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Always be careful what you post online; it could come back to haunt you, no matter how much you try to distance yourself from it. Greg Gopman recently discovered this harsh truth. A few weeks after Twitter hired him to work on the company’s virtual reality endeavors, an unearthed Facebook rant he posted in 2013 about San Francisco’s homeless population resulted in his termination.
On October 18, TechCrunch reported that Twitter had hired the AngelHack co-founder to become its VR project manager. The article referred to his anti-homeless tirade, and questioned whether Twitter should be hiring someone who feels this way, especially as the company faces constant criticism for not clamping down on trolls.
Less than a day after the story appeared, Twitter fired Gopman. “anddd I’m fired. Thanks TechCrunch,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “They [TechCrunch] wrote a smash piece on me last night and comms didn’t want to deal with it,” he reportedly told friends.
After complaining that San Francisco’s streets were “overrun by crazy, homeless, drug dealers, dropouts, and trash,” Gopman says his views changed as he began to understand the situation better. In a blog post last year, called “How I learned to care for the homeless,” he called his “arrogant post” the stupidest mistake of his life, and has since been involved with several initiatives to help those in need.
Possibly the strangest thing about the entire incident is how Twitter never knew about the controversial post. It’s hard to imagine a large company not looking into the background of an important hire, and a simple Google search on Gopman’s name reveals what he did in 2013. But then maybe the microblogging site did know and just hoped nobody would bring it up.
Twitter provided “no comment” when asked for a statement.