More Companies Firing People Over Social Media (Mis)use

    August 27, 2009

Employees should be more careful than ever about what sort of work-related information they post online.  A new report indicates that companies are growing increasingly aware of inappropriate sharing, with many incidents resulting in someone getting fired.

Proofpoint found that businesses have definitely become wary about blogs.  An official statement claimed that, during the past year, "17 percent disciplined an employee for violating blog or message board policies, while nearly nine percent reported terminating an employee for such a violation (both increases from 2008, 11 percent and six percent, respectively)."

It seems that firms are aware of YouTube and Facebook, as well.  The report indicated that eight percent of corporations (each) got rid of people for violating policies pertaining to multimedia sites and social networks.

Finally, if employees figured they were safe using the relative newcomer, Twitter, they should think again.  Proofpoint reported that 13 percent of U.S. companies investigated "exposure incidents" involving Twitter and Twitter-like services.


You might interpret this as evidence that people should learn to keep their mouths shut (and/or fingers still).  A more charitable view is that perhaps social media sites should make their privacy notices and options more visible.  Regardless, it looks like social media is starting to have a significant impact in the workplace.