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Ex-HMV Staffer Commandeers Company Twitter Account, Live-Tweets Firing

by Adriana Lee | January 31, 2013January 31, 2013 6:00 pm PST

For companies, the only thing worse than seeing their businesses go down in flames is realizing that scores of staffers have to get axed. But there’s something even worse than that, something that all employers should dread — one of those workers live-tweeting the lay-off as it’s happening.

That’s something HMV knows all too well. The British music and DVD chain released 60+ employees in one fell swoop. And one of them, who clearly had access to the company’s official Twitter account, wasn’t going to take it lying down.

Commandeering the account, the unknown perpetrator publicly compared HMV’s layoffs to a mass execution, sending out scathing posts including:

“we’re tweeting live from HR where we’re all being fired! Exciting!!”

“There are over 60 of us being fired at once! Mass execution, of loyal employees who love the brand.”

“what have we to lose? It’s been a pleasure folks!”

The offending tweets were removed within the hour, but that was still plenty of time to grab the attention of customers and journalists, who got an eyeful of the drama happening inside HMV.

It’s not shocking that HMV had to make these cuts, particularly after filing for administrative protection (which is akin to bankruptcy). In all, the company has laid off 190 people, mostly from the head office. But what is surprising is that it didn’t think to lock down its social media accounts, particularly if it was going to lower the axe on so many people at once. One of them was bound to go rogue.

Call it a sign of the times, but given all the social and communication tools available today, along with companies’ inability to get a handle on them, this probably isn’t the last time we’ll see something like this hit the headlines.

Adriana Lee

Adriana is the resident writer-slash-culture vulture who has written about everything from smartphones, tablets, apps, accessories, and small biz...