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Facebook/other online publishing and the employer/employee relationship

My response to Sheridan Voysey’s question “Is it ok for employers to check what their workers are saying online?”, which was posed in regards to Facebook in particular on Open House [1] on Canberra’s 1WAY FM [2].

Yes, and if you don’t want them to see what you’re saying, use the privacy controls to prevent them from seeing it. If it’s publicly viewable, it’s fair game in my books.

And it’s not just Facebook. I have no issue with an employer or a potential employer checking up on what I say on this website, or on the radio, or anywhere else that is public.

There is a vast difference between what is said publicly online, and what is said privately between friends. For example, if I say “the company I work for will go broke in two weeks if they keep spending money like this” publicly, it could have an adverse effect on the company, whereas if I say it privately to a friend, it’s not likely to have any impact on the company.

In this example, the comment is almost certainly tongue-in-cheek, and most people reading the text version would not understand that because, as I’ve said many times, text is not particularly good at carrying subtle humour.

I’d be interested in hearing what you think about this, but I will ask you to refrain from calling this “Facebook bashing” because I’m close to signing up again at the request and suggestion of a few people who I will not name here.


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#1 Comment By The person called Me… On April 8, 2009 @ 7:27 pm

Don’t go to the dark side Samuel!!

Don’t listen to those annoying voices/people which are trying to tell you to join that useless waste of time!

#2 Comment By Samuel On April 8, 2009 @ 8:35 pm

Hmmm, the dark side and the annoying voices eh?

Just when I thought my mental health was improving.

Seriously though, I’m still undecided, which means I’m sticking with my current status quo for the moment.