Marriott has fired one of its social media managers because the employee "wrongfully liked" a tweet from Friends of Tibet, a group that supports Tibetan independence from China.
The sacking started when Marriott contracted with an outside company to perform a customer satisfaction survey, on which a multiple choice question about which countries guests had used the chain's hotels in listed "Tibet, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan" as separate countries. Describing these territories as independent countries is an offense under Chinese law.
Chinese patriotic trolls made a cause celebre out of the questionnaire, called for a boycott of Marriott Hotels, and went digging for dirt, discovering that the Twitter account associated with Marriott's loyalty program had liked the Friends of Tibet tweet during the controversy.
President and managing director of Asia-Pacific for Marriott International Craig Smith publicly announced that he had fired the employee responsible for "willfully liking" the tweet,
As for the Marriott employee who "liked" the Twitter post by Friends of Tibet, Smith said disciplinary proceedings had been started.
"Due to the mistake of an individual employee, our official [Twitter] account wrongly 'liked' the tweet supporting Tibet independence and misled the public. [We] have now suspended this employee and dismissal proceedings are under way," he was quoted as saying.
Marriott sacks employee who 'liked' Twitter post from Tibet independence group
[Teddy Ng/South China Morning Post]
(via Super Punch)