Profanity and social media

To anyone who has met me, it probably doesn’t surprise you that I read a massive amount of information online every day. Today I came to the topic of using profanity as a leadership tool, reviewing sources around President Obama and Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz.

As a social media professional (AKA writer, speaker, videographer, tweeter) , I am constantly reviewing how individuals use different forms of media to distribute messages.

Technology is so inherently tied to us that it doesn’t take the act of publishing a book or being interviewed to have profanity be connected with your name or organization. In fact all we have to do is look at the casual restaurant table talk happening around the world and we find ourselves being transmitted to the world.

Sometimes this is by choice: we carry netbooks, cell phones, digital cameras and associate ourselves with people who carry the same.

Sometimes it is not by choice: Everyone carries a cell phone capable of being your best friend or enemy today.

As one of my personal duties for Social Media Club Seattle, I also give A LOT of thought to what is ethical and moral. The pervasiveness of this new trend has accelerated past our ability to effectively steer it. A good analogy for the idea is if we learned to drive a car using our parent’s golf cart at 16; and at 17 they bought us a turbo-charged mustang with nitro and didn’t tell us how to use it.

It doesn’t stretch the imagination that most of us would swerve around the road, hit a few by-standers, and probably wrap the car around a telephone pole.

So with that in mind, is the use of profanity in media (especially by our leaders) an acceptable trend when it is also combined with this new found level of technology broadcasting?

Should Leaders Ever Swear? Harvard Business Review

Should Leaders Ever Swear? Harvard Business Review http://blogs.hbr.org/hbr/hbreditors/2010/06/do_good_leaders_swear.htmlDoes being a leader in today’s marketplace require profanity? This article covers a discussion of President Obama using the word “ASS” to detail the current BP disaster.
Carol Bartz Tells Mike Arrington To

Carol Bartz Tells Mike Arrington To “F*ck Off” http://www.businessinsider.com/carol-bartz-tells-mike-arrington-to-fuck-off-2010-5The president is doing it… Yahoo is doing it… but Yahoo’s CEO did it during a live tech interview with a gadget loving audience. Does this make it any different?
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