Nixon's Memoirs: Are we in danger of being "Dooced"?

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Are we in danger of being "Dooced"?

Call me ignorant, naive, Chester, whatever, but I had never heard of this term before yesterday, when Yahoo featured THIS STORY about a blogger being fired for bad-mouthing her employer on her blog.

You need not scroll down too far to see a small rant about my own employer, and I know of several other blogs I read that frequently complain about where they work.

While I try to keep my comments limited to things I wouldn't mind saying to my boss's face, or slip into the 'suggestion box' at work, some others have gotten a bit more therapeutic than I have in their posts.

This brings up the whole "Free Speech" vs. "Free Enterprise" debate, that'll make any red-blooded American's cowboy hat spin. Quite honestly, I'm on the proverbial fence with this one. I'm an 'at will' employee where I work, which means if they suddenly decide that I'm too fat, too white, too Republican, too much of an OU fan, too ugly, or just really really want to hire someone else to fill my position, they can tell me goodbye at any second. Luckily, I'm in an industry that few people want to work in, and with high turnover, so any happy, loyal employee such as myself has pretty good job security. (Yes, I really do love my job!)

But if I started posting lies and half-truths, or even whole truths that paint my employer in a bad light, would they be justified in firing me? And just who are they firing? "Nixon Casablanca" (not my real name.) Yes, that' s my real picture, but couldn't I just as easily post as someone else? Or use a fake picture? Or post as a pet armadillo?

I don't blog on company time, mainly because we have no internet access at work. If we did, I probably would, but only because I mostly work graveyard during which time we watch the kids sleep (and make sure they don't wake up and try to escape, stab eachother, etc.) We do have a LOT of paperwork to keep us busy, but we still manage to have several hours of idle time a night, which is usually filled with reading or light television watching.

So, I've reached no conclusion, but then again, neither did the news story. Where do YOU stand?


At 7:17 AM, Blogger Circa Bellum said...

Blog at your own risk. I think that pretty much says it. I run across bloggers that were dooced all the time. Acidman was fired for posting bad things about his wife on his blog - she was a co-worker. Heather Armstrong, who has the blogsite "dooced" was fired for postings about her employer that,well,you'd just have to read them - and they're still up on her site in the category "dooced."

I try very hard not to put anything related to my actual job in my blog except for a stray comment here and there that alludes to what I do.

Just sayin'. Hope things are going well for you, there on the other side of the river...

At 3:30 PM, Blogger Middle_America said...

I think a person can say or write whatever they find content. However, it comes with a price. Take the Dixie Chicks as an example. They had all the right in the world to make their 'ashamed of the President' statement. Yet, they paid for it with their listeners.

That said, my thought is, you can say or write what you want. However, be prepared for the repercussions.

At 3:59 AM, Blogger kel said...

Great post I hadn't really thought about any of that stuff. Looking at it from my work prospective as a Paralegal I am thinking lawsuits against companies for wrongful termination.

At 8:15 AM, Blogger laurie said...

i say bring em on. most people in the US hate their jobs and if they don't vent, whether that be to their shrinks or in their blogs, then they'd suffer some sort of mental meltdown. i guess i'd rather have employees who hate me and aren't afraid to express themselves on the internet than employees that are ready to come in with heavy artillery to blow the place up.

At 8:48 PM, Blogger Bus Snob said...

Hey Nixon,

Been a while since you first visited my blog, and this is the first time i've posted on yours. The link isn't working, but I caught the same/similar article the other day, as well as hearing the term dooced.

I think there are things to be concerned about. I don't see a problem with companies regulating what people do with their company time, and with wanting information to be kept secret as well as photos of the insides of their buildlings. People that post information that compromises the company's position are justifiably fired in my mind.

However, one article I read referenced that individuals are being censured for what is going on at home or in their off hours. One company mandated that individuals were not allowed to smoke - at all. The reason being that smoking leads to higher medical costs and premiums, and the company could not afford it. People are trying to also extend that kind of control to blogging.

You will see me reference my work quite often in my blog - but I try and keep it as generic as possible. Everyone needs to vent/escape, but there is a certain amount of memorializing that occurs, because once you put it out in cyberworld.. it seems to always be out there.

So i'm with Circa bellum who said - blog at your own risk. I think each individual should set their own standards - afterall, they know what the individual companies will and wont tolerate.


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