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How To Lose Your Job, Thanks To The Internet 654

Posted by Zonk
from the it's-easy-if-you-know-how dept.
The New York Times has up an article discussing the trend of employers tracking the 'free time' activities of their employees via their web presence. "When they do go off the clock and off the corporate network, how they spend their private time should be of no concern to their employer, even if the Internet, by its nature, makes some off-the-job activities more visible to more people than was previously possible. In the absence of strong protections for employees, poorly chosen words or even a single photograph posted online in one's off-hours can have career-altering consequences." The piece likens this activity to the 'Sociological Department' that the Ford Company ran to monitor the home lives of their workers. Overstatement, or the corp as Big Brother?
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How To Lose Your Job, Thanks To The Internet

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  • Hmmm.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by andy666 (666062) on Sunday December 30, 2007 @10:28PM (#21861784)
    Yeah this internet thing might end up having some impact on the world....
    • by gnutoo (1154137) on Sunday December 30, 2007 @10:37PM (#21861864) Journal

      Fascism is older than the internet. Witch hunts are older than that. What you see is a bunch of companies that think they are so powerful that they can tell you to do and think as they say, 24/7. With government granted franchises, rubber stamped consolidation and bad joke anti-trust enforcement big company perception is not that far from reality. Shutting down online expression is both an exercise and enhancer of corporate power, just as book burning and other forms of censorship have been.

      If your company is like this, do yourself a favor and quit.

      • by FLEB (312391) on Sunday December 30, 2007 @10:58PM (#21862058) Homepage Journal
        I can see the tough spot for the company, though. If they can get info on their employees, so can their competitors, their customers, the media, disgruntled folks with a bone to pick... Although it might not right, and it might not be overtly expressed, a company could conceivably lose work or customers due to something widely seen as objectionable. An employer taking the high road might be stuck taking the battering of their association with drunkards, preverts, druggies, by a public who has much less responsibility to be fair and upstanding.

        I'm not saying that the companies are justified in disciplining workers for off-job activities, but that it's a much stickier situation than just "corporate fascist bastards bringin' me down".
        • by BakaHoushi (786009) <Goss@Sean.gmail@com> on Monday December 31, 2007 @09:04AM (#21865038) Homepage
          My question is, what kind of business would truly suffer from the off-the-clock activities of its employees? Would people boycott or something the products of a software developer because Bob from Accounting has admitted to smoking pot at his home? It seems unlikely to me. What DOES seem likely is that, say, a CEO caught SMUGGLING drugs, or at least financing it, would have far worse consequences. And that's already a serious crime and if caught, getting fired would be the LEAST of your concerns.

          Let's face facts: We get a lot of our stuff from China. China makes little kids work in sweatshops so they can make this stuff cheap. The average American doesn't give a rat's ass about what employees do on or off the clock as long as they can get what they want for cheap.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Just Some Guy (3352)

            My question is, what kind of business would truly suffer from the off-the-clock activities of its employees?

            Almost all of them. People might not like the idea of their accountant dropping acid, whether or not it has any impact on the job he performs for them. A biker might not like finding out that his tattoo artist just got back from a gay wedding. An ad agency in San Francisco might have trouble if their VP is hosting Republican fundraisers.

            Any time someone departs from their expected role in life, some customer is probably going to be offended. That's not right, but you can't dictate the terms in which

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by hedwards (940851)
          That's usually why people are dismissed or not hired over online activities.

          The solution to this is quite simple, really, really simple, just don't do anything online with your real name.

          Works for me, the last time I self googled, I found only 1 reference which could reasonably be traced back to me, and not a single other reference in the first 5 or 6 pages of any combination of my real name and initials.

          The other thing is that the internet isn't private, unless you communicate via encrypted emails or on SS
      • by Snooby2008 (1210256) on Sunday December 30, 2007 @11:03PM (#21862100)
        I think the main problem is that we can't really separate personal opinions from business ones.

        Freedom of speech is a nice thing, but in real word people don't say to employers what they think if it means they lose their jobs. Goverment mostly protects citizens being harassed by goverment itself, but it does very little if private citizen limits other persons freedom of speech or goverments agencies as employer do it.

        Or lets phrase that again. Yes, anyone can say anything and freedom of speech is almost without limits. But no law guarantees using that right won't have consequences like losing your job or business. On private or public sector.

        And thats the fundamental problem of political rights. If they don't protect people who exercise them economically too, they are just laws that state 'you can do this or that - if you can afford it'.

        In real world it means that if you can't afford it, you have to give away your rights. Even those protected in name by constitutions. So actually, freedom of speech for example, knows bounds.

        Fundamentals question is then, shouldn't political rights be also economical rights?
        Shouldn't they be if they can't be separated in real world?

        What are those rights that can't be taken away, but you can't afford to exercise? They are no rights at all far as I can tell.
        • by FLEB (312391) on Sunday December 30, 2007 @11:18PM (#21862220) Homepage Journal
          In order to effectively restrict economic retaliation against free speech, you would have to remove most all freedom from commerce (Yes, you must buy the soup made by Nazi-commie Satanist Pedophiles, because they have the freedom to be that way.), and that ends up stifling a whole lot more freedom of a whole lot more people. A large part of the concept of free speech is that better ideas will rise to the top. Although the currents they rise (or sink) on are not centrally, governmentally controlled-- they are free from absolute censorship-- certain forces-- economic and social-- still do (and should) exist to raise and lower ideas, in order to raise the ideas that are worthy, and to deflate the ones that are crackpot.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Snooby2008 (1210256)
            Well, I don't agree.

            I don't see how selection of ideas should have anything about chance to present them.
            By definition, they are two diffrent things.

            Ideas have never killed or harmed anyone, only executing bad ideas have.
            And like subprime mess proves, people still choose wrong ideas.

            Despite allkinds of limiations and systems that supposedly should enchance the way people select ideas.

            I also think that it is diffrent to have obligation to support somebody because his/her opinions.
            Compared to punishing somebo
            • by FLEB (312391) on Monday December 31, 2007 @01:14AM (#21862888) Homepage Journal
              There's no harm, per se, in allowing speech without sanctions. There is, however, no way to create an environment where this is the case, without restricting the commerce-choice freedoms of others. People naturally do not want to interact or do business with people they find objectionable. If the objectionable person is part of a market with reasonable alternatives, oftentimes people will choose to do business with those they find least objectionable.

