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SC firefighter’s Facebook posts about race, protesters & COVID-19 lead to firing

Georgetown County fired firefighter within 24-hours of complaints

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SMACSS (Social Media Assisted Career Suicide Syndromw) comes to Georgetown County, South Carolina where a firefighter lost his job due to his personal Facebook posts. Some of Bob Kosto’s posts were characterized as racist and neo-Confederate, while others promoted the conspiracy theory that the coronavirus is a hoax. News reports indicate Kosto’s heated Facebook argument over the merits of wearing masks brought attention to his various posts.

Alex Lang, Myrtle Beach Online:

One of the posts included a reference to someone who was not a native English speaker. Another post referred to recent protests and called a truck a “protester edition” that appears to have red paint mimicking blood splatter on the front of the vehicle.

In another post on the COVID-19 pandemic, Kosto wrote, “Don’t be the sheep who listen to corrupt government telling you what to do to save your sheep.”

County employees are entitled to free speech on their personal pages, (County spokeswoman Jackie) Broach said, but the county handbook has rules on social media posts.

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Tyler Fleming & Nick Masuda, The Post & Courier, Myrtle Beach:

Kosto’s post included memes threatening to kill or harm Black Lives Matter protesters and claiming that the coronavirus is a hoax.

The Facebook posts in question date back weeks, including one on July 6 when he changed his Facebook profile photo to feature the “three percenters” logo that represents radical anti-government sympathies, according to the Anti-Defamation League. As a firefighter, Kosto was a government employee.

On Wednesday, Ashlyn Brierre wrote a Facebook post asking people to call Georgetown County over Kosto’s posts.

The posts came to her attention after a friend got into an argument with Kosto over the merits of wearing face masks.

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