Big Brother is Watching You – Social Snooping

April 4th 2013       Sally Ormond       social media and business, social media policy, social media snooping, whose reading your posts

Is there really such a thing as free speech when it comes to social media?

Hands up those of you who have ranted about an annoying customer or your boss on your Facebook page after a particularly hard day?

All you want to do is get your frustration out and, hopefully, garner a bit sympathy from your friends. But what happens if your employer sees it?

A recent article in The Drum looks at this issue. They argue that your employers shouldn’t be snooping in the first place, a feeling I echo because it’s tantamount to ‘reading your personal mail’. But reading further they go on to suggest that ‘30% of employers have taken a member of staff through a formal disciplinary procedure as a result of comments made on their social media pages.’

Really?

The problem lies with the sharing aspect of social media. Yes, you can post your rant (sorry, opinion) on your own wall, but you have no control over who may share it. Before you know where you are, your ‘innocent’ comment could be plastered everywhere for everyone to see.

So what can be done to get round this?

Well the most obvious thing is not to write the comments in the first place, but as you’re only human frustration will get the better of you and you’ll do it anyway.

As a business owner, you can’t stop your staff from using social media, but you can put a social media policy in place to clearly show what is and isn’t acceptable and what they consequences are if they overstep the mark.

 

Over to you

If you’re an employee, what are your feelings on this? Does your employer have a right to say what you can and can’t so on social media?

As an employer, do you check up on your staff?

Leave a comment below, we’d love to hear your views.

 

 

Tags: social media and business, social media policy, social media snooping, whose reading your posts
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Comments (1)


Leo 6 years ago.

"As a business owner, you can’t stop your staff from using social media, but you can put a social media policy in place to clearly show what is and isn’t acceptable and what the consequences are if they overstep the mark." This negates the point of arguing in favour of the employee's privacy. Knowing companies, they'll use legalese to make the definition of 'unsuitable social commentary' all-encompassing, and ambiguous at best. Instead companies should rather face up to the fact that there might be a reason their employees badmouth them on social media.