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May 4th, 2009
09:12 AM ET

Fired over Myspace postings?

What do you think? Should the internet be a safe place for employees to vent about work?

Filed under: Controversy • Technology
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. hoppiemochie

    Hiya all of youz!..
    How are yaz doing?

    May 21, 2009 at 12:02 am |
  2. keleka

    I work in HR and the restaurant is WRONG. This was an invasion of privacy. Yes an employer can "check" to see what kind of person they are hiring and if something is in a public area of a website like myspace. The employee made that information public when they posted it in an open forum. Based on the story the employees made the chat area private and password protected. This gives the allusion of privacy that is required, I think, by law.

    May 11, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  3. Nathan Wallace

    I saw Alino Cho's report this a.m. on cell phones in reference to public transportation and the metrolink crash involving texting. She stated there was nothing Federal on the books. Not true, Emergency Order # 26 was issued prohibiting use, right after the investigation was completed. It effects all railroads regulated by the Federal Railroad Administration. Please do not reference name> just correct this incorrect statement. This type info is posted on the Federal Register and can be searched easily.

    May 11, 2009 at 8:53 am |
  4. Pamela Haines

    Times have surely changed from the 20th century. Back in the 20th century, we wrote our thoughts down in diaries and then journals. To vent our frustrations with our workplaces, we went to the gym or played racquetball to work it out.

    The purpose of the internet was to be a highway for information. It's creation was to have access to a vast array of resources. Before the internet, we had libraries, home encyclopedias, and reference books. Then, came e-mail. A faster way to communicate instantly which took the place of memos and letters in the workplace; and outside of it.

    Next, social networking like Facebook and MySpace created a new form of socialization and interaction. The traditional way of socializing was face-to-face. Personally, I feel these social networking tools have negatively impacted our society. In the 21st century, we have given up our privacy; choosing cyberspace instead to express ourselves ... with way too much personal information being given out. Internet social networking has enabled individuals to hide behind their keyboards becoming cyberbullies.

    The relative freedom afforded by social networking has caused concern regarding the potential of this misuse by individuals. I'm sorry, but there is no justification for using networking services for the purpose of disrespecting employers, workplaces, peers, family, friends, etc. Use common sense. These are all public forums, no matter how you may convince yourself otherwise.

    Go back to the traditional ways of venting out your issues.

    May 8, 2009 at 12:38 am |
  5. Ethical

    How are employees to vent out? What do you recommend?

    May 5, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  6. Ethical

    I am a Republican and I am for the EMPLOYEE, this happened outside the workplace and was not causing harm or damage to the employer. People need to vent out and when you go to human resource to discuss problems like harassment they view you as the problem and find a way to fire you. I had an employer fire me one time and I was just so upset because it was not true. I took an employee with me to purchase some supplies for the office. A police officer stopped me for a wrong lane change. As I was being pulled over my employee said the officer was racial profiling and that was the reason I was being pulled. I was shocked what she stated but I shook my head and just said Lisa that isn't nice and don't say things like that,(Lisa was having lots of depression in her life, her father lost his job at HEB too many accidents, she gained so much weight and was trying the WW diets, her boyfriend dumped her and lots of other things and her sister was also having personal problems. I counseled her on so many things when she first started, I assisted her trying to get help with her father case to try and get rehired, I was just so shocked.) The officer did his thing and said was I aware of what I did and I was confused because I was exiting, he said I crossed a white line when exiting. He gave me a warning and I told him I would keep it as a reminder because I have no record and no tickets, I would not do this again. I called my husband and told him the news, Lisa was still making the remarks about racial profiling. My husband still on the phone could hear her making the comments and he said to me that the police officer better not hear her making those remarks or I will get the ticket. We then stopped to get lunch then returned to the office, we came in laughing about what happen regarding the ticket but Lisa went to my other employees and told them I was the one making the remarks she also went to my bosses and told them the same thing. I was never made aware of the comments in the office, Lisa began not to follow instructions regarding her job and I sat her down she said I don't want to be alone bring in this other person "D", I was confused because "D" was just another clerk why not a another Manager? I figured out what she was doing,she was trying to get people to side with misconduct and it worked. Mind you the ticket was in July, I was FIRED IN August she needed to get people to take sides. All my boss told me was they were very upset because they had no choice. I can understand in some ways but at the same time I was never asked what really happened I was judged by what was said by an employee who was always a problem employee in my department. Another thing that really made people think she stated that I made the remark about racial profiling, I am a very private person but my father is originally from Spain, my mother is white and my husband is Jewish. This all came from just going to buy supplies at the local office supply store. I took it really hard because I have always been a fair, ethical, moral person and I like to treat others the way I like to be treated. People will try and hurt other people who are making a name for themselves in the business place but always remember you will one day answer to the big man upstairs. If people put all that energy in not telling the truth, harassing, etc., can you imagine if people were paid to stop doing things like that how rich people would be just to be ETHICAL IN THE WORK PLACE.
    Yes, I won my case but I would of rather have had a good management team to see between the lines. People lie when there jobs are on the line and companies are scared to fire anyone because of discrimination. They let me go to try and fix the problem and show people that no matter what they will not tolerate behavior like that except for one thing this employee was innocent and I am sure others out there are like me. Problem employees will start making up lies, stating a person in management is harassing me etc., to try and get the heat off them. People just do your job and never take an employee with you if you are not recording the entire conversation.

