Even though I spent Halloween in my apartment watching Hocus Pocus with my children and had precisely two trick-or-treaters that were pre-arranged, I saw hundreds of costumed children in my Facebook feed.
You no longer have to do things in-person to know what goes on in your friends’ lives. The same is true in the workplace. In 1997 it would have taken a great deal of effort to show the HR manager an inappropriate Halloween costume picture. You would have had to be at the same party as your inappropriately dressed coworker, take a photo on film, get the film developed and bring it to the office.
At this point, the HR manager wouldn’t care because it was 1997, and no one cared. And unless it made the nightly news (it didn’t), it wouldn’t reflect on the company at all.
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3 thoughts on “Managing Social Media Challenges in Today’s Employee Relations World”
It would have to be pretty darn serious for me to recommend taking any kind of action against an employee for something they posted on social media, on their own time, totally unconnected with the workplace, regardless of how many of their coworkers forwarded it to me, or any PR implications. What is the PR value of being perceived as intolerant thought police?
I tend to fall hard on the “don’t feed the Social Media Justice Mob”. Mobs are quick to condemn and rarely correct. I see them as the modern day equivalent of lynch mobs.
There have been so many cases of mistaken identity:
The poor SC professor who was not at Unite the Right
The family falsely identified as related to Mark Zimmerman. They had to move due to the death threats and vandalism they experienced.
Not to mention cases of purposeful lies. I enjoy a popular YouTuber – ProJared. His DnD show was cancelled by wizards of the coast, which impacted him and all the rest of the cast. His alleged crime? Soliciting minors for nudes.
Before ProJared even had a chance to address the allegations, there were calls for firing him from all his companies, huge cancellations to his subcribers which cost him thousands in lost income, and most sadly a swift punishment of his editor for being a “bad woman who works with a predator”. She was forced to quit due to safety concerns and death threats. Her income and fame never recovered.
And what of the serious allegations? Not true. It turns out the people had cut out huge portions of the conversations on the app to make it look predatory. There was also a case of mistaken identity which the accuser publicly apologiz d for. It was an honest mistwk – after she saw the allegations against him she thought this must have been that man. ProJared’s only “crime” was running an adult body positivity site that featured nudes which was disconnected from all other business ventures -millions of fans none of us had any idea it existed.
Sadly the “buzz” had died down by the time everything was proven false. Only one of the major media companies that covered the “scandal” even bothered to run a correction article. Wizards never picked up the show again.
Whenever I bring this up on AAM I am shouted down. It seems the prevailing thought that collateral damage is fine as long as some Nazis suffer.
I don’t follow or friend any coworkers or managers I’m friendly with until both of us have left our mutual workplace. You can’t access my Facebook feed unless I friend you. I rarely hang out with coworkers out of the office, either. This practice makes it much easier to maintain a buffer between work and my personal time. When I leave for the day, my time is my own.
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