[Air-L] Facebook posts used to fire people in Australia

Murray Turoff murray.turoff at gmail.com
Wed Apr 8 18:09:28 PDT 2009

I am sure some companies go looking for comments about themsevles that they
don't appreciate.  Some have sued yahoo, hotmail,  and other web services
that give out pen-name id's to get them to release the actual user of an
account when that user has said somehting negative about the company.   I
believe the cases that went to court so far were all defeated with the help
of ACLU supporting the web service (I may not be aware of all such cases nor
is it clear if some companies might just turn over the information).

 I am not sure there is any law to force a company to not fire someone
making negative remarks about it unless the comments and accompanying
evidence would classify the person a whistle blower under the federal law.
Many companies monitor email and what is on employee computers to seek out
people misusing company resources.  The social network systems should do a
better job of warning users of such dangers.   I note also that some
companies that allow workers to work at   home also install video cams in
the homes of the employees to actually be able to monitor them when they
want to.  I suspect they are even concerned about who might really be doing
the work!!!   All of a sudden the home is not a private place.

In the early days of email there was a wall street journal articel (becuase
of the daft and lengels classic article on the "inadquacy" of text
communications)  that managers should never use email or should be seen
typing.   I wish i had saved a copy of htat one.    After they got email
sone managers decided it iwas a good way to assign unpleasent tasks or to
fire people rather than meet with them face to face.

Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Information Systems, NJIT
homepage: http://is.njit.edu/turoff

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