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Company rules for social networking...

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1 Company rules for social networking... on Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:17 am

darth__frodo

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I'm just curious, does anyone's company have a "social networking policy" enforced? I just had this pulled on me today and was told I have to delete all the employees who are my friends on Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, etc. One of those employees is my brother! I was told that as a manager I'm not allowed to talk to them online ever or see them outside of work. I laughed and said, "So I can't see my brother at family gatherings?" and the manager replied, "Well, it's actually against company policy that we hired your brother in the first place." WTF?!! She never answered my question about seeing my brother outside of work so I'm just going to assume that's a loophole since my regional manager okay'd hiring him in the first place when I'm his supervisor.

They said it's okay for the hourly employees to be friends on Facebook and hang out after work but just not the managers. They told us an example (and who knows if it's true or not).. something about a manager was friends with some of the employees but when one sent a friend request to the manager she ignored it and the hourly employee got his feelings hurt and now he's suing the company! What. The. Fuck. They're trying to prevent harassment I guess.

Thoughts, anyone?

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2 Re: Company rules for social networking... on Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:33 am

Kupocat

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What the heck? yikes First I've heard of anything like that...how would they even know who your friends are if you have your profile set private? unsure Do you have to friend them so they can monitor your friends list? Laughing

Next time I get my feelings hurt I'm going to sue. hmm

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3 Re: Company rules for social networking... on Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:35 am

Spaced4SimonPegg

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Ask to see a copy of the company handbook. See if it lists myspace, facebook and twitter in it and if so, what are their guidelines on employees using it. If it is written in their handbook then it is harder to argue than if its a "verbal" rule.


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4 Re: Company rules for social networking... on Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:05 am

darth__frodo

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Kupocat wrote:What the heck? yikes First I've heard of anything like that...how would they even know who your friends are if you have your profile set private? unsure Do you have to friend them so they can monitor your friends list? Laughing

Next time I get my feelings hurt I'm going to sue. hmm

They said that they can hack into our privacy settings to make sure we're following the rules. Something about just going to Google and searching for "hack Facebook privacy". Creepy, right? I have mega privacy on my account and check the settings often so I have no idea how they would be able to check my account. I went ahead and deleted the employees. I heard we have to sign something but I haven't seen it yet.

Spaced4SimonPegg wrote:Ask to see a copy of the company handbook. See if it lists myspace, facebook and twitter in it and if so, what are their guidelines on employees using it. If it is written in their handbook then it is harder to argue than if its a "verbal" rule.

It's not in the handbook, it's in "Procedures" which is this MEGA Word document full of, like, a thousand links to other Word and Excel documents. It's crazy huge. They update it almost every week so they just tacked this one on. I have yet to actually read the new procedure though.

This just seems like too much drama to me. I think they should make a rule about not slandering the company or employees but they shouldn't be able to fire people over, "God work sucked today! I only got 3 hours of sleep and had to go in and work an unexpected 12 hour shift. Salary blows." It's not like I'm picking on the employee who called me at 4:30 this morning to say her car wouldn't start so I had to do breakfast at the hotel this morning. <_< Lame.

It's. All. So. Lame.

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5 Re: Company rules for social networking... on Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:22 am

Kupocat

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darth__frodo wrote:
They said that they can hack into our privacy settings to make sure we're following the rules. Something about just going to Google and searching for "hack Facebook privacy". Creepy, right? I have mega privacy on my account and check the settings often so I have no idea how they would be able to check my account. I went ahead and deleted the employees. I heard we have to sign something but I haven't seen it yet.
Seriously, that's really creepy. neutral I don't even really know what I would say if my company told me that! unsure They have way too much time on their hands if they're going around hacking employee Facebook accounts.

darth__frodo wrote:
It's not in the handbook, it's in "Procedures" which is this MEGA Word document full of, like, a thousand links to other Word and Excel documents. It's crazy huge. They update it almost every week so they just tacked this one on. I have yet to actually read the new procedure though.

This just seems like too much drama to me. I think they should make a rule about not slandering the company or employees but they shouldn't be able to fire people over, "God work sucked today! I only got 3 hours of sleep and had to go in and work an unexpected 12 hour shift. Salary blows." It's not like I'm picking on the employee who called me at 4:30 this morning to say her car wouldn't start so I had to do breakfast at the hotel this morning. <_< Lame.

