"I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend." —Thomas Jefferson

The other day, a friend of mine put her job and professional reputation at risk. Sadly, it wasn't for anything as significant as standing up for human rights or even bunny rights.

No, it was a Facebook post: a shared image that was intended to be a funny political meme but, instead, offended many of the people who saw it.

Should she have shared that post? Could she have lost her job? Might the issue have been avoided? Were people just being overly sensitive? Let's explore those questions—and others.

What do we mean by a 'political post'?

So that we're all on the same page, let's start with what I mean by "political post." To my mind, there are two kinds: implicit and explicit.

Implicit Political Post

Whenever you share something to Facebook or Twitter or other social network, you have the choice of sharing a simple link to an article of interest, or also adding your own commentary. That's an important distinction: If you're sharing an article that's a simple news event, it seems less politically motivated than if you add your opinion to the share about how feel about that news.

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Mike Allton is an award-winning blogger and author at The Social Media Hat, as well as CMO at SiteSell.

Twitter: @Mike_Allton

Facebook: Mike Allton