Social Media at Work: Problems Arise

Social Media at Work

Social Media at Work

Social Media at Work

There are a lot of different opinions about social media at work, some businesses have banned it all together.  Well recently the battle moved from the workplace to what employees post on their own personal social media accounts from the privacy of their homes.  From the privacy of your home or not, many argue that the internet is public space no matter if you use social media at work or home.  Two social media at work cases involving teachers from the state of New Jersey was reported by NPR, where one teacher, Jennifer O’Brien, posted that her students were future criminals, and another teacher, Viki Knox, posted that homosexuality was an abomination.

On the flip side, another social media at work case made headlines in the New York Times over a company attempting to take over one of their employee’s Twitter account after leaving the company claiming ownership of his contacts.

Lets dive deeper into both of these stories and we encourage you to let us know what you think.

Social Media at Work | Teachers All The Time?

Being a teacher is a profession that is similar to that of a politician or even a police officer, there is an underlying agreement that you must maintain your public image when out and about in the community, on or off the clock.  In the 21st century this agreement stretches to the use of social media as well, however some may say that it limits teachers rights to freedom of speech.  Lets look at what NPR had to report:

Union, N.J., high school teacher Viki Knox posted comments on her Facebook page that quickly turned into a flaming war of words with parents and local residents. It began with comments that a gay history exhibit at the school should be removed; she then urged her friends to pray and eventually called homosexuality a perverted sin.

“She has the right to post as a private citizen, but not as a teacher,” one protester said.

“Viki has a right to free speech!” another responded.

I’m sure that this social media at work case is something that the ACLU would love to have their hands all over.  For that matter, GLAAD would have a field day with this one as well, protecting the rights of the gay and lesbian community.

Now lets take a look at New Jersey teacher dilemma number 2, where Jennifer O’Brien called her students future criminals:

Knox has been suspended while the investigation continues. In Paterson, N.J., a first-grade teacher in a largely black and Latino school may lose her job after commenting on Facebook that she feels like a “warden for future criminals.”

John Palfrey of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society says there have always been teachers who say dumb things, but now social media amplifiy those comments.

Folks in the teachers union have shared their opinions on social media at work for teachers as well.  Here’s a concept: don’t friend or follow any of your students on social media.  Or you’ll end up like another teacher that had to explain why a shirtless man was pouring chocolate all over her, no I’m not making this up.

Social Media at Work | Does Your Boss Own Your Twitter Account?

So this next social media at work case doesn’t deal with discrepancies over posts, but rather whether or not you own your social media accounts after you leave your company.  Lets take a look:

In October 2010, Noah Kravitz, a writer who lives in Oakland, Calif., quit his job at a popular mobile phone site,, after nearly four years.

While at the company, Mr. Kravitz, 38, began writing on Twitter under the name Phonedog_Noah, and over time, had amassed 17,000 followers. When he left, he said, PhoneDog told him he could keep his Twitter account in exchange for posting occasionally.

The company asked him to “tweet on their behalf from time to time and I said sure, as we were parting on good terms,” Mr. Kravitz said by telephone.

And so he began writing as NoahKravitz, keeping all his followers under that new handle. But eight months after Mr. Kravitz left the company, PhoneDog sued, saying the Twitter list was a customer list, and seeking damages of $2.50 a month per follower for eight months, for a total of $340,000.

Now this one is tricky because we don’t know how Mr. Kravitz acquired his followers or whether or not he will use his followers for future business ventures.

Social Media at Work | Your Opinion

We would really like to know what our readers think about these social media at work cases.  Do you think that teachers should have the right to post anything they please, how about ownership of social media pages?  Do you use social media at work?

Image attribution:

If you enjoyed ‘Social Media at Work: Problems Arise’ then check out more at Social Media in 7 Minutes.


Facebook Comments:

Leave A Reply (No comments so far)

No comments yet