It's. All. So. Lame.
That's insane! wacko

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6 Re: Company rules for social networking... on Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:11 am

Silent K

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On one hand, being "internet" friends with people you work with is a recipe for disaster (especially as a manager), but this is some heavy duty bullshittery from your higher ups.

I'm sorry, Daisy...but we're gonna have to put Clinton down...

tongue


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7 Re: Company rules for social networking... on Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:12 am

Silent K wrote:On one hand, being "internet" friends with people you work with is a recipe for disaster (especially as a manager), but this is some heavy duty bullshittery from your higher ups.

I'm sorry, Daisy...but we're gonna have to put Clinton down...

tongue

I agree with Knize on this. A manager being friends with the employees is a recipe for disaster for sure. However it's none of the companies business who you are friends with on Facebook. IMO it could be a tricky line to walk but what you do in your personal life outside of work can't be dictated by your place of employment.

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8 Re: Company rules for social networking... on Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:10 pm

Gojiratoho

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While I completely agree that being friends on Facebook, or any social networking site with co-workers is not a good idea, this

darth__frodo wrote:
They said that they can hack into our privacy settings to make sure we're following the rules. Something about just going to Google and searching for "hack Facebook privacy".

is completely fucking illegal, even just threatening to do it. You should definitely contact the FBI cybercrime division and report cyber bullying, even if you did it anonymously. You might want to speak with a lawyer too, just to cover your legal bases should they try to reprimand you or terminate you over any of this.

http://www.cybercrime.gov/

FBI Indianapolis
Room 679, FOB
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Indianapolis, IN 46204-1585
indianapolis.fbi.gov
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9 Re: Company rules for social networking... on Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:33 pm

darth__frodo wrote:
something about a manager was friends with some of the employees but when one sent a friend request to the manager she ignored it and the hourly employee got his feelings hurt and now he's suing the company!
well that's just stupid.


darth__frodo wrote:They said that they can hack into our privacy settings to make sure we're following the rules. Something about just going to Google and searching for "hack Facebook privacy".
That's illegal. Hacking is hacking, no matter what it is your hacking. report them to the FBI



I'm friends with my Company commander, my old platoon sergeant, my brother who's a 1SG, and my Training NCO and OP NCO. lol

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10 Re: Company rules for social networking... on Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:36 pm

I signed a paper that said I wouldn't post company secrets and/or do anything to defame the company's name.

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11 Re: Company rules for social networking... on Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:41 pm

Sandman

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Indiana Solo wrote:I signed a paper that said I wouldn't post company secrets and/or do anything to defame the company's name.
yeah that is all I had to do as well

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12 Re: Company rules for social networking... on Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:13 am

darth__frodo

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Indiana Solo wrote:I signed a paper that said I wouldn't post company secrets and/or do anything to defame the company's name.

See, I TOTALLY understand a rule like that but I feel like they're just bullying us. Especially us managers.

My friend and co-worker said, "You know they can get away with making the rules more strict for management because since you're salary, you're always on-call and therefore always on Company time." lol I guess that's kind of true.

I would never talk crap about my company or employees online! I might complain about a hard day or stupid situations but I wouldn't type out names. I feel that by making me delete people and not being allowed to hang out with my co-workers (some of whom were my friends BEFORE we all started working together) is taking away from my personal life and the emotions that go with staying connected. My feelings are hurt. Sad

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13 Re: Company rules for social networking... on Sun Feb 27, 2011 2:13 am

Silent K

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Fuck those guys.

I love you


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14 Re: Company rules for social networking... on Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:45 am

Mnemosis

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darth__frodo wrote:
They said it's okay for the hourly employees to be friends on Facebook and hang out after work but just not the managers. They told us an example (and who knows if it's true or not).. something about a manager was friends with some of the employees but when one sent a friend request to the manager she ignored it and the hourly employee got his feelings hurt and now he's suing the company! What. The. Fuck. They're trying to prevent harassment I guess.

They said that they can hack into our privacy settings to make sure we're following the rules. Something about just going to Google and searching for "hack Facebook privacy". Creepy, right? I have mega privacy on my account and check the settings often so I have no idea how they would be able to check my account. I went ahead and deleted the employees. I heard we have to sign something but I haven't seen it yet.

Okay, LOTS of thoughts on this:

First of all, my bank basically tried to pull the same thing. A loan officer saw me make a joke she didn't think was appropriate, and since I had customers on my Facebook page as well, she bitched at the bank. Eventually, my boss's boss "talked" to me about it. She was basically on my side, but had to officially alert me to the complaint. I promptly removed the offending part from my friends list. I understand it, though. It blurs lines.

