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Facebook and Free Speech

This week’s on the media had a segment which focused on freedom of speech, the work world, and social media. When creating posts on Facebook or Twitter about a boss, an employer, or someone in a higher position than you, are we protected by freedom of speech? And if you do make a post that bad mouths a boss, employer, or someone in a higher position than you, will there be consequences?

After listening to the segment, we learn that posts and comments are fair play to an extent. There are certain things that can be said and certain things that cannot be said. For example, no charges or consequences will be put into place if an employee says “My boss is so mean, he’s always on my case about everything I do.” This comment can be offensive to the boss, but is not out of line. On the other hand, if an employee goes on Facebook or Twitter and says, “The customers here are so rude and obnoxious, I hope they die” then all bets are off and the employee cannot be protected by freedom of speech. Although it is human nature to complain about our bosses or the people we encounter while at work, there are certain things that can be said on the internet and certain things that should be kept private.

The social media sights have become a place for people to post things they think will get them attention. This thought process works most of the time, but we need to think about what we are about to make public before we click the post button. We sometimes forget that out facebook pages and our twitter accounts can be viewed by more than just our friends. In my opinion, it is ok to post what we are feeling on Facebook or Twitter to a certain extent; but at the same time, we need to think about what we are posting and the consequences the posts may bring.

One comment

  1. This response makes some good points to consider further. For example, what is the difference between bad mouthing your boss on a tweet to whispering a nasty comment to your co-worker in the next room? Is one worse than the other? Yes, the tweet can be read by many, but do we really understand the tone and context from a non-verbal communication? If we are spreading rumours about how we feel about our boss, the message could be changed,altered and rejiggled and could end up actually being worse than we intented. Just like the game of telephone. I think we should have a freedom of speech, but there are certain times in our professional career where we should keep some things to ourselves to prevent ourselves more trouble than we need on a daily basis, weither due to social media or not.

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