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She Said WHAT? On Facebook?

I don’t know about you, but high school was a nightmare for me. I spent a lot of my time in the assistant principal’s office for fighting. My taste for GQ style clothing along with slicked back greasy hair made me a target. My forked tongue didn’t help me any either. Not much has changed.

In Melrose, Massachusetts a woman was run down by a pack of teenagers in a car because of a dispute that started amongst high school kids on Facebook. If there was Facebook when I was in high school I would have definitely made the paper.

The feud started because of a “she said – she said” dispute that involved a boy between 2 girls.  I always fought boys because I wasn’t tough enough to fight girls. Girls hit you with their car.

The woman hit was the mother of one of the girls in the Facebook/cat/car fight and spent the night in Mass General Hospital after she did an “endo”, that’s when your “end” goes over your head then over the windshield.

This same diarrhea of the mouth on Facebook is happening with employees at small to large businesses. It might not end up as violent, but it’s certainly damaging corporate brands. People are saying mean things, blabbering about how they hate their jobs, their fellow employees, their bosses or even their clients. It’s never good when an employee publicly says bad things about the company they work for.

Just as bad they are leaking sensitive information about products coming to market, product specs or new and potential clients that gives the competition an edge. This kind of transparency is causing a tremendous stir and hurting many.

People mistakenly believe that what they say around the water cooler, to a friend or spouse or even on an IM in private can be said in public on Facebook or Twitter.  They couldn’t be more wrong.

The Wall Street Journal reports to nab violators, some business owners frequently conduct Web searches of their companies’ names. Others make a habit of checking employees’ social-media profiles if they’re open to the public or they’ve been granted access. They say such strategies can be helpful for quickly doing damage control, as well as for digging up digital dirt on employees and prospective recruits.

 

As an employer, you must have a written policy as to appropriate and inappropriate behaviors in social media. Just because you may block access at work, doesn’t mean they are saying stuff when they get off work. As an employee, don’t be stupid. Shut up and don’t act like an idiot pack of teenage high schoolers.

Protect your identity.

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Comments: (2)

Elizabeth Lumley
Elizabeth Lumley - Girl, Disrupted - Crayford 26 March, 2010, 11:26Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Back in the early days of the world wide web, a story caught my eye. The state of Iowa decided to put its DMV (depart. of motor vehicles) database online. For those outside the US, your driver's licence contains your address, height, eye colour, (sometimes weight!) and, until recently, your social security number.

People went mental. How could the state make this type of personal information public? The point is, they weren't making this information public, the DMV database had ALWAYS been public - just, now, it was on the internet.

High School gossip, water cooler bitching et all has always happened. Is it now just amplified by social media? Is corporate censorship and 16-page documents on 'what you can say on Twitter' really the answer?

With social media - the barn door opened ages ago. Trying to rein those horses in is just a task I think most corporations have little time to devote to. Self-censorship, as we find our feet in this digital, and less than private world, is more the road I think we should travel on. 

(editorial disclosure - I actually went to the same high school as Robert, four years behind, but I think I spent less time in ass. principal's office.)

Robert Siciliano
Robert Siciliano - Safr.me - Boston 26 March, 2010, 11:47Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Eliz

Certainly was the "ass. principal's office"