Speaking to the topic of privacy settings, for a second... they're probably full of shit. What it boils down to is this - you're not going to get fired for having these people as your friends on Facebook/Twitter/whatever. HOWEVER... let's say Dave at work is your friend on Facebook and gets pissed at what you said as a status update. Now, they don't have to reprimand you for what it was you said; they've laid the groundwork to simply reprimand you for having Dave as a friend. It's a precautionary move on their part, and it's kind of brilliant. Status updates and the intention behind them can be a great big gray area, but whether or not employees are your friends? That's cut and dry and easily actionable. They'd just covering their bases. It was stupid to say they could spy on you, but I'm sure it was intended to merely scare you straight.

Now, back to the topic of having work friends outside of work - it can be dicey. I've ALWAYS done it, and at times, it's bitten me on the ass. Still, I continue to do it, because it's who I am and how I am. But if I post that I'm going out drinking with friends, and call off work the next day, someone there will know I may just be hung over. That's the simplest example of how it can backfire, but there are PLENTY of other ways.

My recommendation? You probably don't have to cut everyone, but now that they've laid down this law? You should DEFINITELY be extra careful with who your friends are. If you've got one employee you don't want as a friend, who's sensitive and bitchy, and another one you DO want, who's a bit of a loudmouth... I wouldn't add either, in case the one makes it know you're friends, and upsets the other.

THIS is why Facebook needs "Acquaintances" and "Friends" as separate classifications. You work with someone and they're cool, put them under "Acquaintances." You work with someone and get to be best friends with them? Bump them up to "Friends." With each and every status update, you get to decide which of those two classifications sees it. Problem solved, mostly, until whiny bitch pisses and moans about being an "acquaintance" and not a "friend."

Silent K wrote:On one hand, being "internet" friends with people you work with is a recipe for disaster (especially as a manager), but this is some heavy duty bullshittery from your higher ups.

I'm sorry, Daisy...but we're gonna have to put Clinton down...

tongue

I agree totally.

Clinton, you're ugly and I hear you smell like Crohn's disease.

Seriously, though, I'm internet friends with coworkers, you just have to be smart about it. Y'know... assuming you're allowed to.


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15 Re: Company rules for social networking... on Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:51 am

Fortunately my company has embraced social networking and used it towards their advantage. Unfortunately, a lot of companies still don't know how advantageous it can be. I agree with a lot of what's been said here......having co-workers as friends on facebook, myspace, etc. can be a recipe for disaster and companies do have the right to dictate how they are represented by their employees. They can not legally hack your page, but beware of individuals on your friends list who would "tattle-tale" on you to your company.

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16 Re: Company rules for social networking... on Sun Feb 27, 2011 2:13 pm

Gojiratoho

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Mnemosis wrote:HOWEVER... let's say Dave at work is your friend on Facebook and gets pissed at what you said as a status update.

You hear that Daisy? I'm watching you, and your status updates!!!

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17 Re: Company rules for social networking... on Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:20 pm

Joshua

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Like Knize said, I think being friends with coworkers can cause all sorts of problems, but I don't particularly care for company's dictating what people can and can't do in their personal lives. I don't like the way social networking sites have made privacy such an anomaly and that people so readily accept said loss of privacy.

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18 Re: Company rules for social networking... on Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:42 am

Mnemosis

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While I agree with your sentiment, Josh, I really don't think it's so much about dictating what you can and can't do. Again, I think it's finding the most black and white means of covering their own asses. The company doesn't really care if management is friends with the underlings. All the company cares about is plausible deniability if the shit hits the fan. By making these rules, they've disavowed themselves of any responsibility should unpleasantness arise.

Sure, companies could adopt a "Piss each other off outside of work and it's not our problem" clause, but the problem therein is that it not only takes the responsibility off the company, it also removes any ability they'd otherwise have to react to such activity.

Look at it this way - if you have a few drinks at a bar and get in your car to go home and drive safely and make it home without incident, who cares? But, if you have a few drinks at a bar and get in your car to go home and get in an accident, you'll be found to be intoxicated and as a result in violation of the law. The courts now have a hard and fast course of action to take into account when handling your case. They don't have to prove you were driving recklessly; they know you were driving while intoxicated, something that is expressly against the law, and they can reprimand you based on that.

As I see it? That's all this is. An insurance policy against potential future fuckups on the part of employees.


