How angry social network rants could get you fired

Social networking could get you fired

We all like to blow off a bit of steam on social networks from time to time, but making nasty comments about your boss could see you joining the dole queue.

A new survey from YouGov and workplace consultants Croner has shown more than one in 10 under 35 year olds have made derogatory comments about their boss or employer on social networking sites, but one of Croner's consultants has warned this could spell trouble.

"Some people might not be aware of who can see these posts and likewise some people might not be bothered but the fact is they are being posted," said Liz Iles, employment consultant at Croner.

But could these posts lead to users losing their jobs? "Absolutely," said Iles.

"If there was something sufficiently serious posted in the public domain then it could be serious enough to be considered gross misconduct," she said.

Although 11 per cent of under 35s may not sound like a great deal, it was significantly more than the older age groups, as only four per cent of the over 45s had posted something similar.

Iles believes the gap exists because the younger generations "grew up with the technology at their fingertips" and were more used to expressing themselves through such a medium than their older counterparts.

The information may already be in the public domain, but the process of finding the updates has just become a whole lot easier too.

Yesterday saw the launch of a new website called Openbook, enabling people to search for embarrassing status updates on Facebook.

Our sister site PC Pro reported that the site's founder, Will Moffat, was launching it to highlight the privacy issues around the popular social network, which have been hitting the headlines in the past week.

"Openbook draws attention to the information Facebook makes public about its users via its search API," said Moffat.

"Our goal is to get Facebook to restore the privacy of this information, so that this website and others like it no longer work."

Iles claimed that "these cases will be more and more prevalent as there are more and more people using these sites" so, until Moffat achieves his goals, social networking users may have to be a bit more careful about moaning online after a hard days work.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.