Video game tester loses job over hate speech against Marois
Published Thursday, September 6, 2012 11:19PM EDT
A video game tester in Montreal has lost his job at Eidos for allegedly writing hateful comments about the premier-designate on his Facebook wall.
Blake Marsh, a man in his 20s, was fired Wednesday when he arrived at work, the morning after an assassination attempt on Pauline Marois, Quebec’s newly-elected premier-designate.
A gunman opened fire during Marois’s victory speech at Metropolis theatre Tuesday night, killing one and injuring another. Richard Bain is currently facing 16 charges in connection with the crime.
Following the attack, Marsh allegedly posted on his Facebook wall, “You just can't find good assassins these days,” later adding the comment, “I give this b**** a month before someone with better aims comes forth and does what must be done."
On his Facebook page, Marsh identifies himself as an employee of Eidos, a British video game publisher with offices in Montreal. Marsh worked as a video game tester there for the past four years.
Eidos general manager Stephane D’Astous said he arrived to work Wednesday to dozens of emails complaining about his employee’s social media postings, adding that the company has a zero-tolerance policy for threats and intimidation.
After speaking with his lawyer, D’Astous fired Marsh, who offered little resistance.
“I think he thought that social networking posts were private matters, but in fact, they're not. When you cross the line so clearly, like in this situation, and you associate yourself not just with your person but with your employer, that's totally unacceptable,” said D’Astous.
Constitutional lawyer Julius Grey, however, is questioning whether postings on Facebook are a fireable offence, considering there is some expectation of privacy when posting on the social media site.
“The freedom of speech normally means freedom to say unpleasant terrible, tasteless, idiotic things, as well as freedom to say wise and pondered and well thought-out things,” he said.
Police are investigating, but so far Marsh has yet to be charged criminally.