Five Ways Facebook Can Get You Fired

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Can your social media activities cost you your job? You bet they can, and it’s my mission to show you how to avoid that fate! …

Can your social media activities cost you your job? You bet they can, and it’s my mission to show you how to avoid that fate!

My name is Paul Dunay and I have just finished co-authoring a book called Facebook Marketing for Dummies (Wiley), due out October 19th. Writing a book was a very eye-opening experience, to say the least. But one thing it taught me was a profound respect for Facebook.

You are about to see a number of real-life case studies about Facebook. These people are not actors or anything I dreamed up – they are real people whose lives changed based on a few bad keystrokes and misaligned priorities.

So sit back, relax and enjoy another installment of the ways in which social networking can change your life.

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  • hey recently i fell pregnant and found out whilst i was working. i left work at 4 o clock (i was meant to work til 730) with my bosses permission to go a seek help as obviously i was shocked and panicing as i did not want to keep the child. after a 2 hour wait in the walk in clinic they saw me for half an hour checking i was pregnant and gave me a referal. by the time i got out my work place had shut. feeling better that i could in fact get a termination i later went to my friends house for her birthday in which she took a picture of me and some friends at her house and posted it on facebook. someone at my work has seen this photo and now my workplace want to fire my because apprently that photo means i couldve come back to work, my question is can they honestly go on your account if you dont have them on facebook find a photo and use it like that to fire you?
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  • Great Pic of someone getting fired ON Facebook - http://twitpic.com/fyrjq
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  • @ Mr Global - well Facebook does as an 'amplifier' effect to the 'backyard BBQ' type of situation where someone might express to a friend their unhappiness with their job!
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  • Enlightening presentation a great example of the commons working against people - so while they may previously expressed their view to their friends in private, facebook adds a completely new level of snoopability for employers. Assuming that the power of free speech remains and people continue to broadcast their feelings (which can be in the moment on tweets) will companies that take a hard line end up with any employees left at all?
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  • @ HolidaiFreedom - it is an interesting commentary on the state of companies these days - we are going to have to live with the idea of being open/transparent and social 24/7/365 - its a brave new world
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  • 1. August 18, 2009 Five ways Facebook can get you fired!
  • 2.
    • Can your social media activities cost you your job? You bet they can, and it’s my mission to show you how to avoid that fate!
    • My name is Paul Dunay and I have just finished co-authoring a book called Facebook Marketing for Dummies (Wiley), due out October 19 th . Writing a book was a very eye-opening experience, to say the least. But one thing it taught me was a profound respect for Facebook.
    • You are about to see a number of real-life case studies about Facebook. These people are not actors or anything I dreamed up – they are real people whose lives changed based on a few bad keystrokes and misaligned priorities.
    • So sit back, relax and enjoy another installment of the ways in which social networking can change your life.
    • Enjoy!
    • Paul Dunay
    Tilt the Playing Field in Your Favor!
  • 3.
    • A Swiss insurance worker called in sick because she said she couldn't work in front of a computer and needed to lie in the dark. She was fired for surfing Facebook while out sick, according to a Reuter’s story.
    • The unnamed woman abused the trust of insurer Nationale Suisse, the company said, leading to the firing. The woman told a newspaper in Zurich that she had been surfing Facebook in bed on her iPhone. She accused her employer of spying on her and other employees by sending a friend request that allows access to personal online activity.
    • Nationale Suisse rejected the accusation of spying and said one of the employee's colleagues had stumbled across her Facebook activity in November, before use of the social network site was blocked in the company.
    Case Study #1 Facebook Surfing While “Sick”
  • 4.
    • Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd., the U.K. carrier controlled by billionaire Richard Branson, fired 13 cabin crew because of “inappropriate” comments on Facebook.
    • The 13 people “participated in a discussion on Facebook, which brought the company into disrepute and insulted some of our passengers,” said Paul Charles, a spokesman for London-based Virgin Atlantic, via phone. He didn't give details of the comments, which have now been removed from Facebook.