              Commerce is partially a social interaction, and economic prosperity is largely dependent upon successful commerce. If you repulse your potential customers (or other such profitable interactors) by way of your public speech or stances, you will be less able or likely to commit successful commercial transactions, and will find yourself economically disadvantaged. That's just the fact of a free market.

              If you are an employee, depending on your role and its visibility, your advancement may be based on how well you sympathize with and reflect the important values of your employer. After all, a group of people who are all ideologically opposed but supposedly working together is a recipe for failure. Luckily, since free enterprise is legal, and you cannot be outrightly prohibited from changing your job, field, or marketing strategy (depending on who or what you are), you can take your free-speakin' self into the free market and see how well your ideologically-charged business flies among more sympathetic souls. (Granted, this is a less-than-perfect rendition in real life, given that there are monopolies and barriers-to-entry to some fields... call it "implementation hurdles")
        • by Planesdragon (210349) <slashdot@castles ... s ['els' in gap]> on Monday December 31, 2007 @01:10AM (#21862872) Homepage Journal

          Freedom of speech is a nice thing, but in real word people don't say to employers what they think if it means they lose their jobs
          Any employer that does not have a clear channel for their employees to express their honestly held opinions is a company doomed to failure. Any company that cares what their low-level employees do on their own time is just wasting money.

          Things are different if you have actual company secrets, or if you're a corporate official. But in that case, you're hired EXACTLY to tell the company what you think.
        • by Antique Geekmeister (740220) on Monday December 31, 2007 @03:03AM (#21863470)
          Separating political speech from work speech is sometimes very difficult: union support, military policy support, and family planning all affect work performance directly or indirectly. This is what anonymous and pseudonymous services are for, and why I appreciate Slashdot's policies. There used to be much better pseudonymous services, such as anon.penet.fi for Usenet and email, but they're very difficult to administer well, and they come under tremendous pressure from attack lawyers.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by sumdumass (711423)
        Do you think it is unreasonable for a company to select the upper levels of management on how they really behave not on how they want you think they behave?

        You can argue all you want over if a company should be able to discriminate in certain jobs over political beliefs, religious or ideological beliefs, or conduct considered unethical and even immoral. But the actions of some high level employees in their personal lives directly reflect the company's image. Imagine if Apple's top level managers supported t
        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 31, 2007 @12:50AM (#21862732)

          A senator who supports homosexual relations with under aged teens or preteens wouldn't stand for a minute in a serious election
          So one who supports heterosexual relations would be okay?
          I don't think I want you to be allowed to vote.
    • Re:Hmmm.... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 31, 2007 @01:20AM (#21862910)
      Yeah this internet thing might end up having some impact on the world....

      A paragraph from the cited article:

      Employment law in most states provides little protection to workers who are punished for their online postings, said George Lenard, an employment lawyer at Harris Dowell Fisher & Harris in St. Louis. The main exceptions are workers who are covered by collective bargaining agreements or by special protections for public-sector employees; members of these groups can be dismissed only "for cause." The rest of us are "at will" employees, holding on to our jobs only at the whim of our employers, and thus vulnerable.

      .

      And for this, you can thank those who deride unions as "corrupt organizations, whose sole purpose was to aggrandize the union bosses".

      Yes, the statement may be true in some cases, but they did protect their covered employees from the "at will" horseshit. I worked for a company whose new management put the employee manual online on the intranet. Cute trick -- before you could look at what the provisions were, you had to click on a box following a statement saying that you agreed that you were an "at will" employee and could be dismissed at any time for any reason.

      Union employees could have told the company to stick the intranet up their asses and to provide a written, dated statement of employee rights and responsibilities.

      Most of you nerds should keep in ming that you're on call 24/7 or are working 50 to 60 hour weeks because those fine folks in your parents' generation who fought bloody battles for the 40-hour work week have been cast aside as "productivity-robbing parasites".

      As an exercise, everyone in an "exempt" position should divide their yearly salary by the appropriate number to see what their actual hourly wage is.

      I once was awarded a check large enough to be worth $500 after taxes for work "above and beyond" on a certain project. It felt nice until I added up the extra hours I'd put in and found out the cocksucking bastards had gotten me to work for about five dollars an hour.

      Goddamned self-serving pricks.

  • by zantolak (701554) <zantolak@cCOUGARomcast.net minus cat> on Sunday December 30, 2007 @10:29PM (#21861790)
    To keep your real name offline to the best of your ability. I see no reason for people online to know my real name, or tie it to my internet activities.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 30, 2007 @10:38PM (#21861874)
      Ed Zantolak! Is that you!!! Hey, I got some top notch colombian shit for new years. I know you have a nose like a vacuum cleaner, so come on over. There's gonna be some male strippers too... remember that time in San Francisco? AIDS ruined everything man.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Yes, it's just common sense. Even Homer Simpson knows to call himself Chunky Lover when online, and not use his real name. It's surprising, and disconcerting, how few people don't think to ensure their anonymity online.
    • by badasscat (563442) <`basscadet75' `at' `yahoo.com'> on Sunday December 30, 2007 @11:27PM (#21862278)
      To keep your real name offline to the best of your ability. I see no reason for people online to know my real name, or tie it to my internet activities.

      I see reasons both for and against. On the one hand, yes, you have these privacy concerns that are totally valid. On the other, here you have the internet, which is *designed* to connect people. In the early days, *everybody* used their real name - heck, I still belong to one forum that was probably among the first on the web where I still use my real name (few other people there do).

      The great thing about the internet is that people *can* find you. I've been contacted by long lost friends and family that I never thought I'd speak to again, and I've got a big network of people that I talk to online now (and in real life) that I'd never have found offline. This is one of the big attractions of the net; in fact, I consider the internet pretty pointless otherwise. Is the internet nothing more than a bunch of companies hawking products, low-quality amateur scat porn and anonymous strangers yammering at each other? That's even worse than real life. Why would anyone want that?

      But I also don't see this as just an evil plot by the corporations. A person's outside behavior has *always* been fair game in terms of employment... the only difference is the internet makes it easier to track. Let's say a company hires an accountant, who at some point during his term of employment gets into a bar fight and gets arrested. He comes in to work the next day bruised and bloody, and the story makes the local newspaper. What do you think is going to happen? Most likely, he's going to get fired. It doesn't matter that he did it on his own time; companies want well-adjusted, positive people working for them, and in an "at will" system of employment, "job security" has always been an illusion. You have job security provided you play the game right, and that means at work and at home. It's always been that way.

