Employers, Beware of Twitter Trouble!

Chances are you’ve tried your hand at tweeting, texting or social networking. But have you ever stopped to consider the possible repercussions your posts may have?

You’re probably thinking, “How could something as insignificant as an offhand remark in a tweet have a tangible impact on anything?”

After all, a recent white paper by Pear Analytics revealed that roughly 40 percent of all tweets are “pointless babble.”

Well, even the most innocent or mindless posts are capable of generating a backlash of sorts, as evidenced by the growing trend of corporate foot-in-the-mouth syndrome.

In fact, employers across the United States have been taking the heat for careless comments that employees didn’t think twice to post online — and this can sometimes lead not just to embarrassment but also to a noteworthy impact on a company’s bottom line.

I recently read an article in BusinessWeek that described the fine line that companies tread between maximizing the usage of social networks for productive, work-related purposes and monitoring employees’ online messaging to ensure that well-intended posts remain harmless.

Take, for instance, an airline employee who went online to vent about a passenger and threw in a joke or two about faulty jet engines on a plane. The individual’s employer didn’t find these comments funny in the least. Even the slightest amount of bad publicity is likely to cause panic among fliers, which in turn is detrimental to the airline business. The company fired the employee.

In another instance, an employee at a technology…


Deanna Hartley

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