My maxim for posting anything using social media channels used to be:
Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t be comfortable shouting in the middle of a crowded room.
Recent stories, in particular the Ryan Babel/Howard Webb furore have led me to revise this. While I’m pretty sure that it would be OK to make a joke about Howard Webb being a Man Utd supporter as a result of the penalty decision, it’s clearly dependant on the subtleties of context which are all too absent when a tweet like this is taken in isolation.
You have to think about each individual message which you post online as a stand alone entity. If people stumble across it they will be unlikely to check up on anything else you have said, instead they will take that line verbatim. There is no place for subtlety, irony, sarcasm, double meaning or any other language modifiers.
My new rule is.
Don’t say anything that you wouldn’t be comfortable being repeated out of context by a scandal hungry media.
I may not stick to it though.