      People act like asses on the internet because they think they can get away with it. But they can no more get away with it on the net than that accountant could get away with being in a real-life bar fight that makes the local papers. An ass is an ass, and no company wants to employ somebody like that.

      Of course, you can argue about moral standards, but if your company doesn't share your own moral standards, then maybe you shouldn't be working there to begin with.

      As for me, I don't make any particular effort to hide my full real name but I don't freely give it out either. In a Google search of my name, I don't come up at all. Even still, I try not to do anything that's going to make me look stupid online, regardless of who's going to see it. I think that's probably good advice for anybody.
      • by tftp (111690) on Monday December 31, 2007 @12:04AM (#21862466) Homepage
        I see reasons both for and against.

        Fortunately, you are not limited to two online identities (the real and the pen name.) You can have as many as you want, and use them in proper spheres. You can be one on /., another on music forums, yet another on car enthusiasts' forums, and yet another, the real one, for official use. This will allow you to separate your technical opinions from your political or musical interests, and to prevent cross-contamination of your opinion on Urusei Yatsura [wikipedia.org] with your comments about Ron Paul [ronpaul2008.com], for example.

        The great thing about the internet is that people *can* find you

        Sure, they can find someone known as foobar123 on Ford forums just as easy as otaku456 on manga forums. Nobody needs to know more, unless you choose to tell someone.

        "job security" has always been an illusion

        Still there is no good reason to be a witness against yourself. In many cases if the real name of the poster is not known, it will remain not known (unless there is a really serious, legal or security-related need to find that out.) Besides, how does it matter to me what your real name is? Your name is whatever you tell me, and that's all I want to know. It's not like I'm planning to send you snail mail, for example. Your real name is of no use to me.

        An ass is an ass, and no company wants to employ somebody like that.

        In 99.999% of cases that person is bad at home and just as bad at work. If you can find someone who is Dr. Jekyll at work and Mr. Hyde at home, he is an exceptional actor. There are people like that, especially among criminals, but that's not what we are talking about here. If such a criminal is working as your cashier you won't hear a single bad word about him until he steals everything you have; he'd be excellent at work and at home until that last moment.

        Of course, you can argue about moral standards, but if your company doesn't share your own moral standards, then maybe you shouldn't be working there to begin with.

        Of course, it implies that you have to sacrifice your job just so you can openly display something that the company - an amorphous, amoral, collective entity - has no need to know to begin with. Sounds like a bad deal to me, in terms of gain vs. reward. When I work for someone I sell my labor, not my soul.

  • Always use an alias. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Matt867 (1184557) on Sunday December 30, 2007 @10:29PM (#21861810)
    You should simply use an alias and never reveal that alias to an employer. I realize that it's a good opportunity to increase your chances of employment by allowing an employer to take a look at your online work but, its simply absolutely none of their business. If you are really desperate for the extra bang on your resume I suggest immediately afterwards you change to a different alias and notify all of your friends that you need to change in order to protect your anonymity from your employer (Via private means of course).
    • by dunezone (899268)
      Also if you already have accounts online. Delete any information on there or replace it with cleaner material. Do not just delete the "account" cause the information might still be in the server(backups,etc) and who knows who can see whats on that. Just remove material or rewrite so when the backups occur or the material is cached again its changed to something else.
    • by SetupWeasel (54062) on Sunday December 30, 2007 @10:39PM (#21861890) Homepage
      Here is a problem with that. I am a comedian. A lot of my work is offensive, yet I do not show my comedy work to anyone at my paying job. I need me to be on what I do to eventually get paying comedy work. I shield what I can, but it is impossible for me to completely hide myself.

      Should I pay for chasing my dreams?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by syousef (465911)
        Should I pay for chasing my dreams?

        No, but you should find an employer that's willing to let you chase your dream without having to hide it from them. Next time you change jobs, I'd be up front about being a comedian, and about some of your work being offensive, and let them know that it won't come into your work life. If they don't hire you, keep trying till you find someone that will. You may lose some good opportunities, but at least you won't live in fear of losing your job.
        • The real issue is that the job has no right to can me if I do nothing wrong at work.

          I am looking for work now. I cannot afford to tell them upfront unless it is useful to my job. They will know after they hire me. Jobs are not that easy to come by.
        • by djh101010 (656795) * on Sunday December 30, 2007 @11:10PM (#21862168) Homepage Journal

          Should I pay for chasing my dreams?

          No, but you should find an employer that's willing to let you chase your dream without having to hide it from them. Next time you change jobs, I'd be up front about being a comedian, and about some of your work being offensive, and let them know that it won't come into your work life. If they don't hire you, keep trying till you find someone that will. You may lose some good opportunities, but at least you won't live in fear of losing your job.
          I've interviewed way too many people in the last year. If someone shows up with "other interests" listed as "professional comedian" on their resume, hell yeah, I'd want to talk to them. And I don't care, even a little, if they work "blue" or not at that job. We're all professionals, and I'd rather work with someone who I can have an interesting conversation with than some guy who is pure work with no outside interests. If a prospective employer passes you by because of something like this, they, are doing YOU, the favor.

          I have a profile on linkedin.com which includes a highly fictional Bio (I invented rope and television, and taught myself how to hover, for instance). Since I added that 2 or 3 months ago, I've had more direct emails from linkedin members asking me if I'm looking for work than I had in several years previously. Some people don't value a sense of humor but, for me, it's important to know that the people I hire not only can do the job, but they're someone I want to hang out with 40-50 hours a week.
          • No chance you're looking for people in New York City is there? ^_^
            • by djh101010 (656795) *

              No chance you're looking for people in New York City is there? ^_^

              Afraid not, sorry. Milwaukee area, strong Unix admins with Veritas Cluster and Solaris 10 for a very very very very big company whose name has two letters and rhymes with "GE". We've got tons of fun toys to play with but the manager is pretty set on only hiring people we can drop in pretty easily. Amazing what the headhunters send in, and amazing what people lie about on their resumes just to waste my time in an interview. (Free hint: If you don't have one of the "required" skills, please just don't.

              • Ha! I can spell UNIX. Heck I can even use UNIX... a little. It was more of a joke tan anything.

