Fired over facebook, not sure where I stand on this.

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Mr. Chewbacca, Nov 10, 2010.

  1. Mr. Chewbacca macrumors 6502a

    Mr. Chewbacca

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    #1
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_upsho...riticizing-the-boss-on-facebook-get-you-fired


    This is on the Yahoo front page today. I’m still trying to iron out my opinion on this. It can be looked at from so many angles.

    I assume that anyone on this page is “computer savy” enough to figure out the privacy settings but a lot of people don’t, do they have a reasonable expectation of privacy? Do you set the laws based on the perceived knowledge level of the offender.

    On one hand I don’t feel an employer has any business trolling facebook to find dirt on employees but as a manager if I found out I was being publicly slammed on FB and confirmed it I’m not so sure that would be much different than printing a few hundred flyers insulting me and putting them on cars.

    I know of one large company that does check up on people’s facebook. I don’t know exactly what they are looking for but one could verify “sick” employees are not posting game day pics on the day they called in. I also know about one job applicant that was going to be hired but after they read her public myspace profile they changed their mind. She had way to many party pics and her theme song was you’re crazy b!tch

    Were they in the wrong to look? Where do you draw the line, should you draw a line?

    What if a boss were to fire you for not accepting their friend request?
     
  2. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #2
    Beyond the privacy settings, I'd say any information you willingly provide to a public SOCIAL networking site would definitely be public information. Just like doing something in the public square. If there isn't some sort of legal entity protecting your privacy, you shouldn't expect to have any.

    As a boss, I'd say that I would leave personal lives as exactly that wherever possible... but on the other hand, hiring employees is a very timely and expensive process, the better information you have to make a superior hiring decision the better. Potentially saving tens of thousands of dollars in turnover costs. I can't say that I blame the boss... employees bashing the company/personnel in a public location is certainly grounds for firing.
     
  3. kmaute macrumors 6502

    kmaute

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    #3
    The internet is public and freely available. Posting things have consequences and people will learn eventually. It costs a tremendous amount of money to hire, train, and employ a new hire. It should be expected that the employer will take every possible precaution to ensure that the hire will not pose a liability to the organization. People have an irrational assumption of anonymity on the internet and that is simply false. If you are posting something that you don't want others to see, keep it to yourself.

    I had an employee text me accidentally, calling me a "stupid mother******" after I wrote her up. Should I have excused that? She was fired the next day.
     
  4. Mr. Chewbacca thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mr. Chewbacca

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    #4
    Cool,, 5point and I agree :eek::D

    If I were in HR vetting a potential employee I would say that you almost have to try to find information on the prospect. I would be concerned if people were to start getting fired for things unrelated to their jobs like political and religious affiliations.

    What would you think about an HR department requesting access to an employee’s facebook profile?
     
  5. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #5
    If you insult your boss and they find out about it you are undermining them.

    Firing is reasonable.

    Definitely.

    Certainly not.
     
  6. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #6
    Fired for being stupid.

    That sounds about right.
     
  7. Mr. Chewbacca thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mr. Chewbacca

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    #7
    :eek: Was the text intended for someone else and sent to you accidently or was it directed to you?
     
  8. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #8
    I think it depends if it was valid criticism or not.
     
  9. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #9
    There's a reason why I'm not friends with any of my coworkers on Facebook - I don't want anything I put on Facebook coming back to bite me in the ass at work. Not that I say anything work related on Facebook, I don't, but why chance it?
     
  10. leekohler, Nov 10, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2010

    leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #10
    They got fired for that? :eek:

    That's completely stupid.
     
  11. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    #11
    Morale of the story? Don't add your boss on facebook. Or add them to a group so you can select who can see what status updates. It isn't hard. To be quite honest, they deserved to be fired.
     
  12. colourfastt macrumors 6502a

    colourfastt

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    #12
    Moral of the story: if you have a gripe about your employer keep it to yourself. If you can't, then don't complain when you're filing for unemployment.
     
  13. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

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    #13
    She didn't just criticize her boss, she publicly posted vulgarities and potentially damaging comments about her boss. She could be brought up on defamation (libel, as this is esentially broadcast) charges. She is an idiot.

    You can go to the bar with your coworkers and gripe amongst yourselves, but shout it out in public and you should be fired. No one seems to understand that the internet is a public forum - parse your words and keep your clothes on people!
     
  14. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #14
    I disagree. Say what you want and take off your clothes! :)

    Seriously, we live in fear far too much.
     
  15. AP_piano295 macrumors 65816

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    #15
    Stupid.

    But its honestly a non issue don't go bitching about your boss on facebook. Its like posting a "I hate my boss" memo on a public note board.

    Its just a dumb thing to do.
     
  16. CaptMurdock macrumors 6502a

    CaptMurdock

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    #16
    Exactly. Better to post it on here where you're anonymous. :D
     
  17. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

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    #17
    Agree with both your sentences. However, one must be prepared to deal with the consequenceas of said actions.
     
  18. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #18
    I think you should be able to say whatever you want about your boss on FB, but that's just me.
     
  19. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #19
    The technology is a red herring. The way to figure out how you feel about this is to factor the technology out. Suppose the employee had been going off about her boss outside of work, say at a bar, and didn't notice her boss was in the room at the time. Would that be a firing offense? I think traditionally we expect it would be, but I suppose it's debatable.
     
  20. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

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    #20
    But that's a one-off in a bar. On Facebook you are publishing it and it's out there...for everyone to see, over and over. How about standing in a public square with a megaphone repeating vulgarities about your boss and insinuating the boss had a mental issue?

    The technology DOES matter. And the new mores/laws/conventions associated with that technology are still being hashed out. Nudie Polaroids kept in a shoebox under your bed have different consequences than posting nude pics online.
     
  21. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #21
    Well, exactly, and we would not be surprised if the employee were fired for even that "one-off" in a bar, would we? Facebook doesn't suddenly make this some kind of human rights issue.
     
  22. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #22
    Personally, I'd prefer firing offenses (short of criminal activity) to be confined to the workplace. But as in the case with the attorney in Michigan, the internet has turned speech into a permanent and public record... one more difficult to ignore than a verbal rant.

    It behooves people to be a little more careful about what they say... but wisdom seems to be in short supply these days.
     
  23. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #23
    You can but you also have to accept the possible consequences of doing so. And, like others have said, putting this on FB is basically publishing your thoughts for posterity in a not too private way.

    The NY Times article, which is linked to by the Yahoo article in the OP, gives a better picture of what is going on in this situation, IMO. The company also said the employee has a history of infractions and this is just one of many reasons for the termination. It will be interesting to see how the case plays out.

    It's also interesting to note that accurate criticism of the working environment is most likely protected speech but defamation is not. So, for example, calling your boss a moron is probably not protected but saying you think your boss has poor management skills because of how he handled situation X is probably protected.


    Lethal
     
  24. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #24
    Something strikes me about this particular boss though. If your skin is that thin that you need to fire someone over an insult, you're probably not a very good boss. That boss would be the next person I'd be sending to the unemployment line if I were that company.
     
  25. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    Oct 9, 2006
    #25
    while I have facebook and use it. I have a simple rule on it. I do not post anything I would not care if the would saw. I have never posted complaints about my former employer. The worse thing I have posted is me saying that I am done with construction and I knew I did not want that degree before I finished it.
    But then that can never be used against me because I have zero intention of ever pursuing a career in construction and I am focusing on computer science.


    Simple rule of do not post anything you would not want the world to see.
     

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