Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Is there a statute of limitations on old social media posts?

"LET ME SALUTE TO HITLER THE GREAT. He said 'i would have killed all the jews of the world, but I kept some to show the world why i killed them.'"

"F**k that Jew."

"who bothering ya!!! Let me at em! Lol if it's a Jew give me their @ and I'll do it 😂 😂 😂"

These are three examples of many recently discovered blatantly and offensively anti-Semitic tweets allegedly posted by Ismail Quran, Cleveland's "Police Officer of the Year" for 2019.

The thing is, they all pre-date Quran joining the department, and some are a decade old.

According to, the head of the Police Patrolmen's Association was quick to make that very point in defending Quran, saying, "These Tweets are from over a decade ago. It doesn't represent the amazing police officer that he is."

Let's assume that the investigation reasonably verifies that Quran is the author of the tweets. What is the statute of limitations on old, yet highly offensive tweets as it pertains to one's job? Can an employee rehabilitate himself or herself to the point of forgiveness? Does it matter that this particular employee holds a position of public confidence and trust (such as a police office)? Should a public servant be held to higher standard in a case such as this one? Or, should offensive tweets such as these impact all employees equally regardless of position or employment?

These are difficult questions without easy answers. What say you? Should an employee lose his or her job because of highly offensive tweets from a decade ago? Or, asked differently, is there a statute of limitations on the impact of social media posts on one's employment?

Please head over to LinkedIn, where I'm running a poll asking this very question, and share your opinion.