Why do bloggers foolishly think they are immune to getting smacked down in real life for their blog posts?
I seen and read of several blog situations over the past few months where some clueless blogger posts something work related (and often critical or their workplace or co-workers), and are shocked when they are fired or severely reprimanded after someone forwards the blog post to their employer. This story is just the latest example
Blogger dismissed from Microsoft
What the hell do they expect, that there’s some kind of double, secret immunity in cyberspace to post whatever the hell you want about anyone? Especially when it can easily be traced back to the source if you start chattering about your workplace.
I’m not a blogger myself, but I agree that some of them need to be a lot more careful about using names and identifying information about other people without asking for their permission. At the very least, it could get into a lot of trouble with your co-workers, friends and family. At the very worst it could get you fired, as astro pointed out.
I had a friend whose boyfriend maintained a blog–something he never told her about. He posted a lot of identifying information about her and some pretty personal stuff about their relationship. Of course she found out from someone else and was livid.
People gotta realize that online journals aren’t the same as private journals.
I have seen people post up everything about their life (and worse… their children) in a manner that I would find alarming. I have noted over the course of my time here that some posters have posted enough personal information that even I, a relatively casual user, know where they live, what their children are named, what kind of cars they drive. It’s scary stuff because I’m not even looking for this info. Hate to think what some demented weirdo could do with the info.
Bad News Baboon, if you squeal on me I swear to God I will tell the Sumo Peeps where you live! :mad:
Wha- stalker? moi? :notme:
You’re right, you do sometimes find out a lot about prolific posters after a while, without even trying. I catch myself posting in a TMI thread one day, making a tasteless joke the next day, and then talking about my job* the day after that. I should be more private. Or start lying.
*In real life, I’m a district coordinator for PETMA - People for the Ethical Treatment of Marshmallow Animals
I worry more about living in a culture of fear and secrecy than about the occasional ill-intentioned crackpot. Yes, secrets are the cornerstone of modern business, but from what litlle I’ve been allowed to know, I’m guessing rampant paranoia has defeated more enterprises than loose lips.
Who’s the bad guy in the example cited? The blogger? The whistle-blower? The employer? I guess if enough opinions are freely voiced, we’ll have some kind of resolution. Here’s mine: Shitty jobs on loading docks are a dime a dozen. Bravo for calling it as you see it. And if they can’t take a joke? Well, you know…
Both Apple and Microsoft, as well as countlesss companies, have morons in their PR departments. Let the bidding war for our young blogger begin!
:dubious: He didn’t work in the loading bay. And what exactly was he “calling as he saw it” other than making a daft comment about his employer? MS make Mac software, what’s surprising about them buying Macs?
Maybe losing the job is a bit harsh, but then he was only a temp, so not overly surprising. Just what made him think that he could work there, take photos, make unguarded remarks (the photo entry was not the first time he’d had a dig at MS in his blog) and publish them for all to read? Did he think they would shrug it off and keep handing over his pay when he was that dispensible?
I’m here because I was hoping to figure out what the hell a “blogger” was, maybe a foreign term. I still don’t know. I think I have the general concept, but can someone explain it to a guy who is way out of touch with what is hip? Is “Blog” an acronym? (I just recently figured out what the hell “phat” meant… gimme a break)
(Beleive it or not, I was once “cutting edge”… Now I’m… confused)
That said, my company has never allowed cameras, and just recently banned “photo phones” on company property. Just having one in your pocket can result in termination. I’ve seen people get fired for less, so I don’t doubt it. Companies take proprietary information very seriously. For the example provided, I would have fired him too, at the least. If he took one picture, what else may he have that may involve stuff I don’t want anyone to see. Sure it’s a mindless photo on a loading dock. What else MIGHT he have taken photos of, when he “knows” it’s wrong. I say “knows” because I don’t know of a major corporation that doesn’t spell this out for all employees, whether they read it or not.
I agree with what BNB is saying. While I know that if someone really put their mind to it, based on what all I’ve ever posted, they could probably figure out who I am and where I live. But I also know that with very little effort at all, I could show up on several doorsteps of people here. Personally, I’m more worried about people that I actually know IRL who live near me than I am people on this board. If a weirdo is out to get you, chances are they will be closer to you than a message board. I’m a very paranoid person, but I will tell more here than I will tell my neighbor. Here at least, there is a bit more anonymity than IRL. I do draw the line at names, especially my kids, unless it is somebody that I trust, which is very rare. There are at most, two dozen people in here that can associate first names with me and the wife. There are maybe 4 that know our last name and phone number.
