• http://stopdoingnothing.com Patrick Allmond

    I think social media policies are a joke, and it would not have made a bit of difference. 🙂 The people that want to do something harmful to themselves or somebody else are not the type of people that think about policies before they step into it. I don’t believe the bus driver would have thought “Well… I think this girl is a bitch so I am going to say it on Faceb… oh wait. I can’t. That darn policy prevents me from doing it”. General communication policies that have the phrase “on all mediums including but not limited to all online methods of communication…” are great. The policies that would be good in a social media policy also apply to other mediums. So any good policy should cover all of them.

  • Chad Vankoughnett

    I have to respectfully disagree with Meyer on this one. Communications that happen between individuals that are outside of the work environment and have nothing whatsoever to do with the work environment can not be addressed by management in the work environment in a disciplinary way. Was the driver a bit stupid to say what she did? Certainly. Was her communication mature or responsible in any way? Of course not. But it also doesn’t seem actionable by the institution.

    Your 2 points both fail to address this situation directly. Of course your off-duty communications can affect your job, but only if they pertain to the work or business, or negatively affect the workplace directly (and can be shown that it would do so to a reasonable person [are there really any reasonable people left in this world?]). Your second point fails to address policy contravention with respect to this article in any way whatsoever. Of course you would be fired for lighting a cross in the coffee room. Arson is always frowned upon, and no one wants someone like that working for them. However, a closer analogy would be if I were to light that cross on my front lawn (not that I ever would, of course). I COULDN’T be fired for that, regardless of policy, and that is a much closer analogy to this situation.

    Like it or not, there are very few black and white situations when it comes to social media. The line between workplace and off the clock communications has blurred radically, and there has been little precedent set that allows us to see clearly where the lines between freedom of expression and actionable behaviour exist. Don’t get me wrong…we need social media policies, but more importantly, people need to learn that what they say on social media is public. If you wouldn’t shout it on a street corner, you shouldn’t write it on Facebook.