Dan Scavino was in Donald Trump’s corner long before there were any hints at a presidency. At age 14, Scavino was selected to caddie for Trump’s golf party at what became Trump National Golf Club Westchester. Later, Scavino moved up to become General Manager at the club, joining President Trump in 2015 and being appointed in February of 2016 as social media director for the campaign. When Trump won the election, he kept Scavino on, appointing him White House Director of Social Media.
Recent press releases show that Scavino received a warning letter from the Office of the Special Council in regards to a tweet he posted on his personal account back in April. The tweet was against Representative Justin Amash (R-Michigan), saying that he was a liability to Trump’s plans to bring auto plants and jobs back to Michigan. While the tweet seemed harmless at first, ethics attorney Richard Painter called Scavino out for violating the Hatch Act. Signed in 1939, the Hatch Act is meant to prevent White House officials from engaging in political activity, other than the President, Vice President, and a few others. After much runaround and controversy, the OSC determined Scavino had produced the tweet while serving in a White House Position, and thus violated the Hatch Act, leading to the issuing of the letter of concern. Upon further research, the OSC website says that the purpose of the Hatch Act is, more or less, to ensure that federal programs are administered in a non-partisan fashion, and to keep federal employees from letting politics affect how they work or their job security. While the news of this event is relatively unimportant to the larger political issues swirling, the ideas and philosophies in it are crucial to all.
Social media can be an amazing tool for advertising, marketing, and sharing one’s accomplishments, ideas, and opinions. However, it is crucial for people to be mindful of their use of social media. For many, outlets like Twitter are thought of as simply a place to vent or express negative opinions. While in some instances this can be feasible, for anyone in a position of power, or even students and those applying for new jobs, social media can make or break you. 63% of employers say they look positively on a candidate when they post about charity and volunteer work on social media, while 76% find it negative to see a candidate uses social media to express their political views.
In our world today, nothing ever goes away, and often times people forget that and don't think before they post on social media. Whether you’re serving in a public office, playing a professional sport, or just living everyday life, it is so important to keep your social media presence clean and free from any content that could be used against you (rightfully or not). To truly be a positive advocate for and user of social media, we need to stay clear of sharing opinions on controversial topics, and refrain from sharing any photos or other pieces of media that could paint us in a bad light. This doesn't mean you have to stop using social media or only post one style of content, but one just needs to be aware that the things they post could be used objectively against them, righty or not. Maybe Dan Scavino will take these words to heart, being a little more careful about what he shares, especially in such a position as White House Social Media Director.