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19 Re: Company rules for social networking... on Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:38 am

Heytherejeffro

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It can cause problems.

...sigh...

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20 Re: Company rules for social networking... on Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:41 am

Joshua

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Mnemosis wrote:Wall of text
And from that angle I get it, but it's a slippery slope. I think it's bullshit that companies use social networking sites to look people up in the hiring process or to fire someone based on pictures they may post.

Though on the reverse side, I think it's really stupid that people would post pictures of things that should not be used for public consumption. I have a picture of me having a romantic bath with a rancor, but I keep that shit locked down for friends only. No need for future employers to get a peek at that.

I think my final stance is that I just think everything everyone does is stupid. Laughing

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21 Re: Company rules for social networking... on Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:24 am

Heytherejeffro

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Yeah, I usually have been pretty safe about work-related things. I slipped up by making an inappropriate joke and someone I'm 'friends' with jumped on it and reported me, and now I'm dealing with it. My privacy settings mean nothing when someone can take a screenshot and print it out for all to see.

Let my egregious mistake serve as a warning; be very careful what you post. "Friends" aren't always friends, either.

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22 Re: Company rules for social networking... on Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:27 am

Airwolf

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well for us at work - eventhough we all know everyone has a facebook - lol even my boss


but we dont "add" each other due to i dunno - we just dont? but we have each other's cells and hang out afterwork and outside of work (not my boss)

im in the managerish position aka job captain - and well the two people i work with are students :P suffice to say they are very green but even thought they are into facebook a lot - i try not to get involved just cus - what if they get fired or have access to my profiles and walls and walls lol i dunno - that and i dont wanna be FB friends with them really - i think its also personal preference.


im glad my current company doesnt enforce any online restrictions - hell i can probably watch porn from my station and no one would care lol

that and we dont really have IT guys to monitor and my boss i think just doesnt care for as long as we get our sheiiit done

lol@side note to social networking - i find that more and more resume have a facebook address attached to it. i could see this working out sorta well just because i know with big firms and hiring managers / or HR having to screen people - why not just give em all the details :P fuck i would probabbly add my facebook address on it just to make the HR know i know what shes doing O_O .....then i would find out where she lives....

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23 Re: Company rules for social networking... on Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:47 pm

LordD3r3k

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It's not uncommon for companies to impose the "no fraternizing with the junior staff" rule. In fact, every company I've worked for has done this. And it's not just from a company trying to cover its ass standpoint, it also affects the working relationship. When managers become friends, they lose some of that power. How can a manager effectively discipline an employee when the employee was holding the managers hair back the night before as she puked into a toilet?

Like many have mentioned, it can get tricky.

Mnemosis wrote:THIS is why Facebook needs "Acquaintances" and "Friends" as separate classifications. You work with someone and they're cool, put them under "Acquaintances." You work with someone and get to be best friends with them? Bump them up to "Friends." With each and every status update, you get to decide which of those two classifications sees it. Problem solved, mostly, until whiny bitch pisses and moans about being an "acquaintance" and not a "friend."


You can essentially just set this up through your Privacy settings. I'm friends with my coworkers, but I've restricted them so they can't actually see anything on my page. We're listed as friends, but they get nothing.

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24 Re: Company rules for social networking... on Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:49 am

Captain Painway

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Heytherejeffro wrote:Yeah, I usually have been pretty safe about work-related things. I slipped up by making an inappropriate joke and someone I'm 'friends' with jumped on it and reported me, and now I'm dealing with it. My privacy settings mean nothing when someone can take a screenshot and print it out for all to see.

Let my egregious mistake serve as a warning; be very careful what you post. "Friends" aren't always friends, either.
Yep, I won't have work friends on my Facebook anymore. I had one "friend" print out status updates out of context and she used them to convince the boss that I was planning on leaving the company (I wasn't). I almost got fired.

LordD3r3k wrote:You can essentially just set this up through your Privacy settings. I'm friends with my coworkers, but I've restricted them so they can't actually see anything on my page. We're listed as friends, but they get nothing.
I did this with my brother-in-law and my parents for a long time until they started getting on my case about not being able to see my wall.

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25 Re: Company rules for social networking... on Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:30 pm

LordD3r3k

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Captain Painway wrote:
I did this with my brother-in-law and my parents for a long time until they started getting on my case about not being able to see my wall.

Luckily, either my coworkers haven't noticed yet or they just don't care Laughing

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