American slang has the word "Dooced", which means being fired because you wrote something on a blog or website, usually about the company or organization you work for, which makes it look bad. If you want to avoid this, here are a few steps to follow.
Step 1. Find the line between your personal and professional life when blogging
Your personal and work life should be kept separate, unless of course you consider blogging a part of your job. While there are ways to talk about your work, it should be done in general terms, in supportive and positive terms, without criticizing your place of work or the people you work with. Here are a few things to consider:
- Don't assume that you will be able to plead ignorance of how your job relates to employee blogging. Find out what your company policy says about employee engagement in social media. If such a policy exists, please read it. If there is no such policy, it would still be logical to tell your manager what exactly you are writing on the blog, if it affects your work, and agree to introduce some rules.
- Follow the blogger's "code of ethics" even if your job doesn't have a policy. These tips are usually good form rules for a blogger, as they set boundaries for posts to be sincere, respectful, and considerate.
Step 2. Know what is and should always be confidential information in your workplace
If you don't already know this, chances are you need to gain experience from other people! If in doubt, always ask. Confidential information includes:
- Information about finances, taxes, company transactions, etc.
- Everything about security
- Prohibited information, press releases or events
- Personal information about the people you work with, such as addresses, phone numbers, salaries, etc.
Step 3. Know what constitutes defamatory information
While the definition of what constitutes defamation differs from law to law, fundamentally defamation is when you make a statement that explicitly or implicitly reflects the facts that expose a person, firm, products, etc. in a negative light. Some jurisdictions require this statement to be false, but some may not.
Since the statement appears on the Internet, it can be viewed from anywhere in the world, so you should be aware of the possibility of a lawsuit from anywhere if the aggrieved party feels offended
Step 4. "Don't be such a fool."
This is a direct quote from Heather Armstrong, the first woman to become widely known for being fired from her job for her satirical blog criticizing her work. Not being a fool means thinking before diving into the vast maelstrom of cyberspace. Consider the following:
- Think about how your coworkers and other people will react before you divulge their names, life details, and your personal thoughts about them.
- Remember that your boss can read this too, just like you.
- Put yourself in their place, or in the place of your company. Would you like to read what you wrote if it was about you? Would you trust such an employee if you were the boss? Would you be happy to read this if you were running this company?
- Remember that what you find funny, satirical, or ironic can seem very unconstructive and negative from the company's point of view. It all depends on the reader, and if you have the slightest doubt that someone will be offended or upset by this, do not write about it.
Step 5. Add fictional elements
If you blog about events at work but don't have permission, leeway, or understanding of the intricacies of your job, you can't write anything to find you. Change the names, dates and set of events. Add fictional elements to your post. This is often used to throw your employer off the scent and make it difficult (hopefully impossible) to put everything together to determine where to work. How you balance between communicating the truth to citizens and the privacy requirements of your company is entirely up to you, but your readers are unlikely to be very grateful to you, unless you have a very popular and well-monetized blog …
Step 6. Think carefully about which images to use
Images can convey more than a thousand words. In 2006, Elena Simonetti, a Delta Airlines flight attendant, was fired for comments she left on her blog about her work. She was very visible on the website in her work uniform, and the employer was unhappy that her comments and the image she posted damaged the airline's reputation. To avoid harm when an image can be associated with your place of work, consider the following when using images:
- Don't wear clothing that identifies your place of work from the photographs you post on your blog (unless your employer knows and agrees with it).
- Do not post pictures of yourself, friends, or coworkers that might affect how an employer sees you. Nudity, vulgar gestures, sexually suggestive positions, etc. Are the types of photographs that can affect your working reputation.
- Do not post pictures of yourself, friends, children or animals in any way related to illegal drug use. A thoughtless photo of an inoperable infant will not be well received, no matter how much you try to explain it.
- Do not post photos of your colleagues from a barbecue, corporate party, etc. without their permission. You cannot know in advance if they want to become famous in this way. If your company was a sponsor of an event, you must also ask your employer for permission to post photos from the event.
Step 7. Regularly search for yourself and your blog in search engines
This is a great way to find out what is being said about you. In addition, you can immediately see the impending storm in the glass, about which you need to warn your employer in advance.
Use Google Alerts to get your blog discussions to your inbox
Step 8. Find a new job
If you really hate your job or think you can do better, then it’s better to leave than to publicly criticize your place of work, despite the fact that your employer trusts you and pays you money. Instead, broadcast from the rostrum about something else, such as a new job or your own business. Remember that you will be tied up the moment you publicly criticize the work, because you will be considered the person who can do it with any company, any person, at any time. Do you want to be treated this way when trying to find a new job in the future?
- Remember, the internet will tolerate everything. Whatever you write, it will remain in some form on the Internet, even if you delete it. When in doubt, never post this.
- All of these steps also apply to microblogging. A paragraph of text below an image on Flickr or a 140-letter tweet on Twitter telling you how much you hate your job is easy to find (try typing "I hate my job" on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and you will see what appears in response …).
- Remember that even "anonymous" comments will leave a mark on your ISP. If you leave comments in a forum, blog, etc. from your workplace, you will be in the line of fire when any negative or offensive comment is tracked back to your workplace.
- Do not post anything when you are tired or in a bad mood. You won't be able to delete your post later, and your opinion will most likely change when you get enough sleep.