Saturday, June 21, 2008

Blogging Employees - Is Your Company Prepared for Them?

Even if you think you are, you need to read's What!? Company liable for employee’s personal blog? :

"An employee at software firm Cisco wrote an anonymous blog, which he used to criticize patent lawyers. He stepped over the line when he wrote particularly disparaging comments about two attorneys involved in a suit against Cisco.

They found out the author’s identity, and they’re suing him for defamation. They’re also suing Cisco, despite the fact that the blog was personal, written from the employee’s home and never mentioned any affiliation with the company.

Why’s the employer being blamed? Allegedly, the employee’s supervisor knew what he was writing, and never told him to stop."


Other keys to an effective policy:
  • No blogging at work. You can’t control everything employees do, but you can tell them how they’re allowed to use the company’s time and property.
  • Harassment rules apply to online communication. If someone would be punished for saying something in person, they can be punished for saying it online, too.
  • No leaking confidential information or trade secrets.
  • People should not identify themselves as agents of the company or imply that they represent the company’s views. (Cisco wrote a new policy requiring employees who blog to include a disclaimer that their opinions aren’t indicative of the company’s.)