The Washington Post has removed the portion of its online job advertisement for a social media editor that listed among its job requirements the "ability to explain to those twice your age what Reddit or Snapchat or Whisper or Fark is." The original posting noted it was a "bonus if you've convinced them to use any of these platforms." We asked our Huff/Post50 Facebook fans what they thought about the ad. Can you hear the sizzle?
Mike Dutle found it "absolutely" ageist. "They are admitting they are not going to consider anyone 40 or older for the position. I wonder if they're paying minimum wage and requiring them to work from home?" Boomers Leading Change in Health Ageism agreed. "[The ad] suggests that adults 50+ are not qualified for the job (since the likelihood of them having to explain anything to adults 100+ is slim to none)." It also "assumes that only adults 50+ need an explanation of that sort when it's entirely possible that not every young adult knows how to use these platforms. Washington Post should review its cultural sensitivity handbook--or, perhaps, update it. PRONTO." Elena Corral put it pretty succinctly. "Stupid," she said.
Monica Taylor disagreed somewhat. She said, "I'm 50 and I work in an office where the organization has just realized they have to get with the program and step up their reach through social media. Most of the people in my office over 45 want nothing to do with it. Most of the department heads are over 45. It's a detriment when reaching out to a younger demographic. I'm on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram and I feel like I'm behind the power curve but I look good next to my peer group."
Denice Loritsch may have nailed what happened. Maybe, she suggested, "it was written by a young person." She noted that midlifers once had to "explain newness" to our elders and so it is just time and technology moving on. Sometimes we have to act like true grown - ups and choose not to be offended."
And Ann Drake, a self-proclaimed "old patoot" found the whole thing "absolutely hilarious!" Sorry Ann, but we hear from too many midlife job-seekers who face age discrimination in their job search to laugh this one off.
We would note that the new version of the job posting no longer includes the ability to explain social media to older people in its job requirements.
What do you think? Was the ad ageist?