Can Information Be Both False And Confidential At The Same Time?

from the making-the-news-more-well-known dept

H&R Block is the latest big company to freak out over “anonymous postings” on online message boards and are trying to sue that person, who they suspect to be an employee of the firm. Here’s where the story gets interesting. They’re accusing this person of posting both “false” and “confidential” information. Now, it’s certainly possible that the person is posting two pieces of information separately – one false, one confidential, but they don’t seem to indicate that. In general, it makes sense to pick one or the other (unless you’re Diebold). By accusing someone of posting confidential information, they’re basically admitting that the information is true. So, while it is possible that the information was posted in a misleading way, the fact that they first say the information is “false” and then say it was a violation of company policies for revealing confidential info makes you wonder which one it actually was. If the information is false, then the company should say so and go after the poster on those grounds. If it’s confidential, they should use that. However, to say it’s both makes you wonder.

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Comments on “Can Information Be Both False And Confidential At The Same Time?”

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Oliver Wendell Jones (profile) says:

It could be both, sort of...

If the person posts copies of internal ‘confidential’ materials that are worded properly and sound like their really official, and then sneaks in statements like “oh,and charge anyone who’s not a caucasian male an extra 10% fee” (as an example) then it could look like a real document as parts of it would be real and confidential, and other parts are fake.

Miriam Boon (user link) says:

another way for both to be true...

Companies often have policies that make any internal information confidential, even if it is misinformation. So if there was an internal rumor, or even an internal memo that had typos that changed their meaning, the content is both confidential AND false.

Also, some confidential information when taken out of context would have an entirely different meaning, and thus still be confidential, yet be false.

Anonymous Coward says:

You're forgetting the obvious.... (which has alrea

Companies cook up blatently flase information all the time. Of course, if enough people in the company believe the information is true, well then, perception becomes reality.

That’s why the information is friken confidential in the first palce.

dhurrr… you don’t want people who haven’t been drinking the cool-aid to actually read the tripe you would have the regular, rank-and-file, cool-aid drinking slobs.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: You're forgetting the obvious.... (which has a

After Enron, can anyone really trust *any* listed company (so much for the “maricale of capitolism”, eh!)?

How’s that for a flaming troll…

I don’t understand why the various information service that provide intelligence on Wall St. haven’t started ranking CEOs/managment teams by their truthfullness. It seems to me that the inability of managment to map to their company’s current state of reality is onh the of the *major* problems with listed companies. Fear over leaked internal company memos are merely a symptom of the illness.

Of course, maybe even at the CEO level the entire capitolist process is a random walk and that all CEOs really represent are really good poker players that spend most of their time blufing (with the down-side being sometimes they bet the house and loose).

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