    • The messages included references to jet engines and hygiene on aircraft, the Guardian newspaper reported today, without saying how it obtained the information.
    Case Study #2 “Inappropriate” Comments
  • 5.
    • Kimberley Swann thought her job was boring.
    • So she said so on her Facebook page!
    • Her employer, Ivell Marketing and Logistics of Clacton, U.K., gave her this update: "Following your comments made on Facebook about your job and the company, we feel it is better that, as you are not happy and do not enjoy your work, we end your employment with Ivell Marketing & Logistics with immediate effect."
    • Miss Swann, 16, was stunned. She told the Daily Telegraph: "I did not even put the company's name, I just put that my job was boring. They were just being nosy, going through everything. I think it is really sad, and it makes them look stupid that they are going to be so petty."
    • "We follow a zero tolerance social accountability standard," says the last sentence of the company’s missive. Perhaps firing Ms. Swann is an example of Ivell's zero tolerance social accountability.
    Case Study #3 Bored at Work
  • 6.
    • A high-school special-education teacher was suspended and will likely lose her job for posting to Facebook the following: “I'm feeling p----- because I hate my students!”
    • Superintendent Peter Gorman has already recommended firing the Thomasboro Elementary teacher whose page said she was “teaching in the most ghetto school in Charlotte” and described her students with a racial slur.
    • The Thomasboro teacher met with Superintendent Gorman on Monday, said her lawyer, John Gresham. He said his client intended no offense to her students and was simply telling the truth about schools in the school district.
    Case Study #4 “Dissing” Children
  • 7.
    • An after-school staffer was fired after a local news station reported offensive Facebook postings to his employer, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School (CMS) District in Charlotte, SC.
    • The after-school staffer used a racial slur in listing his job-related activities. His page also featured a shirtless photo of him accompanied by a suggestive exchange with a female Facebook friend. Because his job is classified as “at will” employment, he does not have the right to appeal his firing, according to the Chief Communication Officer.
    • Four other staffers received milder punishment in connection with photos or comments that displayed “poor judgment and bad taste.” The pages given to the CMSD by the news outlet included photos of teachers partying or striking sexually suggestive poses.
    • Later, a CMS official sent a memo to the district's 19,000-plus employees warning them that postings on social networking sites could cost them their jobs, even if those pages are meant to be private.
    Case Study #5 Mixing Business and Pleasure
  • 8.
    • Richard Krueger, CEO of AboutFaceDigital, and my co-author of Facebook Marketing for Dummies (Wiley) shares his Five Facebook Commandments for Keeping your Job:
    • 1. Thou Shall Not Reveal – embarrassing details in your status update (or Twitter, or anywhere else for that matter!)
    • 2. Thou Shall Not Post Photos – that in anyway could be construed as being credibility damaging in anyway.
    • 3. Thou Shall Not Be Negative – overly negative/hateful sentiments towards any issue, no matter how strongly you feel about it, will certainly rub someone in the wrong way.
    • 4. Thou Shall Not Think You Are Protected – under the first amendment you have the right to say what you believe via blogs and social networks, but your employer is free to fire you for just about any reason.
    • 5. Thou Shall Not Think They Are Not Listening – big brother is most likely watching you, as 66% of bosses monitor employees’ Internet connections.
    The 5 Commandments for Keeping Your Job!
  • 9.
    • In an always-on and highly connected world – you need to be careful about what you say and do online.
    • Since brands cannot make an impact by shouting at you with advertising anymore, it’s the people behind the brand that can make the difference. By empowering employees with the tools and maybe some training, they not only get to watch as their brand grows, they can actually participate in that process!
    • This means practicing good personal brand management is essential to keeping you from missteps like the ones mentioned in this eBook. Remember, one false step online can haunt you for years to come.
    • Also don’t forget this is a period in which we are literally writing history. Our grandchildren’s grandchildren will look back at your digital footprints and be able to see everything you published. Don’t you want them to say – “Wasn’t my ancestor great!” instead of “Dang, what a jerk.”
    • The choice is up to you …
    Conclusion
  • 10. How to contact me? Paul Dunay Global Managing Director of Services & Social Marketing Avaya   Office: 908.953.2755 Mobile: 917.306.8440 [email_address] Facebook Marketing for Dummies (Wiley) Available at Amazon: www.bitly.com/facebookmktg Don’t forget to become part of my network! Blog: www.buzzmarketingfortechnology.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/pauldunay Facebook: www.facebook.com/pauldunay Twitter: www.twitter.com/pauldunay