True indeed, Freedom of Speech comes to the US citizens as a right, but it may not be so at the workplace. There have been a few instances of employees being fired from a workplace as they expressed “views” on a blog. Interestingly there is even a website with the list of fired bloggers.
With YouTube and the social networking websites infiltrating the websites and luring employees to quickly “check-in” while at the workplace, it is easy to vent emotions on the internet. An advice which probably should be added to all the new employees orientation and of course communicated to existing employees must be on corporate blogging policies.
Sample Corporate Blogging policy
- Make it clear that the views expressed in the blog are yours alone and do not necessarily represent the views of your employer.
- Respect the company’s confidentiality and proprietary information.
- Ask your manager if you have any questions about what is appropriate to include in your blog.
- Be respectful to the company, employees, customers, partners, and competitors.
- Understand when the company asks that topics not be discussed for confidentiality or legal compliance reasons.
- Ensure that your blogging activity does not interfere with your work commitments.
(The above policies are taken from Blogging Policies Examples)
Of course freedom of speech is very much welcome everywhere and comes as a right to all US residents but there are a few points to note before you start firing unpleasant comments about your company or employees. For a good example see IBM’s blogging policy: http://www.snellspace.com/IBM_Blogging_Policy_and_Guidelines.pdf.