A blog post

Employees beware – Don’t get “dooced”

Posted on the 02 September, 2011 at 7:21 pm Written by in News, Social Media

In my last post I referred to a few South African employees who had the misfortune of being dismissed as a result of their posts on facebook. In web lingo we would say that these employees were “dooced “rather than dismissed. According to webopedia.com dooce means: v.) To lose ones job (fired) because of something you have publicly posted in a blog. The most common usage of the word is dooced (eg. she was dooced). The word was ironically coined in 2002 by Heather B. Armstrong, or Heather B. Hamilton, as she was known at the time, when she was dismissed as a result of work she had published on a personal website. Heather, who is one of todays most successful professional bloggers started, dooce.com, a personal website in 2001. Her intention was to use it to write about popular culture, music, and her life as a singleton. Unfortunately she included certain unflattering comments about her boss and certain colleagues in the workplace on dooce.com. After all, she (like the many employees we hear about) never anticipated that dooce.com would be visited by many people let alone her boss. Alas, one year later Heather was called in by the boss and dooced! Heather provides the following sage advice to employers and employees: “My advice to you is BE YE NOT SO STUPID. Never write about work on the internet unless your boss knows and sanctions the fact that YOU ARE WRITING ABOUT WORK ON THE INTERNET. If you are the boss, however, you should be aware that when you order Prada online and then talk about it out loud that you are making it very hard for those around you to take you seriously.” Employees need to be made aware of: 1. How to use social media responsibly; 2. The employer’s specific expectations around the use of social media and social networking sites both inside and outside the workplace; 3. The potential consequences for the irresponsible use of social media. Employers need to adopt a multifaceted approach to achieve the above. The approach should at least include: 1. The implementation of a social media and social networking policy to guide employee use of social media and networking inside and outside the workplace; 2. The provision of training to employees on the use of social media and networking and their impact (good and bad) on the workplace; and 3. A disciplinary code which covers violations of the social media policy and provides guidelines on appropriate sanctions for such violations. Vanessa

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