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Connor Riley
Twitter post makes woman internet sensation

Social networking is huge online and people of all ages and demographics are using the sites for all sorts of reasons from keeping in touch with family and friends to running a business. The problem for many users of social networking sites is that often in the heat of an idle comment, people forget that social networks are an open forum.

Making comments that the poster thinks are sarcastic or joking may not strike other readers the same way. Twitter is one of the newer breed of social networking sites that lets users send short “tweets” to a group of friends or followers. Google's Eric Schmidt has called Twitter a "poor man's email system."

One of the myriad of problems that can result from postings to sites like Twitter is that a single comment can have serious implications for the poster. Recently, Connor Riley found herself in some hot water over a twitter post that has been dubbed the "Cisco Fatty" incident.

Riley posted a comment to her account that read, "Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work."

It wasn't long after that someone claiming to be a Cisco employee posted a reply saying, "Who is the hiring manager? I'm sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the Web."

The "Cisco Fatty" incident is another example of how social networking can be used against those who post comments in legal cases and by potential employers.

Attorney Daliah Saper told The Chicago Tribune, "There's so many new ways to get in trouble online." Saper has a client who was put on probation at work after a co-worker reported a Twitter post to their supervisor.

Saper says, "Assume you can get in trouble for everything you say. Err on the side of caution. … For the employee, the take-away is assume the worst and that your boss is following your tweets."

The woman who posted the "Cisco Fatty" Tweet defended herself in a post on saying:

Through some quirk of college recruiting, I would up interviewing for a summer internship with Cisco which I hadn’t actually applied for and didn’t know much about. It turned out that the job was rather outside my area of academic and professional focus, and when I was offered the position I made the decision to turn it down.

Since I live at some distance from my close friends, I jokingly made a post on Twitter to them about the negative qualities of the job. I assumed it would be immediately apparent to them that I was being sarcastic and make it obvious what my decision had been. I didn’t realize that not having protected my updates on Twitter would quickly come back to haunt me.

The moral of the story is that users of social networking sites like Twitter, MySpace and Facebook need to keep the fact that posts are public and can be used against them in mind.

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privacy settings
By ADDAvenger on 3/27/2009 12:10:39 PM , Rating: 5
am I the only one that uses them?

RE: privacy settings
By inperfectdarkness on 3/27/09, Rating: 0
RE: privacy settings
By Repo503 on 3/27/2009 12:26:15 PM , Rating: 5
Um why bother blogging if no one can read it...although I guess that brings up another question; why do so many people think that other people want to read about them.

Tweets and blogs are something I guess I'll just never understand, suddenly everyone thinks they have important stuff to share with everyone.

RE: privacy settings
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 3/27/2009 12:48:41 PM , Rating: 5
Um why bother blogging if no one can read it...

Well he just not want to admit he keeps a diary.... Sounds more manly as private blog... I guess. :)

RE: privacy settings
By MikeMurphy on 3/27/2009 2:29:31 PM , Rating: 1
Its an irresponsible comment regardless of where she posted it or who read it.

She seems to lack any sense of professionalism.

RE: privacy settings
By Smilin on 3/27/2009 2:46:00 PM , Rating: 2

This isn't college anymore kid. Welcome to the real world and the worst job market in decades.

So put away your flip flops and your iPod and start treating jobs and offers with some respect.

RE: privacy settings
By CityZen on 3/27/2009 6:45:07 PM , Rating: 5

Hell no! Let's hope she keeps an open mind that allows her to think "This is an awful job and I'll probably hate it" for as long as possible.

RE: privacy settings
By Targon on 3/27/09, Rating: -1
RE: privacy settings
By xti on 3/30/2009 11:37:10 AM , Rating: 1
open mind or not, bad market or not, having a coworker who is in a job they hate sucks the life out of teams...especially if they are vocal about it.

No one likes to be around that.

Taking a job because there is nothing else, and taking a job that you hate are 2 different things.

