Just read on ESPN.com that an employee of the Philadelphia Eagles was fired for a post he put up on Facebook. Basically, this employee was upset that one of his favorite players, Brian Dawkins, signed with the Denver Broncos. His post was:
"Dan is [expletive] devastated about Dawkins signing with Denver ... Dam Eagles R Retarted!!"
Seems pretty harmless by sports forum chatter standards. The employee later deleted the post but was still fired a few days later. I've heard of similar things happening in other non-sports related companies where employees have been terminated for making detrimental statements on social networking or blog sites. I'm sure the threshold is different for each company and I can't speak to what I'd do if faced with a similar situation. Most likely, my take would be that unless an employee is leaking private company information or committing deliberate libel towards the company or another employee, it's really not a big deal. Employees shouldn't be afraid to voice their opinions about their employers. If nothing else, I'd view it as a valuable communication tool for employers to improve the way they do things. However, incidents like the above are just another reminder that in the new age of Facebook/MySpace/Twitter/Blogs/etc. we have far less privacy than we'd like to think (a lot of which is our own fault). My rule of thumb is I expect every post/update/comment/etc. that I make will be read by every single person in the world from my business partners to my mother. If I wouldn't want any of them reading it, I shouldn't even put it up.