                Still the Linked In advice is good. I might try that. Thanks.
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by bzipitidoo (647217)

                He was great except for no recent Solaris experience? And that was enough to decide against him?? That you can afford that luxury shows the IT job market is too much in favor of employers. Same as this article about some poor employee losing a job over something posted online, outside of work. You've got it just too fat and easy that you can sit there with 100s of candidates, 80% of whom could do the job and you know it, and you moan that not one has all of HP-UX 11.11 and Solaris 9 and RHEL 5 and AIX 5

      • Corporate policy says, Yes, absolutely, you should (and will) pay for chasing your dreams. You must immediately file a "Notice of pursuance of dreams" form with HR, and, of course, update your Conflict of Interest forms. This matter will obviously be discussed at your next performance review, which has now been rescheduled for January 11 at 9:45.

        Please bring written copies of all jokes performed privately or publicly since the beginning of your employment at this firm, and a listing of dates of any public

        • by FLEB (312391)
          "I was surprised to hear that the top bosses also found the company to be one big, sick joke. Unfortunately, now they're suing me under the noncompete clause."
      • by sumdumass (711423)
        You shouldn't be using your real name in show business anyways. Most all of the famous actors use fake names, or the used to. You need a stage name and the idea of "John Comedian" being "John I want a job" should never come up until after your famous.

        The same comes from on line aliases. I use three. One when I'm working on something, one when I'm dicking around like on slashdot and one for family. I have never had to use on line related work in a resume but if I did, it wouldn't be connected to my sometimes
  • Whoa (Score:5, Funny)

    by chanrobi (944359) on Sunday December 30, 2007 @10:32PM (#21861826)
    So posting those drunken, pot smoking pics of myself on a publicly viewable online source (e.x facebook) might not be a good idea? That's news to me.
  • by Klowner (145731) on Sunday December 30, 2007 @10:34PM (#21861840) Homepage
    It's probably not a good idea to get totally trashed, strip naked, and broadcast yourself all over the internet?

    http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/12/29/jim-chomas-career-joins-the-deadpool-maybe/ [techcrunch.com]

    Better tell that dude.
  • um...

    (looks over shoulder)

    that uh...

    i'll tell you later, gotta go
  • by syousef (465911) on Sunday December 30, 2007 @10:39PM (#21861884) Journal
    If you do something in public in your own time, it can and will affect your employment and is of concern to your employer. No bank wants an employee that's a convicted fraudster. No school wants teachers who are porn stars. No police force wants an ex-con as an officer. The issue isn't whether you conduct these activities in your own time or not, or if the Internet was used. The issue is that you're in a trusted position, and that your employer may have the right to terminate your employment if they perceive a conflict of interest, or if something you've done or are doing in your spare time means you can't effectively do your job.

    Now if employers terminate people unreasonably for being part of a political organization, due to their ethnicity or religion or for some other discriminatory reason the existing legal protection needs to come into play (as is the case of Stacy Snyder mentioned in TFA - terminating someone for being seen with a large glass of alcohol is moronic - that said she's better off with a different employer if that's how her current one acts). We don't need new special laws for the Internet. We may need minor adjustments to existing laws to take the Internet into account. We certainly don't need special protection for morons be they employer or employee.

    Are we really suppose to have sympathy for morons who don't know what they put on the net is public?
    • You go to a lot of trouble to explain what employers should and shouldn't be able to fire someone for doing, and then you go and call people who exercise these rights "morons". WTF?

      • by Tony Hoyle (11698)
        I also fail to see how a picture of you drunk on a saturday night half naked compromises your ability to do your job if all you do is work in an office where *everyone* including the boss gets drunk and half naked on a saturday night.

        We're mostly geeks here.. we work in offices where people will behave, well, like people when they're away from the office. To fire someone for doing that is tantamount to discriminating against them for being human.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by sumdumass (711423)
        He didn't call people who exorcise their rights "morons". He said that people who don't understand that the Internet is public are put their shit on it are morons.

        The Idea that someone would post something trashing their current job and then expect that no one connected to the job would ever see it is moronic.
    • The article I read was about the second case you're talking about. Unreasonable discrimination based on legal activities outside the workplace.

      You seem to have made up your own article entirely. I didn't read anything about convicted fraudsters, or teacher pornstars. Can you point us towards the article to which you're responding too?
    • No bank wants an employee that's a convicted fraudster. No school wants teachers who are porn stars. No police force wants an ex-con as an officer.

      I understand that a person with large amounts of cash and electronic transfer information shouldn't have a history of stealing cash and via electronic transfers (similar enough to fraudster). I can understand police forces not wanting most ex-cons because they have to uphold the law and not violate it. However, I fail to see why a school should be allowed to

    • by klaun (236494) on Sunday December 30, 2007 @11:35PM (#21862328)

      If you do something in public in your own time, it can and will affect your employment and is of concern to your employer. No bank wants an employee that's a convicted fraudster. No school wants teachers who are porn stars. No police force wants an ex-con as an officer. The issue isn't whether you conduct these activities in your own time or not, or if the Internet was used. The issue is that you're in a trusted position, and that your employer may have the right to terminate your employment if they perceive a conflict of interest, or if something you've done or are doing in your spare time means you can't effectively do your job.

      Two of the three examples you cite are about people who have been convicted of a crime. Convict status is something you don't need the Internet to find out and is something where there is a legal reduction in rights. The third example of a teacher moonlighting as an actor or model for pornography is rather an extreme and (I believe intentionally) inflammatory example. It is by necessity a public profession and one in which participation could be revealed even if no Internet existed.

      Where I live, the state of Georgia here in the USA, your employer has the right to terminate you for any reason whatsoever (excepting of course discriminatory reasons based on minority, religious, veteran or disabled status) or without cause. So its not about the right of your employer to terminate. Its about the wisdom of terminating someone based on something you found out about them online. Any competent manager should be able to tell whether you are doing your job well or not, without the aid of facebook photos showing your drinking, getting high, or snorting coke off a strippers tits. If you can do your job, why should it matter what you put on the net?

      Are we really suppose to have sympathy for morons who don't know what they put on the net is public?

      You seem really fond of the word moron and its variants which you use thrice in your post. It of course refers to someone with diminished intelligence. So in response to your question, should I have sympathy for someone who has limited intellectual faculties, my response is yes. Of course, I do. What kind of monster are you that you don't?! But perhaps your repeated use of moron and variants is an indication of your own limitations, in this case of vocabulary. Maybe you meant to describe the individuals as foolhardy, naive, ignorant... In all of these cases, I still have sympathy for them. Everyone makes mistakes, but the Internet can trap those mistakes indefinitely like a fly in amber. Preserved for who knows how long... It is a major shift from a time when even the most celebrated of mistakes a person might make would fade in the collective memory and only diligent searching of newspaper archives, public records, and other references would uncover it.

