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Monday, August 22, 2011

Can Facebook Get You Fired?

CEO Mark Zuckerberg during an announcement at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., Wednesday, July 6, 2011. (AP)

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during an announcement at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., Wednesday, July 6, 2011. (AP)

With over 70 percent of the United States’ youth population on Facebook the gap that once existed between work and play is closing, raising questions about how employees’ social media activity impacts their job.

For instance, if you complain about work online, can you be fired? Depends on what you say and how your boss accesses that information. Now some employers are developing behavior codes for online activity.

Kabrina Chang, professor of business law and employment law at Boston University, decided to research the legal implications of firings that occur when online behavior meets the work place.

She told Here & Now‘s Sacha Pfeiffer that the best way to protect yourself is to be careful about what you post online:

Socials Media Do’s

  • Make sure your social media pages are “clean” before a job interview
  • Use common sense–remember that your web pages can be archived, and ask yourself: do you really want that comment to be forever connected to you in cyberspace?

Social Media Don’ts

  • Don’t friend your boss, but if you do, keep that page PG
  • Don’t lie to your boss and then post evidence of your lying online
  • Don’t use sexually explicit or potentially harassing language when talking about co-workers
  • Don’t bad-mouth your company on a work computer or company-issued mobile phone


  • Kabrina Chang, professor at Boston University

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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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