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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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Sensationalism is fun
By invidious on 3/27/2009 12:17:39 PM , Rating: 5
I assumed it would be immediately apparent to them that I was being sarcastic and make it obvious what my decision had been.

So it cost her the paycheck for the job she was not going to accept? Thats some fine reporting there.

RE: Sensationalism is fun
By sprockkets on 3/27/2009 12:27:24 PM , Rating: 5
I know. The story makes no sense. She isn't in any hot water, and she basically said screw you Cisco; you can keep your money and all the bullsh!t that comes with it.

"OOOO Cisco people are savy internet browsers!" Really? Got nothing better to do at work than browse the internet all day looking at twitter posts?

RE: Sensationalism is fun
By Alexstarfire on 3/27/09, Rating: -1
RE: Sensationalism is fun
By sprockkets on 3/27/2009 1:10:58 PM , Rating: 5
Again, not having anything else better to do than browse for that kind of crap? Going out of your way to make sure someone doesn't get hired?

That's called "anal"

RE: Sensationalism is fun
By philmax on 3/27/2009 1:23:31 PM , Rating: 3
Some companies do actually care about their reputation and browse the web to find potential problems...newegg I know does this for example

RE: Sensationalism is fun
By sprockkets on 3/27/2009 3:07:23 PM , Rating: 3
Sure, they do look for people who post confidential information.

But, yeah, right, this is corporate america. If you don't like pointless team meetings, sucking up to the boss, dealing with a-hole co-workers who get promoted even though they are clearly not qualified, then do what I did, learn a good trade and cut out all the white collar BS. At least here in Florida, A/C techs will always be in demand, bad economy or not.

RE: Sensationalism is fun
By VoodooChicken on 3/27/2009 3:55:45 PM , Rating: 5
How do you know she does anal???

RE: Sensationalism is fun
By 67STANG on 3/28/2009 1:07:41 AM , Rating: 4

RE: Sensationalism is fun
By callmeroy on 3/27/2009 4:23:24 PM , Rating: 2
I see nothing to cry to cisco about and your post about it is more immaturely toned than the claim you are making of cisco for what the story stated they said to her.

Get used to it btw, more and more major companies are parsing search engines and social networking sites to get the "dirt" on new job applicants.....not that I particularly agree with this practice, but I don't agree with a lot of things in live and yet they still exist.

RE: Sensationalism is fun
By RagingDragon on 3/28/2009 8:12:48 PM , Rating: 2
The Cisco PR department probably hires people to look for posts about the company.

RE: Sensationalism is fun
By walk2k on 3/27/2009 1:33:14 PM , Rating: 3
She also says it was a summer internship and those are usually unpaid, so... I dunno, strange story. Strange, but not all that interesting really, I don't get how this created an internet "sensation" but then again people are stupid, especially people who "tweeter" every dull aspect of their boring lives.

There is a much more interesting case where a guy who worked for the Philly Eagles NFL club said something disparaging on his "blog" and was fired for it. This was a guy who was PAID and had been at the job for 3-4 years.

RE: Sensationalism is fun
By FITCamaro on 3/27/2009 1:37:05 PM , Rating: 2
I worked two summer internships in college. Both were paid.

RE: Sensationalism is fun
RE: Sensationalism is fun
By jtemplin on 3/27/2009 11:30:22 PM , Rating: 3
Thank you for putting this out there. This was my first thought...What on earth is interesting about this story other than that it highlights the openness of information and the caution that people need to exercise when they post things online these days. However, she had nothing to lose by saying what she did and she didn't get "pwned" and lose her job as half the commenters here seem to overlook. If publicity!

This is the biggest blast of hot air, BS news I've seen in a while.

Uhh... slow news day anyone?

RE: Sensationalism is fun
By tmouse on 3/30/2009 7:58:20 AM , Rating: 3
While I agree this is a non-story for the most part, i'm not sure having your picture and name posted all around in an article about how stupid you were is really good publicity. Could continue to bite her on the tush for some time.

RE: Sensationalism is fun
By ccmfreak2 on 3/30/2009 9:26:19 AM , Rating: 2
Um, in case you haven't been looking at the rest of the net, this story had already gained momentum at the beginning of last week before the identity of the individual was known. It's true that she had nothing to lose given the background info, however that background was unknown when she posted the tweet and the cisco employee responded to it.

The story's purpose initially was to continue to warnings of "don't post things you wouldn't want your boss, mother, or significant-other to read" that seem to go unheard by the majority of the masses across the web. Now, DT is just rapping up the details and conclusion of the story by including the background info. No, this isn't actually new news in terms of the internet considering it happened early last week, but it is definately COMPLETE news that other stories couldn't include at the time of the incident.

"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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