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Firefighters' dismissals spark debate on social media use

The dismissals of two Toronto firefighters over offensive remarks they posted on Twitter has sparked debate over whether what you say on social media should affect your professional career.

Matt Bowman, Lawaun Edwards fired after posting sexist remarks on Twitter

The dismissals of two Toronto firefighters over offensive remarks they posted on Twitter has sparked debate over whether what you say on social media should affect your professional career 2:11

The dismissals of two Toronto firefighters over offensive remarks they posted on Twitter has sparked debate over whether what you say on social media should affect your professional career.

Toronto’s fire chief confirmed Monday that firefighters Matt Bowman and Lawaun Edwards were dismissed after posting sexist remarks on Twitter. A third has also been let go due to his actions on social media, although the chief wouldn’t discuss the details of that case.

The firings have brought attention to the potential consequences of posting personal information and opinions online.

“It’s a shame,” said former Sportsnet anchor Damian Goddard. He was fired in 2011 after making comments on Twitter about same-sex marriage, although the exact reasons for his dismissal are disputed.

“We live in a culture now where it’s considered a grievous offence to say something that is unpopular,” Goddard told CBC News reporter Steven D’Souza.

But Steph Guthrie, a feminist advocate who says the firefighters’ tweets are symptoms of larger issues, says that people should realize that their online and offline identities are connected.

“The actions that you take online will have an impact for various aspects of your offline life,” she said.

To hear more of the debate, watch Steven D’Souza’s report above.

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