Should Old Tweets Affect Your Career? A Daily Show Star Weighs In

Photo: Courtesy LinkedIn.
Everyone has an opinion about The Daily Show's promoting of Trevor Noah and the subsequent outrage over the South African comedian's controversial tweets. For Noah's Daily Show colleague Aasif Mandvi, however, the uproar is "much ado about nothing" — but it is an interesting statement about the effect social media can have on one's career.

Mandvi spoke about the Noah situation during last night's LinkedIn Discussion Series. After praising Noah's work, Mandvi was asked about the incoming host's politically incorrect tweets.

"I think it's more a question about Twitter," the correspondent told LinkedIn executive editor Dan Roth. "The guy made some off-color, irresponsible tweets, but he was trying to trying to be funny."

Mandvi went on to discuss today's Twitter culture and how that can impact one's job prospects. But, should it, he asked? 

"I think the millennials understand this more than the people who are sort of upset about this," Mandvi said. "What is Twitter in our culture? Is it disposable? There's going to be a presidential candidate 25 years from now... Are we going to go back and look at his Twitter feed from when he was 14 years old, because it's going to have a lot of really stupid things in there, you know? How much are we responsible for what we said on Twitter five or 10 years ago? "

The comedian also wondered aloud whether Noah should be "defined" by his past statements.

"Do want your kids to go into a job interview and be defined by the Facebook posts that they put on Facebook when they were 15?" he asked.

Surely, the answer is no — but exercising good judgment before posting anything is always the best solution. Ultimately, you just don't know who might be reading your posts — or when.