Be careful what you Facebook

by Mathew on January 18, 2007 · 7 comments

Facebook is a great service — my 17-year-old daughter and all her friends use it (I have an account too), and so does my cousin who is at McGill University in Montreal, where she engages in the typical sort of debauchery expected of second-year college students, and then posts pictures of said debauchery on her site for all her friends to see. I warn her about that from time to time, because you never know where those pictures are going to wind up.

facebook_cake.jpg

What got me thinking about that again was reading on Engtech’s blog about a couple of employees of Farm Boy in Ottawa who were fired as a result of some stories they posted on a Facebook group, one of which allegedly involved theft from the store. There are more details in the Sun story, but in any case, they were fired despite having what was reportedly a stellar record at the store.

They were also fired despite the fact that Facebook groups are private, and you have to be invited to get into one. Similarly, Facebook profiles and pictures are not viewable unless someone invites you. However, in what was probably a poor decision, they all used their real names — and, as Engtech points out, one of them was fairly distinctive. That made it pretty easy to track down who it was. This kind of thing has happened before and likely will again.

Update:

A story from the Globe about well-known weatherman Percy Saltzman, who passed away recently, shows that it’s not just teenaged bloggers that need to think about the impact of what they are writing — 91-year-old weathermen might want to think about it a bit too.

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  • http://engtech.wordpress.com engtech

    Yup, this is the 21st century. I think it’ll be quite a while before people get it in their heads that the Internet is a permanent, easily searchable archive.

  • Eric

    Yep, it always comes down to common sense and as a parent I am constantly working hard to make sure my son understands the risks of what you show to the world, either in words or pictures.

  • http://zacharyhoule.invisibleink.com Zachary Houle

    Did a story on blogs about six years ago when they were still largely glorified diary sites. This was brought up then. I think it probably has something to do with these guys ages, but I also wonder if people ever learn.

    Moral of the story: Don’t post that which you aren’t willing to stick behind, I suppose.

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  • Momma

    I know at the restartaunt I work at, our boss fired some people bc they made a group called I hate (place of work). All of them in the group lost their jobs because clearly, they didnt like their jobs!

  • Momma

    I know at the restartaunt I work at, our boss fired some people bc they made a group called I hate (place of work). All of them in the group lost their jobs because clearly, they didnt like their jobs!

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