Painful social-networking gaffes, with corporate consequences
Christopher Steiner and Helen Coster, 04.13.10 (Forbes)
With 400 million registered users, Facebook is a great place to find a job. For more than a few cavalier souls, it’s a great place to lose one, too.
By now you’d think folks would know what to let fly on Facebook and what to keep to themselves. Not so.
“Common sense is a good guide here, but people can be so taken by the novelty of these sites that they forget there are consequences to posting the wrong thing,” says Kerry Ryan, a litigation attorney with Tarlow, Breed, Hart & Rogers in Boston. Ryan specializes in disputes between companies and former employees–and he’s seeing more and more bad situations kindled by poor judgment online.
Many companies–including Cisco ( CSCO – news – people ), IBM ( IBM – news – people ), GM, Wal-Mart ( WMT – news – people ) and Intel ( INTC – news – people )–have formal social-networking policies. Of U.S. companies with at least 1,000 employees, 10% have disciplined their ranks for running afoul of the rules during the last 12 months, according to Proofpoint, an e-mail security and data-loss-prevention firm in Sunnyvale, Calif. Eight percent of those firms fired at least one employee for egregious violations.