RE: privacy settings
By bigjaicher on 3/27/2009 10:35:20 PM , Rating: 1
She can think all she wants, but if she says something, she should accept the consequences.

What she did is the technological parallel to going up to her boss and saying: "I hate this job and hate how it's sucking the soul out of my life."

Seriously, if you were a boss, would you not offer her, no, demand of her to take the easiest solution to her problem?

RE: privacy settings
By RagingDragon on 3/28/2009 8:04:19 PM , Rating: 2
What she did is the technological parallel to going up to her boss and saying: "I hate this job and hate how it's sucking the soul out of my life." Seriously, if you were a boss, would you not offer her, no, demand of her to take the easiest solution to her problem?

Either that, or the boss would agree with the sentiment and bemoan the fact he/she couldn't afford to quit/retire.

RE: privacy settings
By Smilin on 3/30/2009 1:30:41 PM , Rating: 2
I don't care if she hates the job or likes it, takes it or doesn't.

I think she needs to show some more professionalism and respect. If she doesn't then this job or some other is going to give her the smackdown.

RE: privacy settings
By mindless1 on 3/27/2009 6:11:28 PM , Rating: 1
I'm sorry but no, being honest and forthright is in no way a lack of professionalism. She wasn't giving away company secrets, had no NDA silencing her, and Cisco TOTALLY overreacted.

They must be dumb, if they think most people aren't weighing how much they're being paid, versus the job (which if they were being professional, would have sorted out that as she conceded she wasn't suited for) versus how far they travel and other concessions made.

However, there seems a lack of honesty on her part, if she had already decided to turn the job down then what did she care that they found out and how did it "quickly come back to haunt me"? She wouldn't get the job that she wasn't going to take anyway so what's the big deal unless she felt it's important to keep secret what I mentioned above, that everyone weighs several aspects of a job vs the perks including pay?

This fishy behavior makes it seem both parties acted unprofessionally, but not so much her initial twitter.

RE: privacy settings
By msomeoneelsez on 3/28/2009 1:37:45 AM , Rating: 3
I don't feel that a company deciding to retract an offer for employment because the person wouldn't want to work there is unprofessional...

I would never want someone to work for me if they did not want to, that just leads to an unproductive workforce.

I applaud Cisco for not allowing her to work for them even if she wanted to, but I do not applaud the means that they used to figure it out.

RE: privacy settings
By chrnochime on 3/27/09, Rating: -1
RE: privacy settings
By Cullinaire on 3/27/2009 1:04:58 PM , Rating: 2
It's easy to understand, but hard to put in words.

RE: privacy settings
By FITCamaro on 3/27/2009 1:32:47 PM , Rating: 1

RE: privacy settings
By Blight AC on 3/27/2009 2:04:45 PM , Rating: 5
I'm guessing it's kinda like a personal diary.

Also, Twitter is about people wanting to feel connected. A basic need for most people. It's on the same level as going out to a bar and discussing your life with a stranger over some beers. People like to communicate and socialize... Twitter is just one tool to do that.

Another tool is the comments section on news articles...

RE: privacy settings
By Reclaimer77 on 3/28/09, Rating: -1
RE: privacy settings
By Smilin on 3/31/2009 6:14:10 PM , Rating: 2
Twitter is for Narcissistic tools.

RE: privacy settings
By callmeroy on 3/27/2009 2:38:47 PM , Rating: 2
You hit the nail on the head and also how I feel about such sites. Disclaimer: i do have a myspace account -- but that's soley because I have a friend in the military who moves around the country, its a good way to keep in touch. Beyond that use --- there's nothing on my page.

the times we live in --- everyone knows everything, everyone does what they want, everyone thinks everyone else really cares about their personal life.....great times ....great times.....

BTW --- the performance of Myspace is complete crap, the worse performing site I've been to -- that alone makes me wonder how folks can stand using it.

RE: privacy settings
By afkrotch on 3/30/2009 12:10:19 PM , Rating: 2
I like reading ppl's travel blogs. As I travel, I can use some of the information when I happen to go travel to the same area.

