With all the social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and the million others out there it becomes very easy to tell the world about yourself. What many users of those social networks do not realize is that their writings can have consequences in the real world. A young women got only recently fired from here job at a British marketing company because she mentioned on her Facebook profile that her job was boring. She did not mention the name of the company in the posting but it was enough for the company to react on the message.
Consequences do not have to be job related though, think about using dating sites will in a relationship, posting untrue comments about people in bulletin boards or simply participating in the occasional flame war on a favorite forum. Those things usually do not backfire but if they do it can quickly become ugly for the offender. Many Internet users still think that the Internet is a lawfree environment where they can post anything they want without fearing consequences in real life. The realization that this is not the case usually comes when it is to late to change the cause of action.
The reaction of the company that fired the employee for the Facebook comment was a harsh one. Many would have probably asked the employee to remove the offending comment and most employees would probably comply immediately. It does serve as a prime example though as to what can happen if you are not careful about your online postings.
Some countries go even further than this. They make the website owners responsible for the content on their websites. This leads to some ridiculous situations where not only the poster but also the website owner face consequences for the data that has been posted on the website. Users should be aware that their online postings might come back at them at some time in the future in a non pleasant way no matter where they live or post.
Which leads to the question: Are you cautious about what you post online? Do you have any rules or guidelines that you follow? As a company, what would be your stance? Let us know in the comments.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.