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Submitted by Dani Martin on


Any advice on how to handle inappropriate (or approaching inappropriate) postings and comments on MySpace? I have several staff with MySpace pages and I'm concerned about some of the postings/comments they're leaving on each other's pages. Their identify is not hidden (names and pictures are plentiful). In addition, they state the name of the organization as their employer. I'm concerned about other people, including staff and those we serve, seeing these comments which do not represent the company in a positive light.

Is the feedback model appropriate here or is this considered their "private life"? Has anyone else dealt with this? Any advice?

Thank you!

juliahhavener's picture
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I think that even though it is "private life" because the name of your organization is included as their employer the feedback model would be appropriate.

Mark's picture
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You must talk to them, and the feedback model is appropriate.

That said:

1. They may choose to do nothing, and there's little you have formal authority over. If they leave them up, it's unlikely you have any recourse, except withholding organizational rewards in terms of promotions (because surely you can find other examples of what these postings show: that they are not intelligent enough to be trusted with others' careers.)

2. You don't HAVE to use the feedback model. You could just say, "hey, I saw your MySpace page, and I'd recommend you change it. Volunteers may take offense, and that may affect your ability to produce results for us." Or, "hey, I think your MySPace page is in poor taste. You may want to think about changing some of that since you're a professional and work in the community." This is a softer approach that may make them MORE likely to go your way.

3. I am uncertain that you can MAKE them remove the ACS reference, but you can say, "whatever you do, I think it's in incredibly poor taste that you have our name next to (blank thing that is not in good taste.)" This may be just as effective as the feedback model, since you're in the gray area of personal-professional, and they may associate the model with "work."


aspiringceo's picture

You could try reporting it to myspace. My daughter had a similar problem with bebo (another social contact website similar to myspace) last week and asked people to remove material that had been posted, when this failed I fired off an email to bebo and asked for their help. The result was that the pages were withdrawn immediately and the owners contacted by bebo and reminded about appropriate content.

asteriskrntt1's picture

Great question Dani

I have a facebook page and even though I don't post anything trashy, I find some of my "friends" do, including skanky pics and joining ridiculous groups.

And I think we all read about that woman who had her teaching degree
yanked a few weeks ago for having a picture of herself allegedly drinking beer on another site.

You can be tainted by association and I think people are beginning to recognize that. I am totally rethinking my presence on facebook. I don't think I need this type of publicity if I build a network the Manager Tools way.


alyurek's picture

Perhaps suggesting they make their myspace profile private could be a good solution.

When a profile is private, only a small thumbnail picture and a few lines of personal information like age (nothing identifiable) is visible. Their profile is only visible to people that they allow to be their friend.

thaGUma's picture

Most companies should consider bringing the company into disrepute in public a serious issue of disloyalty and subject to immediate dismissal. There are always other courses to deal with negative views of the company. Public forae are not appropriate.
It is however an area of increasing concern that modern society and business is still coming to terms with.
Feedback certainly. Based on the lack of professionalism rather than the comments made. The comments, whether or not they have any substance, should be dealt with separately. The method whereby the comments were made was either through ignorance or malice, both pretty negative factors.

john.reiss's picture

Dani -
Odd that I saw similar news to this earlier today. [url]
I hope your issue isn't as bad as this one however, I do think that it speaks to the blurring of professional/personal space in the world.

bflynn's picture

There is no blurring. You are not different people at home or at work.

For the average person, what they do is not so vital. But, we're not talking about average people. What managers do does matter, both on the job and away from it...because you're never away from it. The more senior you become, the more you represent your company, even when not at the office. And, what you place on your MySpace page impacts your relationships, both at home and at work.

It matters a great deal.


john.reiss's picture

Brian -
I have to disagree with you here. Dani was speaking about her directs' MySpace pages and, on the subject of being two different people, of course you are. If I spoke to my wife like a co-worker or direct, pretty sure that would end very badly. The language we use in both spaces becomes different, therefore our actions will be slightly different as well. Since employees would NEVER think of using a computer at work for personal reasons, when the Internet is used at home, they will be in the "home" mode.