Social Media Policies

Fox News is reporting that a Florida student has been kicked out of the National Honor Society over a Facebook page that was critical of his high school. 

I’m sure this story is far from over and may end up at the courthouse.  For our purposes, it raises the issue of how to address the use of social media in the workplace and outside the workplace.  Do you have a policy that governs this issue?  If you do not, you should consider one. 

The TechCrunch website recently interviewed Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. 

During the interview it was noted that Facebook has more than doubled in size to 350 million registered users in the last year and by this summer well over half of all Internet users will likely visit Facebook each month. 

With numbers like that it is safe to assume that any workplace has Facebook users.  Are they allowed to log on at work?  Are they allowed to discuss workplace issues and if so, is there any restriction on what they can discuss?  Are managers allowed to look at applicants’ Facebook pages?  Can employees be harassed via Facebook and if they are what obligation does the employer have to take action?  Frankly, I could keep typing questions like these all day.  Suffice it to say once again that social media use is an issue that needs to be considered and addressed by most employers. 

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