Disturbing Events

Recently, it has come to my attention that a fellow library blogger has been fired for his journal entries. This particular blogger was operating far too out in the open to be writing the stuff he was writing and was cited by one of the most respected professional library bloggers on her blog to illustrate a point. Sadly, this post was read by the man’s boss and he was summarily fired for speaking his mind.

This is a cautionary tale for both professional bloggers, and those bloggers who simply journal to vent their frustrations about their jobs. If you blog to vent, it’s a good idea to try to remain as anonymous as possible to circumvent such events. Keep in mind the Internet is a public forum. If you blog professionally, you have a responsibility to think through what consequences your actions may have for those you blog about. Obviously, neither one of these individuals wanted this outcome, but it happened. I hope that we can all learn something from this.

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~ by Woeful on August 4, 2007.

16 Responses to “Disturbing Events”

  1. As an English teacher who promotes writing (and who has been known to blog about the frustrations of her job) it would be a bit ironic if I were to be fired for it. I stay anonymous, but I have my paranoid moments.

  2. I think it is best that Woeful remain anonymous because if the muscle heads @ the gym found out that he lies to people how much he can bench they lock him in his gym locker!

  3. LOL… I’m going to rename you SkepticalDave.

  4. I’ve had an “incident” where a “friend” and coworker took one of my posts to the boss. (NOTE: it was NOT a public post, only a few people were able to see it – he must’ve printed it out and took it to her) Ironically, the post was me saying how awesome said boss had been in handling a situation I’d had with a difficult coworker. Somehow, she interpreted this private post saying she was fantastic as a public post “slandering the entire organization.” 😦 I tried repeatedly to explain to her that it wasn’t public, and certainly no slander was my intention, quite the contrary – but all she heard was “blog” and equated that with PUBLIC and she refused to hear me out. I’d already quit the job because of the coworker (a smart thing, as it turned out), but that post (and the back-stabbing coward who ratted me out – for saying GOOD things!!) cost me any goodwill I thought I’d kept with that person, and probably cost me a reference as well. Since then, I’ve gone underground, so to speak. 😦

    Sad this happens to anyone.

  5. Hello Sinagua! Sorry to hear that. That’s exactly why none of my coworkers know that I blog.

  6. There are many instances of blog entries coming back to bite the author in an unpleasant place. Woeful is right in that your blog, if about the workplace, should be as anonymous as possible at all times. Unless, of course, you quit and are spiteful. Then by all means make it public and send me the URL.

  7. Yup… There have been enough people Dooced already. I mean, it’s not like we’re giving away the secret formula to Coke or anything…

  8. Poor guy!

    Let me tell you, if this medium had existed eons ago I would have been fired A LONG TIME AGO! Or expelled from school? LOL

  9. PS What about future celebrities in the making? Could this be bad for them too?

  10. It’s best to leave as minimal a footprint as possible if you’re blogging about “sensitive” stuff. It’s hard to completely cover your tracks, but it can be done. It’s just a big pain in the ass to use a proxy server. Also, it’s never a good idea to blog while on the clock. Sooner or later, the fit hits the shan. I’m not sure about celebs in the making? Like Dooce?

  11. It’s very hard to tell the difference between a blog for personal use and a pro blog. I am always bummed when blog turns pro on me.

  12. … I mean “professional” as in not for profit, but as in serious musings on any profession.

  13. We need to know more about what goes on in libraries, and more librarian opinions, than library administrators and boards would like to see the sunshine.

    Librarians inclined to speak out, consider a blog, perhaps a second blog, that contains no information that can be used to prove authorship. If they get you, make them prove their case. Use Tor with Java disabled in the browser.

    Don’t let those who would suppress librarian opinions and noteworthy facts win without a fight. That’s easy for me to say, of course, from the outside.

  14. I think it’s terrible to fire people for a blog. I mean, we verbally speak out in public places all the time about our job frustrations. So what’s the difference between blogging about it and being overheard in a grocery store complaining?

    Granted, my job is not my life and I plan on leaving it eventually once I can convince people to hire me as a singer. But being fired because I vented my frustrations at the stupidity of some of our patrons? Please. It’s not like I use their names. It could be any person in the world I’m talking about.

    Frankly, if I were fired because of my blog I’d bring about a wrongful termination lawsuit because I’m not doing anything wrong. Not like the subs who come in and do things like download instant messenger programs to the circ computers or read bridal magazines at the desk when they’ve been told not to. If they can’t be fired for that, then no one should be fired for a blog.

  15. I’m very careful not to discuss our staff, and make the Library, the patrons, and my own identity as anonymous as possible.

  16. Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

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