Getting Fired for Social Media Use

Social Media Can Wreck Your Career | Illustration Copyright Hawaii Business

The May 2011 edition of Hawaii Business magazine states simply, “Social Media Can Wreck Your Career.”

Invoking Comedian Gilbert Gottfried, U.S. Rep. Chris Lee, local investigative journalist Ian Lind, and former University of Hawaii regent candidate Joshua Wingstrom as cautionary tales, it points out how you can torpedo your future with things you post on the web.

It also notes how companies should be prepared with policies to give guidance to employees on what’s appropriate (and what isn’t).

Lind is described as the first journalist to lose his job for blogging, and was interviewed for the piece. Also quoted were Kitty Lagareta (Communications Pacific), Kristi Inkinen Yanagihara (Remedy Intelligent Staffing), Judy Bishop (Bishop & Co), and Roxanne Darling (Bare Feet Studios).

Darling notes: “It’s not enough anymore to say, ‘Use your common sense.’ It’s better to be clear so employees don’t have to guess what’s permitted and management doesn’t have to make up the rules along the way.”

Strict policies at Aloha Pacific Federal Credit Union and law firm Alston Hunt Floyd and Ing are compared to those at Communications Pacific, where using social media is often part of the job.

“My rule of thumb is that I hire grownups,” Lagareta tells Hawaii Business. “I don’t care what age you are, if you don’t understand your responsibilities to the company and the clients, I think that’s a bigger issue that has little to do with social media or the Internet; it has to do with maturity, honesty, respect and accountability.”

The article also notes a Hawaii social media guide for employers, published last year by Altres Staffing.

Illustration by Hawaii Business.

Ryan Ozawa

Ryan Kawailani Ozawa has immersed himself in new technologies and online communities since the days before the web. From running a dial-up BBS in the early '90s to exploring today’s dynamic world of "Web 2.0" and social media, he has long embraced and evangelized the ways in which technology can bring people together.