News anchor gets suspended for Linkin Park death tweet

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Lance Witten, an anchor for the eNews Channel Africa (eNCA) has been suspended by the channel for a tweet in which he joked about the death of a concertgoer.

The sports presenter tweeted this morning that “Linkin Park are so badass people are dying to see them”.

Lance Witten Tweet

The joke appears to make reference to a fan of the band who died following the collapse of an advertising structure prior to their Cape Town concert last night.

The South African-based news channel posted that it had suspended that anchor on its Twitter page, at the same time distancing itself from the comments:

While some applauded the decision, others suggested that it might be an infringement on Witten’s rights to freedom of speech.

eNCa’s decision to suspend Witten brings up questions of how much claim a company has to its employees’ Twitter feeds. While Witten was undoubtedly tweeting in his own capacity, his bio does include the fact that he works for eNCA.

It’s also unlikely that he would have the number of Twitter followers he does were it not for his position at the channel.

Witten has since deleted the tweet and apologised for his actions.

In what may have been an oblique reference to the incident, veteran journalist and author Gus Silber had an apt reminder of what we need to rmember about Twitter when this kind of thing happens:

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