This should be a must-read for anyone blogging or thinking about starting a blog….
Free Expression Can Be Costly When Bloggers Bad-Mouth Jobs
(Registration is required, but I expect anyone in the know to ALREADY have an account with The Washington Post Anyway)
We have an expression in blogging, “Getting Dooced”. It’s from a very famous case when the author of Dooce.Com was fired for her content on her weblog… particularly for badmouthing her place of business and co-workers.
Now I’ve seen this happen on the web AND in real life. A lot of bloggers feel “safe and anonymous”. They may even make a casual remark that they forget all about, until the WRONG PERSON finds it buried away in your site via a Google search.
When this happens it’s always the same old song & dance. They feign shock and outrage as their “private thoughts” (which they put on the world wide web, go figure) are supposed to protected by the first amendment…
And, get this, they feel like THEY’RE the ones who were wronged!
Newsflash, chuckles: The world doesn’t work that way. Try and see it from your employer’s point of view. They are trying to keep and maintain a corporate image, they have customers on the web… who may stumble upon your remarks and it puts their company in a bad light. It’s about the same as making flyers that say “MY COMPANY SUCKS!” and passing them out in front of the building.
You don’t even have to name the company by name. If they know it’s you, and you’re talking about the job you’re working in…. that is MORE than enough to warrant your termination from your place of employment.
You may think you’re protected under the cover of anonymity, but you’re not. Your domain can be looked up in a WHOIS search. Search long enough in someone’s archives and you can piece together who is the author behind the writings. A large number of times these dopes write their weblogs/journals on company time, so their site is in their history folder.
And the First Amendment doesn’t give you the “freedom to say anything you want and be an irresponsible twit”, any more than a drivers license gives you the freedom to drive on a sidewalk and plow pedestrians.
Just a word to the wise… don’t write something you don’t want your worst enemy to read. The web is the LAST place you want to put something where you don’t want it found.
But if you do, don’t expect any sympathy from me.