Social Media Costs -- and Some Workers Are Paying With Their Jobs

31. Oktober 2013
After 12 years on the job, DeMetra "Meech" Christopher says she was fired from Xerox's call center in Lexington, Ky., for posting a picture of herself at work on Instagram and hashtagging the company name.

Christopher says that other employees have posted pictures on Instagram, but management decided to fire her for identifying Xerox. Christopher says she has enlisted a privacy lawyer.

Xerox declined to comment specifically about the case or even confirm Christopher ever worked for the company., but it did provide CIO.com with a copy of its social networking policy for employees who have social media responsibilities as part of their jobs. Xerox does have a strict policy concerning tech devices in the call center. Given the sensitive nature of data, including credit card numbers, the company says it does not allow personal phones, tablets (even paper ones) and cameras in the workplace.

The conflict between Christopher and Xerox underscores a much wider problem. An employee's personal use of social networks and a company's desire to protect its public image have created a dangerous new intersection that threatens to derail any goodwill built up over the years between employee and management. Employees tend to take the brunt of collisions, as Christopher recently found out.

The number of those crashes is growing. CNN put together a list of 10 people who learned social media can get you fired. Among them are these four examples:

Barista Matt Watson anonymously blogged about dealing with difficult customers, was outed by sprudge.com and fired for writing about his place of employment during work hours.

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