For now this is the last in a series of thoughts regarding the reining in of social networking applications. ‘Opening a Pandora’s Box – Collaboration, Social, and Litigation’ can be accessed here, and ‘Can the Caged Bird Sing’ can be accessed here. In yet another article, ‘Pitfalls of Social Networking at Work’, the author outlines both employee and management guidelines on the management and recommended ‘rules’ for social networking. The issue, of course, is the merging of personal and business, and the premise is that ‘personal’ does indeed impact the ‘business’.
A few years ago there was an uproar regarding potential employers asking for log-in information from potential candidates’ personal sites and accounts. I always felt that was a clear invasion of privacy. Although the author agreed with me, on the other hand the author does quote a source that states you could not separate one’s personal views from one’s employers’ views in the social media space. “Social media must be properly managed with a written social media policy that sets boundaries on what can be said or not said by the employee on social media space and the consequences of that action must be specific.”
How does an organization manage this with potentially thousands of employees? Do they have a right to tell employees what they can and cannot say on personal sites? Do organizations just wait to see if an ill-stated or harmful comment is made and then try to mitigate the problem?