The Oracle Australia and New Zealand Middleware and Technology Blog.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Free Speech, Common Sense and the use of Social Networking

Read an interesting post this morning on the Sydney Morning Herald website surrounding the case of some prison officers facing disciplinary action after posting some comments to a group on FaceBook.

We are all entitled to free-speech, to a degree of course, but what we must rely on is some common-sense! Most organisations will have an acceptable use policy for their equipment, networks, internet access, software, databases etc. that governs what they expect you to do and not-to-do within and outside of work hours on tools they provide you to do your job. They do not, however, govern what you do on your own time on your own equipment - but there's a catch. If you, in anyway, cause offence, defame or bring into disrepute in anyway the organisation you work for - you could be liable for disciplinary action. This is what the prison officers in question are facing right now.

Bottom line, be careful what you say and where you say it - FaceBook is NOT like having a chat over a beer in your local pub with a colleague who feels the same way. Actually, it is - but the difference being the conversation is recorded and played back to your boss the following day!

The Fake Paul Ricketts

Addendum [02-04-09] It's always nice to hear that great minds are thinking alike. The Real Kate Carruthers wrote an article about a similar topic - that of using systems like FaceBook and other abuses of IT in the workplace. Well worth checking out Kate and her article here.

1 comment:

Alex Gorbachev said...

Makes total sense.
People treat Facebook and alikes as an IM chat without realizing it's public and more like a live interview to the first column of the global news paper.