      I think your callous dismissal of the serious issue raised here is unwarranted. If anything it contributes to the ignorance that your deride (inaccurately with the word 'moron'). You suggest that people should already be aware of an issue at the same time you mock the fact that the issue is even being discussed. Obviously, given that people are ignorant of it, it needs to be discussed more, not less!

    • by ksuwildkat (1108731) on Monday December 31, 2007 @04:21AM (#21863744)
      I write this a am member of the military so I have a bit of understanding about the extremes of this argument.

      First, the type of employment matters a lot. Technically, military personnel are under a "Personal Services Contract." We are paid no matter what we do, where we do it or even IF we do it. I do not clock in or out, I receive no overtime, comp time, sick time. I have annual leave but technically it is simply permission to be away from my duty location for a period of time. Given the nature of the contract, it is perfectly reasonable for my "employer" to have an interest in my personal life.

      Compare that with about 99% of the jobs out there any the question becomes more clear. If I get paid overtime or receive comp time then the portion of my day that you do not pay for is my business. If you want to be involved in that part of the day, pay up.

      Now the argument is normally image. If I am doing table dances at Hooters at 1 AM how can I represent the company at 9 AM. I have no problem with that either but it needs to be clearly spelled out in the Performance Work Standards. If I work in the mail room and my interaction consists of the letters and the box they go in, you would have a hard time getting away with saying the company image had been damaged. Of course none of this applies to "at will" employees. Where companies screw up is when they TELL an at will why they were fired. Idiots, just fire them.

      Back to my situation. My employer has complete control of my life. 99% of the time, my employer does not exercise that control. Anyone who has been even close to a military base knows that soldiers drink and do dumb things. The mere fact that the military CAN punish people for off duty behavior prevents a lot but not all dumb stuff. Still, we are not a machine and decisions are made by PEOPLE. Most military leaders understand the where the line is and when it has been crossed. They know because the military is unique in this county as the only large organization that ONLY promotes from within. Everyone starts at the bottom meaning no one gets to a decision maker position without spending far more time subject to someone else making decisions. Right now we are struggling with blogs and MySpace because of generational differences in leadership. Nothing new. It was Rock and Roll vs Big Band in the 60s. Almost everyone I know has had a boss at one extreme or the other - either holding prayer meetings or starting with drinks at 1500 (3PM) on a Tuesday. Neither one is good. Most of us shoot for the middle but most actually end up far more "liberal" then most people outside the military would think. We tolerate far more off duty behavior than most people believe simply because the alternative is so crushing on moral. IMHO civilian companies could learn a lot from seeing how the military restrains itself despite the tools for total control.
    • Are we really suppose to have sympathy for morons who don't know what they put on the net is public?

      You go to a new cool club with friends X, Y, and Z and you have a few drinks and flirt with a girl you met in the club. Although you get tipsy, you have a great time.

      A few weeks later your boss calls you in her office and wants to know why there are photos of you posted on the internet in which you are obviously drunk, with beer in one hand and a drunken floosy in the other. You and her are clearly makin

  • Boston Legal (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ConanG (699649) on Sunday December 30, 2007 @10:42PM (#21861918)
    Wasn't this covered in a Boston Legal episode already? It was the one where the cross-dressing lawyer and his female friend did a singing and dancing routine that made its way to Youtube and he almost got fired.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Yeh.

      They've also touched on similar topics on the show, specifically smoking. On that episode, a woman who only smoked at home or offsite got fired because of a company rule. The boss was a health nut and wanted his employees healthier. In the end he hid behind having to supply health insurance, but his earlier conversations were zealous: I know better than you. The boss won.

      It comes down to a lot of states having "right to hire" rules. This means they can fire you for just about any reason (or none at
      • by sumdumass (711423)
        Well, they aren't really getting by scott free. In all of the at will states, there is an unemployment compensation that is supposed to help you find a new job and the former employer has to pay it is your termination was because of no fault of your own.

        It would be hard to argue that wearing the color blue to many times is a fault of yours worthy of your termination if there isn't already a company policy in place saying you can only wear the color blue X times to work in a month or something similar. So th
  • It sounds like the companies in question might be using the excuse that "we need to keep up a good company image." There's something to be said for that...but there's also something to be said for taking it way, way too far. People in the armed forces should have to worry about acting out in uniform, a FedEx employee shouldn't have the same fears.
    • by dbIII (701233) on Sunday December 30, 2007 @11:40PM (#21862352)
      We got a dose of this in Australia thanks to imported management that possibly got kicked out of the USA for not getting over slavery. A division of a company held a Christmas party for it's employees and due to spectactular mismanagement it was held in March. After the party had finished three employees went to a hotel room and got very amorous. In the next mind boggling stupid and over the top piece of mismanagement the woman was fired for this and two men cautioned - the manager had decided both that he ruled the off duty hours of the employees and that Taliban morality should be enforced by blaming the woman. Instead of upper management resolving it the whole thing ended up in the high court in an attempt to justify the idiot and it cost the company a packet and even made the government look bad for letting such a thing happen (the unfair dismissal laws that had prevented this in the past were in a state of change). The company is Telstra which is still effectively the Australian telecomunications monopoly.
  • if you link your online accounts to your real identity, you have to keep in mind that it is just the same as if you actually said what you posted line in reality. that in mind, you should have the same standards for your online account that is linked to you as you would in real life. anything you want to say that you wouldnt want linked to your name, you should really post under an account that your employer cant link to you or if that isn't possible somehow, don't say it.
  • Well, no kidding! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by holophrastic (221104) on Sunday December 30, 2007 @10:45PM (#21861938)
    Just because it wasn't possible before to know what you're employees are like is not only not the point, it's also very much the point. On the first note, more information is a good thing. And you if can discover that your employee is whatever you consider weird, you're welcome to stop working with them. On the second note, if you can discover that your employee is whatever you consider weird, so can your clients. A public face is a public face, and if an employee intends to work in a job where that face matters -- i.e. the face of the company -- then yes, their on-line activities count just as much as their off-line activities.

    My father taught me this when I was six, and it rings true here. At a baseball game, some reporter was going around asking for public opinion regarding some baseball issue. My father denied the interview saying that he was the officer of a public communications company, and should not be presented publicly by this reporter; even on a matter as unrelated as his opinions on baseball.

