Be careful of what you put on the Internet. It will always get back to the one person you don’t want it to.
Octavia Nasr knows this knowledge first hand. The CNN Senior Editor of Mideast Affairs tweeted her sadness for the passing of a Hezbollah leader, saying, “Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah.. One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot. #Lebanon.”
Immediately she got backlash and thus backpedaled by explaining herself on the CNN blog. ”Reaction to my tweet was immediate, overwhelming and a provides a good lesson on why 140 characters should not be used to comment on controversial or sensitive issues, especially those dealing with the Middle East.” She praised Fadlallah for his support of women’s rights and his advice to Muslim men to not abuse their wives. Unfortunately for Nasr, the damage was already done. CNN executives had seen the tweet and made the announcement that the situation would be dealt with. Wednesday, Nasr lost her job.
Parisa Khorsravi, senior vice president of CNN International Newsgathering, wrote a memo to the staff explaining the situation and Nasr’s departure. They both agreed that Nasr should not have made such a simple tweet without explaining further, “however, at this point, we believe that her credibility in her position as senior editor for Middle Eastern affairs has been compromised going forward.”
Octavia Nasr started her career with CNN in 1990 and was an on-air and off-air analyst on Mideast affairs for a variety of CNN platforms.