Marriott got into hot water with the Chinese authorities back in January when it listed Tibet as it own country (read more here) in some after stay surveys and when “social media manager” had liked a tweet sent by Friends of Tibet group.
Chinese authorities took auction against Marriott and demanded apology and forced the hotel company to close its Chinese direct booking channels for a week. In the process, Marriott listed Taiwan as part of China briefly as well. Now, WSJ has dug deeper to find out what happened to the Marriott employee in Omaha that had liked the tweet above.
Here’s an excerpt from the WSJ (access their piece here):
Roy Jones, 49, never thought a $14-an-hour job running social-media accounts for Marriott International Inc. would require him to know global politics.
Marriott says listing Tibet as a country was a mistake, and Mr. Jones has said the same of liking the post. Mr. Jones paid for his error with his livelihood: Marriott fired him.
“We were never trained in any of the social graces when it came to dealing with China.”
Mr. Jones said he typically reviewed up to 300 tweets in a shift and doesn’t recall liking that one, although the concedes he probably did.
Rather harsh punishment for liking a tweet that looked like any other one (rather professionally done) for someone not aware of the global politics. How someone making $14 per hour in Omaha liking tweets on behalf of Marriott even remotely could be?
Marriott needed to find a scapegoat to satisfy the Chinese government and it was easy way too easy to fire this employee.
You cannot even see this tweet that the Chinese government is so offended about in the mainland without using a VPN because the Twitter is blocked.