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    Wall Street Journal: Your Posts Can Be Used Against You

    We’ve discussed before how social-networking data — from sites such as MySpace and Facebook — can be used against employees (which can lead to lawsuits when employees fight back). Now, the Wall Street Journal urges workers to be careful about what they post online, as it can easily get back to your boss or co-workers:

    Many workers believe, wrongly, that their Facebook comments are seen only by online “friends.” Or, only “followers” read their tweets. But e-comments can, and do, infiltrate professional and personal circles, and employees should be discreet as social-media platforms and company policies evolve. […]

    Job seekers, too, should be aware that human-resources departments use online searches to vet candidates. […]

    When using company equipment, workers should not expect privacy. Company policies also can apply to workers who use their own computers for business-related communications.

    What’s more, the traditionally taboo topics of politics, sex, religion and money are still taboo. And harassment, defamation and discrimination are also to be avoided. […]

    Still, about 43% of businesses have had to deal with the misuse of social networks, according to the Proskauer Rose report. In addition, about 31% have had to take disciplinary action against an employee in relation to misuse.

    According to [a report released last year by law firm Proskauer Rose], only about 27% of businesses monitor the use of social-networking sites at work. But companies don’t need to rely on their own efforts to discover workers’ errant tweets. Co-workers may actually notify the boss about your latest screed. […]

    “Don’t post anything on social networks—whether on business or personal matters—that you would not want to take responsibility for in an all-staff meeting,” says Curtis Midkiff, director of social engagement for the Society for Human Resource Management, an Alexandria, Va.-based professional group.

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