    Now, I own and operate my own company. And yes, I look for good people to work with me. You'd beter believe I want them to be good people all-around. Their welcome to vent to me, and they can insult me to my face all they like. They can insult my clients to my face as well. But when they do anything that my clients can see, or to which my clients have access, they had better conduct themselves in a manner that I deem suitable.

    Right or wrong, if my client says that they don't like my employee, I take that very seriously. Accidents and general human error are acceptable in moderation. Disregard for my business -- even during off-hours -- is completely unacceptable.

    In my perspective, many employees (I don't mean only mine, I do in fact include many of my friends that work for others) consider their employment to be a right. No matter how good you are at your job, your employor has invested way more time and way more effort, and way more RISK into the business than you'll ever even consider for as long as you're an employee.

    You don't deserve squat -- that's why you get nothing but money for your time. You work is appreciated, but the intelectual property isn't yours, and the risk wasn't yours, and the value-rewards won't be yours. The clients aren't yours, the company isn't yours. There's an enormous risk in starting your own business, and it's a gigantic under-taking to maintain any business. Being a cog in the machine is worth the grease, and little more.

    My father would come home, after long days of negotiating some government contract for the communication company for which he worked. After a successful victory, he'd boast to his wife how he'd saved the company millions of dollars. She'd turn to him and say: "so, how much of it is ours?". Of course the answer is zero. That was his job, he did it well, he got paid as expected, plus or minus an annual bonus. The given victory meant nothing financially.

    Know that when you work for someone else, you get to avoid the many headaches that go into running a business and being accountable to an entity that you've created. Also know that when you go out on your own, you deserve all of the glory, credit, blame, and defeat.
    • by Tony Hoyle (11698) <tmh@nodomain.org> on Sunday December 30, 2007 @11:02PM (#21862092) Homepage
      Bloody hell after reading that diatribe I'm sure glad I'm not an employee of yours.

      You treat them like shit they'll do shit work. It'll be nice looking shit because you've told them that appearance is all that matters. But it'll still be shit.

      A company is a collaboration of everyone working together as a team. *everyone* takes risks and *everyone* shares in the rewards. The boss has the highest potential reward (and the highest potential loss) but it's not *their* company exclusively because they couldn't possibly do everything on their own. They needed the employees. Not slaves, as you seem to believe.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by holophrastic (221104)
        You're 100% incorrect. Start your own business, and you'll find out that you get to do absolutely everything yourself. You hire people to save you the time, and then you get to supervise them. You spend all of your time taking what their willing to give, and knowing that it could be better. Rare is the case where your employee actually does something as well as you want them to do it because rare is the case that your employee could care less.

        They have absolutely no risk -- they have nothing to lose. Y
        • by commodoresloat (172735) * on Sunday December 30, 2007 @11:46PM (#21862388)

          supervise them. You spend all of your time taking what their willing to give, and knowing that it could be better. Rare is the case where your employee actually does something as well as you want them to do it because rare is the case that your employee could care less.
          I think this is exactly the grandparent's point. He/she said treat your employees like shit and they will give you shit work. Your response only confirms that that's exactly what happened.
        • by (negative video) (792072) <me AT teco-xaco DOT com> on Monday December 31, 2007 @12:06AM (#21862478)

          The employee doesn't have any skin in the game.

          The market value of my stock and options currently equals two years of my salary, and that is with the price being hammered by distressed institutional investors. If I help deliver new products that impress investors, it goes straight to my personal bottom line.

          They can lose their job, and they can get another one.

          Not with a bad reference, or termination-for-mistake on the resume.

          Employees ... get no decisions, and they aren't responsible for their actions.

          Somebody should tell that to the scientists and engineers I work with, who have been known to invent new lines of business and start spin-off companies.

    • by MeNeXT (200840) on Sunday December 30, 2007 @11:04PM (#21862114)
      You don't deserve squat -- that's why you get nothing but money for your time. You work is appreciated, but the intelectual property isn't yours, and the risk wasn't yours, and the value-rewards won't be yours. The clients aren't yours, the company isn't yours. There's an enormous risk in starting your own business, and it's a gigantic under-taking to maintain any business. Being a cog in the machine is worth the grease, and little more.

      And we wonder where loyalty went? With this attitude you'll get the employees you deserve.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by holophrastic (221104)
        I have a huge amount of loyalty, but not to employees, to partners for sure. Employees have far too many "rights" for the no risk that they offer.

        You want to be a part of my business and be treated as an equal, you get to put in an equal or equivalent amount. Most employees have absolutely no idea what goes on outside of their desk and their hours.

        When your mother told you to clean your room, and you thought that was annoying, wait until you get to fix the roof, pay the mortage, calculate the taxes that s
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          I'm pretty sure they were talking about the loyalty OF employees TO the company, not loyalty OF the employer TO employees.
      • by SashaMan (263632) on Sunday December 30, 2007 @11:54PM (#21862426)

        And we wonder where loyalty went? With this attitude you'll get the employees you deserve.
        Exactly. Apologies for not having the reference, but I recall a study that showed that one of the highest predictors of business success as determined by earnings growth was the percentage of employees that had stock options (while, conversely, lavishing options on only top management had very little correlation with success).

        If you give your employees a vested interest in the success of your business then employee productivity will be much greater than if you treat them like "cogs."
    • A problem I have with much of your argument is that you're saying that the company only has to pay for your work but you're basically saying that it's fine for the company to act as if they own you around the clock, that's what it boils down to. That's kind of a vicious bargain if you ask me. I understand that there are limits, but your interpretation of where the limits are look to be quite one-sided.
    • An employee is selling their time to an employer, not their life, not their soul.

      (I'd grant an exception for celebrities who are explicitly selling their face, name and reputation for use by the employer, but I think that's a silly business anyway)

    • by Bonker (243350) on Sunday December 30, 2007 @11:41PM (#21862358)

      You don't deserve squat -- that's why you get nothing but money for your time. You work is appreciated, but the intelectual property isn't yours, and the risk wasn't yours, and the value-rewards won't be yours. The clients aren't yours, the company isn't yours. There's an enormous risk in starting your own business, and it's a gigantic under-taking to maintain any business. Being a cog in the machine is worth the grease, and little more.


