After gaining notoriety, American tennis player Tennys Sandgren had his past tweets come back and haunt him after some unflattering posts surfaced.
Sandgren was questioned about his connections with right-wing activists on social media, due to some of the people he followed and tweets on conspiracy theories fueling right-wing perceptions.
Since then, he said that he deleted several years of tweets to "move forward" and create a "version of a cleaner start". He also blamed the media for demonising him without proper research other than his tweets.
Communication strategist Sarah Britten says its human to judge someone based on their tweets. But that becomes complicated when you move on to other aspects of their lives.
Every single day we make value judgement as to who we like and dislike, often based on whether we like the clothes that someone is wearing. So whether you judge someone based on their tweets, I think that's human.— Sarah Britten, Communication Strategist
The question is, do you then use that as a basis to judge their ability as an athlete, or their output as a movie maker? I think as consumers we have a right to make choices on what we want to buy, what companies we want to support, so for me that is not a problem. What might be a slightly different issue is from the outrage the tweets have sparked - should there be consequences for Sandgren?— Sarah Britten, Communication Strategist
Britten says that these perceptions from social media does impact how businesses will view Sandgren if they were considering him for sponsorships or as a spokesperson.
She adds that this action does not prohibit Sandgren from practicing free speech, but she thinks it was wise that he deleted his old tweets.
Listen to the full interview below: