by Cathy Resmer
Most people know by now that what you do on the Internet under your own name will almost certainly follow you offline. Amazingly, an editor at the Maimi New Times — an alt. weekly in Miami FL — thought that the usual journalistic rules about libel didn't apply to her blog, where she trashed an employee. At least, that's what it says in this article from Daily Business Review. The editor in question has been suspended and may be sued.
Most cyber-savvy citizens are aware — or should be aware — that bloggers have been fired from their jobs for posting office gossip or proprietary information, or even for making an explicit connection between their blogs and their workplace. Blogging makes employers nervous, the same way having a journalist embedded at their company would make employers nervous. Employers need to understand this medium, and how it can affect their business or organization.
Earlier this year, I discovered that a Vermont blogger had posted information linking him to his/her employer, and realized that the employer in question would likely not approve of the staffperson's blog. I chose not to draw attention to this situation, but I wonder if Vermont's businesses and institutions have caught up with this national trend. Does your workplace have a blogging policy? Do your employers know about your blog? How do you deal with this potential conflict?