      And if you ever wonder why you're resented and hated by your employees, this is why. When you wonder why the employee loyalty your business needs (or you even crave) isn't there, this is the reason. You look at people as cogs in your machine and not fellows. They're there to be exploited and not to be part of the company.

      A business isn't one man or one man's risk no matter how much you'd like to put it in those terms. Your business belongs not only to you, but to everyone who works for you.

      Let's put it in realistic terms. Your client has a relationship with your company, and not just with you. He has a relationship with the salesmen who talk to him, the support people he calls when he's got a problem, and the people who manufactures the product he's buying.

      When you eliminate any one of those people for anything but the most important of reasons (no, not profit. The long-term survival of your company is what your eyes SHOULD be focused on) you are diminishing your company's relationship with that client.

      When your client says he has a problem with a single member of that team, you need to think long and hard about why. Is your client prejudiced? Is your client sane? More importantly, is your client looking out for your company's best interests? Almost certainly not.

      Don't agree? Fire your important employees and replace their jobs with cheaper, less-experienced people. 'Outsource' if you dare. Watch your clients start to complain. Their money is about to go elsewhere.

      Instead, why don't you learn to treat your employees as not only cogs in a machine, but individual people with cares and concerns of their own who are also important parts of your company? Your company's long-term health will show you the value of that. Profit will follow.
    • by jonr (1130)
      Quote one:
      "But when they do anything that my clients can see, or to which my clients have access, they had better conduct themselves in a manner that I deem suitable."
      Quote two:
      "You don't deserve squat -- that's why you get nothing but money for your time."

      What kind of stupid Scrooge attitude is this? Your employees don't deserve squat, yet they better behave on your own time as *you* see fit?
    • Re:Well, no kidding! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by tom's a-cold (253195) on Monday December 31, 2007 @12:12AM (#21862516) Homepage

      Also know that when you go out on your own, you deserve all of the glory, credit, blame, and defeat.
      Y'know, I read The Fountainhead too, I just saw it as a poorly-written paean to narcissism. Knowingly or not, it seems to have struck some deep chord with you. That's too bad. It's a stunted, solipsistic world-view.

      I keep my private and business lives well-encapsulated, even to the extent of never introducing my coworkers to my friends. My employer asserts the customary feudal prerogative of controlling every moment of my waking life while still only paying me for part of it. This is not because they have some God-given right to direct my life, it is because they can get away with it in the present rigged system, and they have more power than I do. But having an unfeeling, brain-dead bureaucracy stick their nose into my private life is no better when it's an HR department than when it's a government agency. It's repression all the same. It's an odious feature of the present system.

      I don't regard them as malicious so much as arrogant, overzealous and misguided. So I practise operational security and communication security in order to minimize their opportunities to mess with me. But that's out of necessity, not out of any belief that I owe it to them to do that. And I'm not talking about any "right" to a job. I'm just saying that they don't own me, yet in many respects they behave as though they do. And due to the extreme, government-backed asymmetry of power relations in the workplace (you think employers have it tough? Look at the restrictions on union activity sometime), those are the conditions we have to live under in the US. And I'm a well-compensated employee. It's far worse for those with lower-paid, more commoditized jobs. That's where employers really run amok.

      And please, never talk about "extreme risk" when all you're referring to is money. I've lived in parts of the world where risk means you or your family getting killed, dismembered, driven from your home. That's risk. What you're talking about is just putting your money where your mouth is.

  • Too uptight (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    On the one hand, I have very little posted under my real name, and what I do is just general responses on tech forums. I don't have a myspace page; I have photos but they are on a home webserver. Probably based on my posts, people could tell I use Linux, don't like Windows, and don't like Apple's attitude (but forced to chose between Windows and OSX, would chose OSX.) If they saw the photos they could tell where I've gone on a few vacations.

    On the other hand, it's
  • by Token_Internet_Girl (1131287) on Sunday December 30, 2007 @11:04PM (#21862116)

    I want to quote this first:

    If you do something in public in your own time, it can and will affect your employment and is of concern to your employer. No bank wants an employee that's a convicted fraudster. No school wants teachers who are porn stars. No police force wants an ex-con as an officer. The issue isn't whether you conduct these activities in your own time or not, or if the Internet was used. The issue is that you're in a trusted position, and that your employer may have the right to terminate your employment if they perceive a conflict of interest, or if something you've done or are doing in your spare time means you can't effectively do your job.

    I agree that "conflicts of interests" as mentioned above do have a right to be known to employers. However, when does this stop becoming an genuine effort to root out the so-called "stripper teacher," and become an threadbare excuse to fire someone for lack of conformity? Let me illustrate. I am always 110% work appropriate when I am on the job, however in my off hours I wear alot of piercings, I show tattoos, I like to go out and have drinks and hang with friends. There is, with today's digital camera boom, a good chance pictures will be taken of these activities in my off time. Now, if the place I work for is generally church going, khaki and polo button down straight edge family types, they might absolutely abhor my personal life, even though I don't bring it to work. Now the issue becomes, "if one worker doesn't fit the company image in and out of work, cut him loose." Can you see how easy the line between business interest and privacy can get blurred and abused? It feels like a door for socialized work places(sans government). Maybe I make a slightly paranoid case, but self expression is highly important to me; I'd hate to live half a life for fear of losing my job.

    • by Tony Hoyle (11698)
      You'd be surprised. If you prove you can be businesslike during business hours whilst being nonconformist and creative outside.. that's a huge asset. It proves you're both flexible and creative. Bosses really like people to be a bit different - those kind of people often have the best ideas (they also have the most off the wall stupid ideas.. but we can deal with that).

      Plus it'd liven up office parties :p
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bladesjester (774793)
      Maybe I make a slightly paranoid case, but self expression is highly important to me; I'd hate to live half a life for fear of losing my job.

      You don't make a paranoid case. I live in the Bible Belt, and you would be amazed at the sheer amount of fundamentalist Christians who, when they interview, try to figure out if the person they are talking to is like them or not and use that as an unspoken basis for who to hire.

      Legal issues aside, personally, I think that religion is a private thing and is the busines
  • you may not want to work in a company doing this anyway....

    If you don't have a choice, there goes another piece of "freedom" sacrificed to nitpicking tigh-asses unable to get a life, instead paying to their corporate, political or religous gods and philosophies instead.

    Seems to be the trend and the general fear factor goes up a notch more.

