Unflattering social media postings may be costing some workers their jobs and damaging their careers. According to a survey, 4% of American executives say that something they posted on social media, such as Facebook or YouTube, resulted in them either being fired from their job, not being offered a job, losing a promotion, or being officially reprimanded or disciplined.
And for those unfortunate workers, there seems little doubt as to the cause. More than half of those who suffered negative employment consequences said they were directly told by their supervisor that inappropriate social media postings were the reason; thirty-nine percent said that they were told by someone other than their supervisor. Only nine percent said that they had no direct evidence and were only guessing that social media played a role.
In an earlier survey, 29 percent of young social media users have posted a photo, video, comment or other personal information that they fear could cost them a job. Twenty-one percent said they have removed a social media post because of fear of repercussions from an employer.
“Always assume your boss might end up seeing that Facebook posting or Instagram photo you’re about to send,” said Stephanie Rahlfs, an attorney-editor. “Many people think that something they post on their own time on their personal social media site cannot impact their status with their employer. Or they may assume that privacy settings will keep their employer from seeing it. But depending on the company you work for and the state where you live, your employer may have broad latitude for firing you for whatever reason. And in the long run, you may never know whether that job or promotion that you were never offered was because of something that your employer discovered on a social media site.”
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