Straight Talk: That Facebook status is FOREVER!

What happens on Facebook never stays on Facebook, and the internet is forever. If you beak off on Facebook or Twitter (or any public forum) about your boss, your coworkers, your employer or your workplace you may have broken your contract with your employer. If you are fired (and there’s a strong chance you will be), your union can’t do much for you. More and more frequently in recent years, online “off-gassing” has landed irate employees amongst the ranks of the unemployed.

We hear of more and more cases of workers in Canada being fired for online rants & comments unrelated to their employment but offensive in nature and contrary to the  values of their employer.  While this is a fairly new reality, there are a growing number of cases in which employees have lost their jobs for online comments in public forums. A simple first step is ensuring you don’t have your employer listed anywhere in your social media profiles, but that’s not going to be enough if you post or share confidential workplace information online or share racist, homophobic, misogynistic or otherwise offensive posts.

We are a small community in the Yukon; there are few degrees of separation and the comment you make online anonymously or with a made up name is often far less anonymous than you might wish. 

Closed groups on Facebook are not watertight either;  comments made in a closed online group can be copied, shared, printed, screen shot saved and so on.  The best advice is to avoid mentioning your work or clients online and to be very careful of both your privacy settings and of who you have as Facebook friends. When did you last review your Facebook friends list or your Likes? How about Twitter – who follows you there? With so many new social media platforms it’s easy to lose track of the potential impact your posts could have.

Keep in mind that potential employers can find you on social media just as easily as your 4th grade crush. If you haven’t reviewed your privacy settings lately, you might want to take a few minutes to do just that.

There are lots of places to turn when you have a genuine problem in the workplace. Don’t identify your employer in your profile, keep your work issues OFF your social media pages & out of the press, and keep your privacy settings locked down.

Curious about your employer’s social media policy? Contact your HR department. Call your Union if you need help at work; 667-2331