy me.
The rant only got worse from there.