    May 5, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  7. joe

    yeah, there is a place where we should be able to speak our minds privately...and that place is NOT MYSPACE

    May 5, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  8. E

    Seems like this would fall under freedom of speech. If this person was in their own home, on their privately owned computer just seems kind of eerie they can be fired for their words. Now if they were giving away company secrets (such as the test they were speaking of) or something of that nature I get the firing, but fired over a rant, in a private chat group just doesn't make sense or seem fair. But life isn't fair I suppose.

    May 5, 2009 at 8:11 am |
  9. johnnyB2Bgood

    imo this constitutes illegal entry into a computer network.
    did they legally request and get granted access to your private group?

    that alone is enough to put people away for a few years.

    May 5, 2009 at 7:51 am |
  10. Margaret

    I don't think that it's prudent, for disgruntled employees to post native remarks about their place of employment. First of all, everyone who still has "a job", in today's economy is LUCKY! Why take a chance of risking your steady income. This becomes even a greater risk, if your accessing personal sites from your computer at work. Simply because 90 percent of employers, have the ability to monitor, every site you access. Be it for work but more so, for non-work related sites!

    May 5, 2009 at 7:45 am |
  11. LIN

    Interesting concepts and conversations.

    The internet is NEVER private conversations. Not only does the boss and co-workers have access to it, but the entire world.

    This is the same theory of smoking pot on your time off and being drug tested to justify firing you. What you do on your own time in this day and time of "the man watching you" is not private or protected in any way.

    So keep all your private converations out of cyber space!

    May 5, 2009 at 7:39 am |
  12. Cassie

    No there isn’t internet privacy, but what an employee does on their off time should not affect their work status. Just because we work for a company doesn’t mean they get to control our entire lives.

    May 4, 2009 at 10:54 pm |
  13. chris fuller

    i was also fired for marijuna pictures that you copy and paste on your page on my space .sears logistics say it was unethical and that i was not following protocol,i was a supervisor never had any other trouble, the pictures had been on my page for a long time no-one ever warned me, if they had i would have took them off but i was fired instead. i also had pictures of other supervisor on my page drinking and partying at my house but nothing was done to them. i think myself your my space page should be just your space you have to have somewhere to express what you want to. instead of having people snooping on you.

    May 4, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  14. James Oldham

    this is definitely against the constitution my opinion
    this is there personal thoughts and feelings about their boss
    if he is that sensitive find a new job really also to the company
    putting up this kinda bull about the people they fired you guys really are sad

    May 4, 2009 at 8:51 pm |
  15. Pamela Haines

    Wake up America! There is no such thing as "Internet Privacy". Once you type something onto your computer and hit that "send" button in a social networking environment such as MySpace, it is gone from the privacy of your home and stored out in storage clusters. It is no longer under your control and there is no way you can erase it.

    There are only understood cyber rules, etiquette, or ethics. Nothing is enforced.

    So, be smart and don't put anything out there in cyberspace that may be offensive to another party. It could come back to haunt you.

    All this mumbo jumbo about privacy being invaded and passwords being illegally discovered is just a way for these employees to justify their bad behavior.

    I would suggest that next time they want to bash their employer, customers, or bosses, that they do so the old fashion way and get together at someone's house or have a bashing party. What happens in the privacy of your own home has a better chance of remaining private.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  16. Carl Gulino

    The workers conversations on the internet are just like workers conversing in the forest about their bosses. If one of the workers tell the boss about the conversation, it's just like one of the workers giving the boss the password.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:00 pm |