Someone's blog is only interesting when it's something you're interested in.

RE: privacy settings
By inperfectdarkness on 3/27/2009 2:20:45 PM , Rating: 2
my blogs can be read by others--namely, only those who i trust enough to list as "Friends" on my account.

not a big deal.

RE: privacy settings
By bigjaicher on 3/27/2009 10:31:10 PM , Rating: 1
The bill of rights is a complex thing. However, it does not place restrictions on what the citizens of America can do, as long as it is not in a governmental sense.

The freedom of speech is the right to say what you want politically without fear of the government prosecuting you for it. Private beings (you, me, every citizen in the U.S., and most importantly: private companies NOT owned by the U.S. government) can respond to your comments in pretty much any manner.

This is saying: if I hypothetically said "Michael Vick is my hero" and I'm applying for a job/volunteer position at an animal shelter/pound, they have the RIGHT to fire me even if I am the greatest employee otherwise.

The Bill of Rights is designed to give private bodies rights, not restrict them. If I laughed at a friend because he screwed up on a huge presentation with your understanding of the law, he could sue me for not accepting his freedom to speak.

In relation to the article, this woman was granted her freedom of speech, no matter how unintelligent it was. She said it, and the government isn't prosecuting her. It's just that Cisco can fire her because of the negative attention she is bringing to the company. Perfectly legal, although she would most likely sue and then lose.

RE: privacy settings
By Moishe on 3/27/2009 1:18:56 PM , Rating: 3
I think the moral of the story is that if you say stuff online under your real name, people will notice and it may come back to haunt you in real life.

This falls under "DUH", but some people are freakin' clueless.

Privacy settings are awesome. Used properly you can let your "friends" see all of your regular activity.... Not people just have to get a clue about who their "friends" are and not add 328 "friends" including a bunch of people they don't know or trust.

Stupid, but this is how people learn what not to do.

RE: privacy settings
By mindless1 on 3/27/2009 6:18:17 PM , Rating: 2
I think the moral of the story is more people should do what she did, be frank and forthright about things. Once everyone does so, it won't be a matter of singling one person out and the majority consensus on a topic can help to effect change.

Thanks to her, Cisco has been given a wakeup call that they ought to consider job applicant's background, whether they are offering a job to an appropriate candidate.

The person offering the job probably should be demoted, what kind of a half-assed job are they doing if they can't weed out NON-applicants any better than this? I suppose it's possible she mislead them, but either way there seems to be more to the story than what's on the surface.

RE: privacy settings
By CityZen on 3/27/2009 6:46:24 PM , Rating: 3
+ 1

RE: privacy settings
By tmouse on 3/30/2009 8:14:05 AM , Rating: 2
Isn't that depending on whether or not she is telling the truth about not applying, or perhaps the college sends ALL applications to ANY potential employer who has offers to the college for internships? This does happen. As you stated why would she even care, IF she had absolutely no interest? Why bother to write about it on another site and apologize on her twitter? If she just didn't say anything more it would have been a couple of passing remarks and no one would be the wiser, in many ways she kept making it worse and worse for herself, with probably little to no impact on CISCO. Do you think people will not want to work for them because of this? Corporate America pretty much equals boring and I do not know anyone who doesn't have some gripes about where they work, some less some more.

RE: privacy settings
By ccmfreak2 on 3/30/2009 9:16:29 AM , Rating: 2
First of all, she's a college student who was offered an internship. By definition, one could say that ALL applicants where NON-applicants (at the very least non-qualified). She probably has exceptional grades in her computer courses. Being a student, it's not like she has any experience. Just because she isn't interested in the position doesn't mean that someone at Cicso didn't do their job properly. As a CIS major myself, I was given three different paths I could have taken. Just because she doesn't want to focus on the path Cisco offered her doesn't mean someone at Cisco should be demoted for trying to recruit what they deemed at the time to be good talent.

"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes

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