The habit of posting personal information on the internet is hard to break. When I first got on the internet (in 1995) it was a lot safer, and less interconnected place. Many message boards I posted at did not require accounts and did not log poster information. Most people didn’t know how much information could be gleaned from online sources, and search engines were not as powerful. Today I cringe at how personal some of my old posts are (and I can do a search now and find 7 year old posts), and really regret the mindset I had then, where I felt like the internet was a place where I could unload all my worries anonymously and without worry.
Today I’m a lot more careful, though even as recently as on this board I have slipped and screwed up. For instance, I once posted the first name, nationality, occupation, and age of a woman I was dating, and I realized a few minutes later it would be no problem at all to figure out who she was from the information I had made available online (thankfully the board administration deleted it for me). Apparently a lot of people are still in that mindset. I’m lucky I learned before I lost too much.
I have used my real name casually on the Boards, and anyone could find it given my username, anyway.
But I don’t think I’ve ever said anything here that I’d be embarrassed to have my employer know about, or that could cause me to be targeted. I intentionally use an “identifiable” user name to remind myself that this is not anonymous.
He wasn’t fired for posting a picture of Macs at Microsoft. He was fired for violating a security policy. As Turbo Dog pointed out, many companies don’t let you take on their property and/or publish them without approval. Microsoft happens to be one of those. I don’t think it would have mattered what was in the truck.
It irks me that people this this is a Microsoft vs. Mac thing. I honestly don’t think that has anything to do with it.
I’m not surprised that there are people who don’t realize just how public their information is. However, you’d think people who work in the computer tech industry would be a little more savvy.
I say “shitty job on a loading dock”, you say “dispensible temp agency contract worker”. Tomato - tomahto, call up security. If everyone knows that MS buys Macs, where’s the industrial espionage, the ostensible grounds for dismissal? The kid got canned for making joke to fellow Apple-freaks. It’s funny to imagine MS is jealous of Apple. Imagine Ballmer crying because Jobs gets all the chicks…
The comments were originally limited to readers of the blog, and still don’t do anything to affect MS’s corporate rep. However, the dismissal, which has attracted the attention of (at the very least) MSNBC, Slashdot, Blogspot and the executive director of Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for the Internet and Society (and that ain’t no shitty job, lemme tell ya) is doing more PR damage to the employer. Didn’t people originally flock to Redmond, Washington because it was the “cool” place to work?
Here’s hoping someone will come along and say: “what’s a kid with a delightful sense of humour doing making photocopies for and among such oblivious, earnest fuddy-duddies? Come photocopy papers for us! (For thirty cents an hour more!)” Then again, perhaps others have spotted the security guards who investigated this heinous crime as up-and-coming talent?
Time will tell, spotting sociological trends is an armchair sport at best.
I realize you were speaking more generally, but was surprised. Based on isolated incidents, anyone could be made out to be a saint or a sinner, that’s why cults and posses thrive. My only argument for bit of both ends is that frank, open exchange and a sense of humour eventually shows us how neither extreme properly reflects reality.
He didn’t get canned for making a joke. He got canned for violating a security policy - specifically, the one that says that you are not supposed to take pictures/video on the Microsoft Corporate Campus without permission.
It has NOTHING TO DO with the Macs. Why is this hard to understand?
eunoia: I don’t know if he would have been dismissed if he had posted a picture of himself. I don’t think it was the Macs in the picture that he was dismissed for. Microsoft is not embarrassed about the fact that they make Mac software or that they do it on actual Mac computers. (Honestly, what would you expect them to use, emulators?)
In his blog, the guy says
His post, not his picture.
The MSN story astro linked says
So based on that, I’m saying the fact that there were Macs in the picture was not why Security saw it as a problem.
In addition, I know of people (including one in my family) who have been stopped by Security for taking pictures or video on the MS campus. It’s not just this one guy.
I didn’t say it was the picture, you did. So here’s my question about your newest theory: He was fired for giving the location of his workplace and mentioning that MS warehouses goods and operates a print shop in the same building? You really believe this? If you’re going to spy, give us some info we can sink our teeth into, like what kind of forklifts they’re using.