Is Facebook Privacy an Oxymoron?

I have a dilemma.  Do you remember the Snowboarding Olympian, Scotty Lago?  He was the young man who won a bronze metal and then was photographed in a compromising position.  What do you think of that?  See, when we discussed this topic in class that night I was in the lone minority when I said that we are taking this a little too seriously.  My stance was that this kid is in his early twenties and he was on a winning high and so he did something stupid.

Did you ever do something stupid in your 20’s? 

Well I have.  If you knew me in my then please know that I am not desirous of reminiscing. 


So that was my stance with Scotty Lago.  Here though is my dilemma.  I have a rigid double standard.  As an HR professional, I would not wish to see lewd actions posted on facebook by employees, candidates, peers or management. 

So why do I allow Scotty slack?  Gees, I am not really sure.  I agree with all of the arguments about how he should be held to a higher standard as an Olympian, and he should be smart enough not to do the act in the first place when everyone in the world has a camera on their telephone.  And that is what happened isn’t it?  He put his bronze medal on his precious jewels and had a woman kiss it.  Saucy.  People WILL take pictures of that even if you are not an Olympian.  Then this picture spread virally through the internet. 

Many people post incriminating pictures of themselves on their facebook page.  Just a tip, turn on the privacy settings and don’t befriend your boss or a journalist if you truly expect it to be private.

In yesterday’s Daily Gazette, there is an article (attached) that encourages businesses to adopt a social media policy.  I like that.  Some of it seems obvious, but I like the implication.  It says that more companies are allowing their employees to use social media, but there should be a code of standards that surround that use.  It is just good business practice to develop policies and enforce them to cultivate the expected behavior of their employees.

Click here to read the article.

As an employee of a company, using social media on behalf of that company, we have certain responsibilities to uphold and that is where the policy could help clear up any ambiguity in that area.  Joel Postman says, “Don’t put anything in writing (or) any form unless you don’t mind seeing it on the front page of the New York Times.” 

That is sound advice.  What do you think?

1 Comment

Filed under adult education, No Adult Left Behind

One response to “Is Facebook Privacy an Oxymoron?

  1. Question.. anybody knows how to get your market from twitter???

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