Think It Through #2 : Fired Over Social Networking?

Welcome to the second installment of Think It Through, the series where I poke holes in the logic of things that don’t seem to run on any logic.

In this digital age pretty much everyone is connected to at least one social messaging service; whether it’d be: Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or WhatsApp. And they’re used to message each others, share pictures of places they’ve been to, share something they found online that made them smile, to see what your friend or favorite celebrity are up to, or express what ever thought you had that day. Despite the jokes people make about badly spelled tweets, pointless status’ and whatever trash ends up on Twitter and Instagram, this  sort of stuff is actually listened to; and if you post the wrong thing you can find yourself at a short end of a very blunt beating stick.

I think anyone who has, is or will be looking for work may already know what I’m talking about. When a boss is thinking about accepting an application for a job at their company; most bosses will look up the person’s name online to find their social networking sites; and any other dirt they can find. Too many pics of you partying on night outs with your friends; well the boss doesn’t want someone who may come in hung over every Monday. And admittedly i have to address some flaws with that argument. Yes i get the need for a reliable employee; but while you can read a profile you can’t read people. Sure they say they won’t be getting drunk on work nights; but everyone goes out some nights to parties, wedding receptions, new year parties etc. And as much they try, they’ll end up drunk on the night, sleep through their alarm clock and be late for work. I get the point and those chain of events are irresponsible, but the pictures someone post is ill relevant because of how much of a gamble it is.

Plus, some can still post tons of drunken photos of themselves online, and still not go out drinking regularly; in the same way someone else could go out drinking every night and not tell the internet about. Not exactly Mr Holmes in terms of deduction skills were we boss?

Statuses and Tweets are important to be careful of as well, for two reasons; content and presentation. An employer will want someone to represent their company or a department with in it. By presentation i mean basic spelling and grammar. Most companies nowadays also have their own accounts on Facebook and Twitter, with employees often having their own accounts on websites such as Linkedin.co.uk. Most jobs will workers write reports for the head of their department, letters and emails to other companies in order to do business with. And speaking from experience in order for said employee to do this they’ll need good spelling skills, correct punctuation, basic understanding of sentence structure. Because chances are, if your soon to be employer sees that you regularly post badly written statuses with spelling with the coherency of a tin of alphabeti spaghetti; you’ll remain on the unemployment line.

http://swf.tubechop.com/tubechop.swf?vurl=n7TsxhtfBNM&start=109&end=178&cid=7056813 SOURCE: Scumbags of the Internet #2 – ADoseofBuckley.

I understand a company wanting a smart, well written and intelligent staff member when communicating with others; what i don’t support is the content being a reason to get someone canned from a job. We live in a world of many different believes and i don’t like the idea of someone saying “you said this, so we don’t want you here”. Most of the time said post are unrelated to the company. The views of a worker don’t effect the profits or anything with a company. Most people like to come home in order to get away from their job; and policing their views just adds to the stereotype of bosses being nasty bullies who treat their employees like dirt. To all business owners of the world: whatever bigoted or moronic things said by your employee doesn’t sink your company image. If said inappropriate comments aren’t being put on your company website, your customers aren’t being insulted, or said actions aren’t done in your name; you have nothing to worry about; let your workers live the days where they can breathe how they choose.

An example would be from February in 2015 in which a teenage girl named Cella (No article i could find didn’t say her last name) as she posted a tweet saying

“Ew i start this fucking job tomorrow”.

Naturally expressing the views of most people, that they have to get up for work; and part-time jobs for teenagers aren’t exactly making fat stacks yo. Her boss Robert Walpe found that tweet and responded:

“No you don’t start that FA (Fucking Ass) job today! I just fired you! Good luck with your no money, no job life”!

That is flat rude on so many levels; behavior wise, and that’s putting aside the language police on display. She couldn’t represent the company as she hadn’t started her job yet; nor did she mention it in the post. This shows how Robert abusing his power of head of staff, by censoring criticism. Again, this was done outside her work time.Unless she’s reviewing the company on a site like Yelp; Robert has nothing to worry about, in terms the reputation of his business.