    In the first place, folks are humans wanting to enjoy their lifes and that aspect seems to be getting lost more and more.
  • I am a "semi-well-known" open source guy (name is being withheld to protect the innocent) and I was recently working for IBM on a well-known open source project for which they have taken over. They saw I had a web page up that listed me as a principal owner of my consulting company. The page wasn't changed since before I started with them - much over a year ago...and is even proven by an archive.org review. They now just "figured it out" and canned me...no questioning...no inquisition... They said they

  • The Burden of Proof (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DynaSoar (714234) on Sunday December 30, 2007 @11:31PM (#21862294) Journal
    Woe be to the company that takes an action against someone for whom they find negative information which was put up by someone else. Such "sociological offices" would be highly unlikely to be able to prove the true source of the posting. IP spoofing is ridiculously easy. Someone who loses their job over such unproven and unprovable data (except by a truly exceptional forensic sysadmin) could have a fine time collecting on a wrongful termination suit, and take the "sociological office" weasels down in the process, and ruining the stock price of of the company by pushing the story onto the media by playing the aggrieved little guy with a little overacting.

    To someone even minimally trained in psycops and IP diddling for whom such stuff appears, it should occur that one couple protect themselves from such an action by posting equally off the wall junk, spoofing the IP to hide the fact they posted it themselves, to bait the boneheads trying to make a case. Posting some equally disturbing info about these who're performing the the search would let them know they've been bested in such a way that they dare not continue without outting themselves on the process. One can even make it obvious but unprovable who did it (or had it done for them) without the hyperactive little HR people being able to do anything about it, except perhaps admit they're not good enough at this for the company to use their services, possibly even getting them cut from the salary list.

    The best defense if a good offense. The best offense here is to make them publicly shove proof of their own inadequacy up their own ass. A person could have enormous fun and possibly set themselves up for a healthy early retirement. Getting the fsckheads who tried to out you fired would just be icing.

  • Contradicton (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PPH (736903) on Sunday December 30, 2007 @11:34PM (#21862324)
    One thing that continually puzzles me is how a company can tell their shareholders/customers/government regulators that anything they do is fair so long as it lies within the letter of the law. Then they turn around and expect employees to adhere to a code of conduct that is more strict.

    I find that their sense of ethics is usually quite impaired.

  • by coaxial (28297) on Sunday December 30, 2007 @11:52PM (#21862410) Homepage
    If I'm employing a salaried worker, then they're never "off the clock." When they're thinking about work, that's work I'm employing them to do. I own their ideas because they are my employee, and that's how work-for-hire works.

    People know who works for who, and so my employees' actions reflect on the company. I have to protect the image of my company. Firing someone for having a drunken binge and then gloating about it online reflects poorly on the professionalism of my company, and therefore could result in a loss of revenue, and that could result in a stock holder lawsuit. So you see, even if I didn't want to, I have no choice other than to constantly monitor the actions of my employees and reprimand them when they're actions run counter to the company's interest.

    If potential employees didn't like this behavior, then they wouldn't interview or accept offers from my company. That's just how the free market works, and since people do work for me, that shows they don't have any problems with this arrangement. The free market works again! And anyway, they posted the things online, so they gave up any privacy, so they should just accept the consequences.

    And finally, this is all private surveillance instead of government so there's nothing wrong with it.

    * * *
    Of course, I was being sarcastic, but I fully expect there to be multiple posts that reiterate these ideas, only for real. There are plenty of people in today's America that want to essentially repeal the 20th century. I strongly suspect because there are people that for whatever reason, never saw power they didn't like, because they have the delusional belief that someday they will have that power. [salon.com]

    Employers can read your email because they own the network. However they can't listen into your phone calls, even though they own the phones. The difference? One law was passed in the 30s or 40s. The other in the 90s.

    The lassie faire free market capitalism is model. Nothing more. It's an ideal model, not unlike ideal wires in electrical engineering. They don't exist. The perfect market doesn't exist, because it hinges on perfect information, which doesn't exist. The market doesn't capture lots of things, namely pretty much everything that doesn't have a directly quantifiable cost. Even if you could assign a cost to these things, which you can't, the market doesn't necessarily work fast enough.

  • Fire at WILL (Score:3, Insightful)

    by redelm (54142) on Monday December 31, 2007 @12:33AM (#21862640) Homepage
    It may come as a bit of a shock to Europeans and Americans outside fly-over country, but "Employment at will" is the basic doctrine in all the US. People can be fired for good cause, bad cause or even no cause. There are statutory exemptions and some states have implied-in-law fair dealing. Of course, they can still sue for "wrongful termination, but most likely, they'll lose.


    It is probably better this way because if you "protect" the employment relationship (like Europe), you basically make employers very fearful of hiring anyone. That also produces a very immobile, unflexible and fearful workforce.


    The real reason employers don't act arbitrarily in most cases is pure self-interest: it is risky and hard to train and integrate new employees. A dismissal that others think is wrong is likely to very negatively affect morale in the remaining employees and is very ill-advised unless you believe they are all slackers and you want to axe the whole dept.

  • by kinglink (195330) on Monday December 31, 2007 @02:38AM (#21863334)
    No one cares what you do in your off time. No really they don't. But if you're going to perform watersports on a dog, while licking ice cream off an asian prostitute, while sodomizing a bum, at least put it under an alias.

    The shit people do and then link to their name is ridiculous. If I post something under my given name that can reflect badly onto me and the company I work for. Now at the same time if I post something under a pseudonym (kinglink is one) then that at least should not be considered the same thing. However at the same time if I link my account to my last name in any way (signing a post with my real name?) then again that becomes public knowledge. My company likely knows kinglink is me, that's fine I'm not betraying my company I'm not being stupid, I'm not trying to hide who I am, but the minute I would need to believe me, Kinglink will not be the name I try that with.

    At the very least let's all realize that the internet is here to stay. So it's fine to post a picture of you as a fairy in a pride parade. But at the same time also realize someone searching for your information is likely to find and can and will make opinions on you or your background based on it.

    Oh and a little hint, if you're playing hooky, and you take pictures DONT POST THEM ON FACEBOOK OR ANYTHING LINKED TO YOU! There's too many stories about this with people getting busted. Or again at the very least tamper with the date and time on your camera before you take your pictures.
  • by sydbarrett74 (74307) <sydbarrett74@@@gmail...com> on Monday December 31, 2007 @08:32PM (#21871444)
    'You're not buying me, you're only hiring me.'

It's a poor workman who blames his tools.

Working...