6 Facebook, Twitter mistakes that can get you fired
Whether you are using social networks on company time, or at home in private, there are certain flubs that can spell trouble for your company's image, privacy and security. Here are 6 missteps to avoid if you want to keep your job
By Joan Goodchild , Senior Editor
September 27, 2010 — CSO —
Travis Megale is happily employed. A regular Facebook user, he knows how to use the site appropriately and what NOT to say or post. Unfortunately, many Facebook members do not. Job termination due to behavior on Facebook seems to increasingly be in the headlines. A recent survey from email security firm Proofpoint finds seven percent of organizations have fired an employee because of activity on social media sites. Another 20 percent said employees have been disciplined over social media activity. It's statistics like this that inspired Megale to launch his Facebook group "Fired because of Facebook."
"I'm a high school teacher so I have to be very mindful of what I post and I set up the group as a bit of heads up to my colleagues," said Megale. "People I had worked with in the past had made comments and posted pictures that could have easily resulted in their termination had they been seen by the wrong people. My hope is that the page will save a few people from making a silly, yet costly, Facebook mistake."
See also: Social media risks: The basics
In an effort to create awareness , the group invites members who have lost their job because of something they did on Facebook to tell their story. And tales of woe about a Facebook flub that lead to a lost job are revealed regularly. Recent examples posted on the group's Wall just in the past three days include one member who said "Fired for posting "F*** them nuggets" on a friend's page. I was a manager at McDonalds for 3 years. Gone!" Another poster writes: "Fired for not being 'the caliber of person that we like to hire. What you act like in your personal life reflects negatively on us as a company.'" (Related: 10 security reasons to quit Facebook)
While it may not make a fired employee feel much better about losing their job, there are reasons for an organization to monitor employee social media behavior and take action against things they deem problematic. It's often reputation and security concerns that an organization is concerned about when it comes to social networks, some of these include brand image and employee safety. (Also see: Keeping your company image safe on social media)
What are some of the red flag behaviors an employer might look for in their employees' online profiles? Here are ten mistakes users make on sites like Facebook and Twitter that could lead to unemployment.