That was a tweet that wasn’t representative of the business Cella worked at; this example was. On the 6th October 2015 Goldsmith University’s Diversity officer Bahar Mustafa was arrested in England for hate speech.

She was punished for using the hashtag #killallwhitemen in multiple tweets on her twitter page (yes i do see the irony, why do you ask?) SOURCE: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/bahar-mustafa-charged-with-sending-malicious-message-after-tweeting-kill-all-white-men-a6683241.html This incident is only the straw that broke the camel’s back; as she was already notorious on the internet. She was well-known for having segregated classes and assemblies, where white, straight, men weren’t allowed to attend. Not just that but she also stated as a rule that women are the only people who were allowed to speak first due to society not giving them chances to impact the world around them. All of which was explained in a speech where she states that

“Therefore women of colour and minority genders cannot be racist or sexist because we do not stand to benefit from such a system.” B Mustafa – 2015.

And yet if a white man said she would cry racist, not seeing the irony.  The most ironic thing about that speech is this: If women can’t be classed as racist and are above laws such as hate crime, wouldn’t that make her have the benefit of a power structure? Also this speech is spoken by a white woman, while a young black woman holds her microphone.

Since then she has been fired from her job and was arrested in England for the #killallwhitemen tweets. Ironic given how she was the negative stereotype of a feminist. You know the: “that’s sexist, that’s racist! Ban this now!” The type that purpose language police for no reason other than being PC.
I call this ironic because this is the sort of law people like her and her supporters fight to in act, only this time with a feminist at the short end of the law; and not anyone who disagrees with their views….i mean a racist bigot.

I agree that it was right for the university to fire her; i do feel her imprisonment wasn’t the right decision, given the draconian hate speech laws in England. You may call me a hypocrite for what i said in paragraph two; but here’s the difference between Bahar and Cella. All of what i said about Bahar’s comments and such; those were the ways she ran her job, as the woman who is meant to help relationships of students of different races and genders. That speech i linked was at the university, she admits to segregating her classes; all of which she admits online. Imagine yourself as a white male student looking to imply at Goldsmith; imagine you read about how class mates of your gender were forbidden to speak because of their gender, imagine hearing how a member of the student union opening supports segregation and other such acts on campus; all with the university allowing her to work there. I’m guess if you were in that situation, I’m guessing you’d like to take business else where. I’m in the position of: the internet shouldn’t factor into someone’s job, unless it’s done in the name of the company or on their grounds, in a way that makes them look bad. Much like Bahar did to the name of Goldsmith.

For famous people like celebrities, spokes people, politicians, web celebrities, people in high-profile companies etc; it’s a different story. When you’re in the public consciousness, no duh you’re going to have more people keeping an eye on you if have Twitter or Instagram. Not just for updates in their career and new products to sell; but rather if you say something incredibly stupid you are bound to get the back lash on high scale; and yes depending on the point it can and well affect your job. Such as Adam Orth, a former Creative Director for Microsoft. Those not in the know when the Xbox One console was announced, it was said to have DRM restrictions. It’s a long complicated story but basically the publisher of a game would be monitoring the play through viva having the game constantly connected to the internet. This received a huge backlash, as this ruined the launch of games like Sim City (2014) and Diablo 3 due to the servers needed not working well enough or at all; sometime later Adam sent this tweet.
This didn’t help Microsoft; as they fired him due to the hate he got over this. While that was stupid, i do believe firing him was a bit extreme. I believe he should have made an apology to the audience and the companies higher-ups. Hence why people shouldn’t be fired for something they said on Facebook. If someone’s going to post something stupid, then surely their responses by everyone who sees it is going to be punishment enough; having you be mocked by friends and whoever else. I feel that a person caught in a situation should make an apology, face any backlash, and then earn their respect back.

At the end of the day, I feel that someone’s internet comments should be the last thing anyone should be fired for. Because unless it’s being done on company time, or aimed towards customers or business clients; it’s just a case of paranoia of consumer back lash or a quick way of taking the back lash of the boss and company, which is usually why this is done. So either this practice needs to stopped; or all employers should link their personal social network pages to their company’s website to let their customers judge their views on the world. Either I what to hear your thoughts on the matter.

Think It Through employers.

Thank you for your time.

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