People Losing Jobs Over Online Posts

from the oops dept

People certainly like to speak freely over the internet, often forgetting that what they say becomes part of some version of a “permanent record”. This article says that people are losing their jobs over online posts. It appears that management (and hiring managers) are increasingly using the internet as a “third reference” before hiring anyone (which suggests that Bernard Shifman may have trouble getting hired despite his resume spamming). This article, though, focuses specifically on the UK site “Friends Reunited” which lets former schoolmates and co-workers find each other again. The problem is that many start saying bad things about their employers or themselves – which are then easily found. In one case, someone at a PR company lost her job after calling her boss as the “bitch from hell” and her employers as “a bunch of cowboys”. Someone else had admitted in his posts that he was “lying through his teeth at the interview” and that his resume was “a masterpiece of fiction and creative writing”.

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Comments on “People Losing Jobs Over Online Posts”

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John says:

Online 3rd party info

If an employer looks online at stupid internet posts and decides they are going to hire or fire from that -THEY ARE NUTS!This information that is on websites and the internet should not be taken out of context and used against people.This is just a dumb electronic dictionary or refernce tool.There should be no reason that I or anyone else should be affected by anything we post or share or publish on the stupid internet.And any groups out there listen up!Its just The internet ,thats all! Ignore it .
If people are going to use it against people THEN TAKE IT DOWN!

rax (user link) says:

This is stupid

#1 – If an employer types your name into Google, how can that employer be assured that results are even accurate? If your name is fairly common, you?re likely to get thousands of “hits”. No one in their right mind is going to wade through this pile of misinformation when a simple background check will suffice.
#2 – If you want to go around posting stuff on the Internet you wouldn’t want your boss to see then you can either use an alias or not post it. I admit, what you do on your own free time should not be held against you, but some employers will (the truck driver for Coke comes to mind). These days you pretty much have to live with the consequence of your actions.

Aaron Anderson (user link) says:

I don't actually see the problem

If you were the owner at Random Co., and went to the toilet at some restaruant and found that one of your employees had written on the bathroom stall that Random Co. sucks, and that you were an idiot – and then SIGNED it, what would you do?

Anyway, the only other reason I would support this kind of decision is that it shows lack of tact and business acumen to go around spouting off like this in a public forum.

You failed the IQ test Jimmy, you’re fired.

Aaron Anderson (user link) says:

Re: Re: I don't actually see the problem

You don’t. I’m sure these people had more going against them than just posting to websites, and I sure hope that their employers did a little checking before making a decision like that. Hell, they’d have to. Otherwise your forger could get every single one of the other employees fired. The point is, it’s the employer that makes this decision. There are laws set around why you can’t fire and for what reasons (sex, race, etc), and outside of that, you just watch your step.

You can’t be so naive as to think that your employer doesn’t use the web.

Anonymous Coward says:


You would advocate, then, that we are not responsible for our behavior online? I’ll admit that things can be taken too far, that out-of-context web postings shouldn’t be enough to justify firing someone, but it’s not “just the Internet.” You have to take responsibility for yourself and how you behave in a public forum, and the Internet *is* a public forum.

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