A cautionary tale.

Inc. reports:

How a Single Social Media Blunder Cost a University $2 Million

The University of Illinois will spend over $2 million because of its handling of a social media situation that might have been avoidable.

In July 2014, Steven Salaita, who was to begin a tenured $85,000-a-year faculty job at Illinois, made several virulent anti-Israel tweets, some of which belittled anti-Semitism and contained obscene language. University officials — who received complaints about the posts — responded by rescinding Salaita’s job offer, a decision that the University’s Board of Trustees then affirmed.

Several months later, Salaita sued the school, arguing essentially that University of Illinois had no right to breach a contract with him when he was merely exercising his right to freedom of speech and academic freedom. The university countered that Dr. Salaita’s behavior showed that he lacked “the judgment, temperament and thoughtfulness to serve as a member of our faculty in any capacity, but particularly to teach courses related to the Middle East,” and that the hiring process had not been completed: “At no time was Dr. Salaita hired as a faculty member” since any offer “was at all times subject to the ultimate approval of the Board of Trustees.”