Thought Number One: Saying Too Much
Take for example, this week there is the story of a news reporter out of Huntsville, AL that was fired for things she wrote in her personal blog. Yes, Shea Allen was expressing her personal opinions on her personal blog about her job. Unfortunately, she like millions of other people, assumed she had the right to say whatever she wanted under the auspices of her First Amendment Rights.
Shea wrote a post on her blog, No Apologies: Confessions of a Red Headed Reporter, where she stated among other things that she is frightened of old people.
Shea's boss wasn't feeling the love as far as Shea's blog goes and he certainly didn't find any humor in it. Along with firing her, he released a statement saying that she did irreparable harm to the station's image.
Now, instead of being the reporter...she is the reported. Shea has done a number of interviews in the past week saying that she feels it is unfair that she was fired. She goes on to say, that all of her statements were supposed to be quirky and funny.
Again...her boss wasn't laughing.
In an interesting article by Ruth Carter of the Carter Law Firm, who coincidently is an attorney that specializes in legal issues stemming from social media, brings up some interesting points. While a person may have the right to say whatever they want, an employer in a at-will state may legally choose to fire someone for anything he chooses as long as it isn't about a protected area (i.e. gender, race, religion, disability etc.) Unfortunately for Shea, making bad jokes about her job isn't a protected area.
Ruth, who has her own blog, says there is a lot a gray area in social media disputes. Not only does her law firm handle such cases, she has a book out The Legal Side of Blogging: How Not to Get Sued, Fired, Arrested or Killed.
So...who is right and who is wrong? My personal opinion is she crossed a line by talking about her job in a negative way using her real name and her actual place of employment. Should she of been fired??? I am wavering back and forth. She offered to take down the offending post but is that too little, too late. Will deleting the post and apologizing undo the damage of negative publicity and public scrutiny brought on by Shea's insensative blog comments? Overall, everyone should realize that things you put on the Internet are NOT the same as writing them in your diary. It's out there for the world to see.
Thought Number Two: Sharing Too Much
I don't think Shea is alone in crossing some undefinable line of how much sharing is too much sharing. That may be unfair as I am also a blogger and you might know more about me than you should or for that matter...more than you care to know.
Still I try to be somewhat mindful of what should remain private for both me and for those of my family members that had no say in my starting this blog in the first place.
I will tell you...I follow a lot of blogs. Considering the time I spend reading blogs, it could be said I need to cut back a bit. I really should cut back on salt, and caffeine too but, I don't see that any of the three are in harm's way at this point.
But...as I was saying..I follow a lot of blogs and am often shocked at how willing some people are to share some amazingly private things. Now don't get me wrong...sometimes sharing private thoughts about what's happeining in their lives, is necessary depending on the type of blog it is. That is especially true of those that are chronicling illnesses or difficult periods in their life. That is the intent of the blog to channel those thoughts. I get it.
Another class of blogs that can pretty much get away with anything are the humor blogs. For the most part I/we know they are trying to be funny.Yeah, I totally get that too.
However, occasionally a blog will "all but come up and out of the computer to slap me in the face" with it's shocking or explicit subject matter.
|Just kidding, of course, we are here for ya! Blab away!!!|
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