Home Cartoon: Pee Into This Cup & Hand Over Your Twitter Login Info

Cartoon: Pee Into This Cup & Hand Over Your Twitter Login Info

To the list of things you worry about when you’re writing a blog post or updating your status (“How will this affect my Technorati ranking?” “Will Wil Wheaton finally retweet me?” “Is this going to get me on a no-fly list?”), you can now add this: “What’s my boss going to think?”

More and more employers want to know what you’re doing, not just in your cubicle, behind the register or out in the field, but on the Net. They’re trying to find out if your social media antics are going to reflect poorly on them. Should that be any of their business? After all, it’s your Facebook account/blog/Twilight fan wiki; how is what you’re doing any of their concern?

But consider the summer contractor fired from his job with the District of Columbia after he tweeted derogatory remarks about a local neighbourhood and talked about loafing on the job. Set aside the confession of misconduct, and you still have the issue of a worker publicly slagging the people he’s supposed to be serving.

The slope gets a little more slippery once we start dealing with people who criticize their employer on their blogs… or just discuss their job without permission.

Waaaay down at the bottom of that slope is June’s social-media-fail-of-the-month, the City of Bozeman, which required job applicants to provide the usernames and passwords for their social network profiles. (That policy has since been rescinded.)

Is the problem that we still haven’t figured out what this space is yet? We sometimes treat it like it’s a pub where we’re venting with friends, saying outrageous things with complete impunity; some of the powers that be treat it as though every word we utter online ought to be lifted from the corporate annual report. Just where do employees and employers draw the line?

More Noise to Signal

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