Employees on Twitter

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I don’t know if you’ve seen this, but many employees who tweet will use this disclaimer on their profiles.

RT’s/opinions listed are my own and are not affiliated with my employer.

I hate this disclaimer. I hate it a lot.

Let’s take a step back.

I understand why employees would feel like they need some distance between their personal brand and the employer brand. They want independence. They want freedom. They don’t want to get fired. Makes sense.

And companies — who are stupidly obsessed with social media background checks — want to make sure that their current employees aren’t positioning themselves online as perverts, political extremists, or weirdos. Just like you can catch a cold, organizations don’t want to fall victim to the contagion that is ‘stupidity’ on the internet.

Again, got it.

One person’s stupid actions can impact an organization. Even with the most rigid social media policies, employees can be stupid. Remember this headline?

Kenneth Cole’s Egypt Tweet Offends Just About Everyone on Twitter.

And in Chicago, well before Twitter, we had the Brown’s Chicken massacre. The company struggled for years because of a murder that took place at one of its restaurants. One action — by a bunch of former employees — ruined that brand for years.

The same thing happens in reverse. Whenever I see a resume from someone who worked at Enron, I always ask about Kenneth Lay. Sorry, but I do.

So this is just a quick post to say that we’re all in this together. While your RT’s/opinions listed are your own and are not affiliated with your employer, that’s just not true. As long as you are an employee, you will always be ‘loosely affiliated’ with your job. That’s how America works.

And for HR departments and companies — just because someone is employed and loosely affiliated with your organization doesn’t mean that you control their behaviors. Being a capitalist is risky. Labor is necessary. Get over it.

And for everyone — quit telling me that RT’s/opinions listed are your own and are not affiliated with your employer. No shit. But when you write that, it sure sounds like you’re not an independent thinker.

We know that’s not true.

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