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Cautionary tales about frolicking on Facebook - Metro US

Cautionary tales about frolicking on Facebook

Summer months are upon us with revellers out in full swing. Pictures get taken, then enthusiastically posted on Facebook to proudly share the carousals with other friends.

Facebook is a cogent network-building tool, but this club isn’t exclusive. It’s not only friends that are privy to lude postings. It could be your employer.

But this is only one scenario. There are many others, which demonstrate that people can be under the false impression of being entitled to do as they please without consequences when it comes to their private life.

The operative word is “private.” Facebook is not private, even though it may feel that way. As a result, you may find out the hard way by getting fired, having your reputation for future employment tarnished, and if your case makes the news, you’re now a hit item when Googled.

Some cases include:

A 29-year-old Quebec woman on long-term sick leave from IBM was reported to be fighting to have her disability benefits reinstated after her employer’s insurance company cut them because of photos she posted on Facebook. She was diagnosed with depression. Photos posted on Facebook included her living it up at a bar show, her birthday party and on a sun holiday. This was taken to be evidence that she was no longer depressed.

In the U.S., a Catholic teacher was fired for posting teachings on Facebook regarding atheism that were deemed contrary to the church and job contract.

These are a few cases that represent a growing number where technology is becoming more detrimental, yet we can’t blame it. Technology is a prodigious asset when used with common sense and decorum.

This summer and beyond, a word to the wise: Beware about destroying your face with Facebook. With the click of a button, virtually anyone can find out anything from your sexual preference to exactly what you’ve been up to on a hot weekend — and more companies are snooping.

Christine Williams is the producer and host of the live current affairs daily talk show On the Line at CTS TV in Burlington, Ont.

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