At the University of Missouri student newspaper, posting an article to Facebook is now grounds for termination.
Chris Vas, conservative columnist and VP of Mizzou College Republicans, was fired from the Maneater, Mizzou’s official student newspaper, for “sparking controversy” with his most recent column.
The column that led to Vas’s termination focused on the Black Lives Matter movement and suggested the African American community spend more time focusing on strengthening their families and households.
Abigail Hoer, a friend of Vas, posted the column with somewhat antagonizing caption in the liberal-leaning “MU Social Justice Network” Facebook group over the weekend. Although Vas was not personally responsible for Hoer’s post in the group, The Maneater justified his termination, claiming Hoers’ post in the Facebook group had not only caused hurt to people and communities on campus, but it also provoked hate towards the newspaper.
“They informed me I was fired for ‘coordinating an attack against the maneater’ [sic] because my friend posted the story in the social justice Facebook group,” Vas explained to the College Fix.
Vas also took to his Twitter to point out that the student newspaper had never posted any of his columns on their social media, but they spared no time sharing the news of his termination.
Jared Kaufman, editor-in-chief of The Maneater, defended the decision to terminate Vas in a blog post, claiming the writer was involved in Hoer’s posts.
“It came to my attention that Vas had coordinated with a friend in the MU Social Justice Network Facebook page to have them post his columns on that page with inciting language,” wrote Kaufman. “We fired him because we cannot have members of our staff actively seeking to spark controversy rather than foster healthy discussions.”
The blog post concludes with an apology to those left with hurt feelings after reading the article, “we regret the hurt we know this column caused to people and communities on this campus.”
Despite Vas’s termination, Kaufman claims the Maneater supports the publishing of “opinions from all ends of the political spectrum, even those that members of our staff and the university community at large do not always agree with.”