Facebook do's & don'ts

I'm not a fan of facebook. I'm a private person who has no desire to participate in broadcasting my life or viewing others lives electronically. Call me old fashion or a dinosaur but I'll continue to relate to people face to face. That said I'm looking for a list of Do's and Don'ts as it relates to social media sites such as facebook. As an HR person I need to know what I can and can't do. Just how much snooping (and I dread the thought) is an employer allowed to do. Besides the obvious, when can I or should I take action when something inappropriate is being written. For instance, as HR I’m held to a higher standard than someone in the mailroom. If I was writing negatively about the company, my boss or a co-worker when reported (and you know it will be at some point) what actions can the company take without crossing the line of privacy? The Company has no interest in asking for passwords, monitoring or even snooping but when we're told that someone may have crossed a line we need to react quickly and correctly.

I’m out of my comfort zone here any suggestions, links you can send my way?


  • 2 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • edited August 2015 PMVote Up0Vote Down
    You should check out our Technology for HR blog!

    Start with this post: Should Employers Monitor Employees' Facebook Walls? And then you check out other posts that talk about Facebook and other forms of social networking.

    I've been covering social media from an HR perspective for a few years now, and the best advice I've ever heard came from Molly DiBianca, who is one of our Employers Counsel Network attorneys and a noted blogger herself (www.delawareemploymentlawblog.com). It's also pretty simple: the online world is the real world.

    In other words, you don't have to make up a bunch of new rules for online "issues." For instance, in the scenario you proposed -- you find out something negative is being written on Facebook -- how would you react if someone came to you and told you they'd heard another employee say those things offline/in the real world? First, you determine if the comments are worth reacting to: was the employee just blowing off some steam in a private setting or was it in public (Facebook has both private and public settings and you can consider if the comment was just meant for friends or put out there to the whole world)? Does the employee's online statement indicate that they may be stealing or planning some sort of workplace violence or other behavior that must be confronted?

    If an employee is "friends" with someone online and they see a coworker writing something that is otherwise private to the world but that concerns them (threats of violence, bragging about stealing from the company), that employee -- who does have access to the coworker's private postings b/c they are "friends"-- can print that off and bring it to you. And then you handle it just like you would if any employee came to you and said they heard a coworker making threats or bragging about stealing. But don't pursue that information by trying to get into password-protected accounts by hacking or pressuring an employee to give you a password.

    At first, it seems like a really blurry line. But I think the more you apply all that HR experience you have in the "real world" to the "online world," you'll see that they aren't that different.

  • I'll definitely check out the links. I've been trying to avoid having to write a policy on Social Media as we've already got most of the points covered by this type of policy in our electronic communications policy, email policy etc. Snooping and/or asking for passwords are something I definitely don't want to be involved with. But I was given the task of determining how far we could go "legally". I thing the NLRB is pretty clear in it's opinion. Thank you
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