I suppose the point is that, if it's legal for a group on employees to complain about things over a cup of coffee (and let's not pretend that never happens), it's legal for them to do so on Facebook and Twitter. Of course, the latter can be much more embarrassing for the employer, but the law doesn't seem to care.
@Kim - if employees are free to voice their opinions about their employer without fear of retribution, does it go the other way also?
My understanding was that employers were reluctant to say anything about a past/present employee for fear of a lawsuit. So the way it is now is that employees can talk about their employer without repurcussions, but not the other way around?
Does the employee's protection of free speech just extend to their employer? What if an employee says something on social media that impacts the stock price. Is the employee still protected?
I still don't agree that employees can say anything about their company or employers online. I fear that we might soon have many lawsuits on the ground of breach of confidentiality and illegal disclosure of company information.
Hopefully these laws, if enacted on a broad enough scale will force employers to think twice about taking action on legitimate complaints employees make on social networks. The push back is necessary, and my hope is that it'll result in fairer corporate policies on how employees utilize social networks on or off the clock.
Facebook's Graph Search may face some profound challenges and risks, first, because Facebook users haven't been thinking of their posts as product reviews; and second, because Facebook will now have to contend with the social-network equivalent of SEO "gaming" of results.
Michael Brutsch, a.k.a. Reddit's Violentacrez, is a creep who posted borderline kiddie porn to the Internet anonymously, and got fired when outed by a media outlet. It's a cautionary tale even for people who aren't jerks and predators.
Companies are still getting their feet wet with social networking and what employees should and shouldn't broadcast. But they don't always involve HR and PR. Here's why they should, and what they risk when they don't.
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