Sunday, June 12, 2011

Tweeter, You're Fired!

The following Tweet showed up on my twitter search for the term "Nobscot" this morning:



Happily for me, my Nobscot is an HR technology company and we don't serve food in which to spit. But what about the owners of this Nobscot restaurant? If they see this tweet, should they fire @aspensullivan? Where do things cross the line from venting online to putting customers at risk?

A few days earlier, @aspensullivan tweeted this:


Was she at work when she tweeted that threat? Was it a threat or simply a harmless vent?

Does the fact that she's using her own phone rather than company resources make a difference? Should she be free to vent if she's only kidding? Is her speech protected? Should be tweeting during work? Is she a threat to her co-workers and customers? Should she hear the words, "Tweeter, You're Fired?"

We've seen highly publicized incidents of tweet terminations but what about the likely hundreds of tweets similar to this that are posted every day? This was one random tweet that I stumbled on because I happen to keep a search for Nobscot.

Which raises another question - if we can not control employee's online behavior, should HR monitor employee tweets to screen for potential risks? Should we have a Tweeter Termination Policy? Or in today's modern world is public venting and hollow threats inevitable and acceptable?

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