Commenting on Facebook Is Different from Talking Out Loud?

I am going to share another recent ABC News video as a follow-up post of last week’s discussion --- “Is it legal to fire your employee(s) who bad-mouths you or your company on Facebook?” These days, I won’t feel surprised anymore when I hear that somebody gets fired because of his/her inappropriate comments on Facebook and/or other social networking sites. Well, this is a different story.

This lady used words such as “freeeeeeks,” “uneducated,” “white trash,” and “no ppl skills” to describe her co-workers and supervisors on Facebook. She got fired afterwards. What surprised me the most is that she actually believes posting comments on Facebook is different from talking loud in office. According to this video, she did not put her company name on her profile. Neither did she use her supervisors’ or co-workers’ names. How could her “private speech” within her social networks cause her a job?

I look at Internet quite differently. Posting something on the Internet, no matter if it is private or public, the content will stay in the cyber world forever. People may also find it easier to spread words on the Internet than actually talking to someone else face to face. Consequently, I feel whatever “footprint” we leave on the Internet actually speaks way louder than a public speech. The results of inappropriate posts on the Internet could be even more detrimental.

What are your opinions? Should a person be protected from whatever s/he says within their social networking sites? Should a person’s rights of “freedom speech” be honored, regardless what content a message has and when /where this message is posted?

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