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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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RE: Heh
By sprockkets on 3/27/2009 12:56:21 PM , Rating: 5
Getting a job is ridiculously difficult as it is. Hey, want a job? I'm going to check your SSN out for your credit report, a background check, your previous employers if possible, and I want a perfect interview and a resume full of PR bullsh!t. I also want every certification possible even if it isn't directly relevant to the job, such as CCNP even though you will never touch the network.

What next? Recruiters will go to your house to see how green your lawn is? How well you parked your car in the parking lot?

I got tired of people not hiring me because I am "off" due to Asperger's Syndrome. I can outperform and out troubleshoot anyone, and I usually get rewarded with "You took too much time to solve the issue" when no one else had any brains to fix it.

Working for myself as best I can, people can finally appreciate me as person who knows how to fix computers and not just another loser who got A+ certified and went to school and read some books.

RE: Heh
By FITCamaro on 3/27/2009 1:36:20 PM , Rating: 1

(It'd be hilarious if that actually was your name)

RE: Heh
By CurseTheSky on 3/27/2009 1:53:21 PM , Rating: 2
My bother has Asperger's and tends to find it difficult to fit in socially in many cases. The sad thing is, once people take time to get to know him, they think he's one of the greatest people they've ever met.

I can sympathize in a sense. I have long hair, and being a 23 year old guy, it turns a lot of employers off (as well as law enforcement and other public services). I've heard time and time again, "Why don't you just cut your hair? You'll find a job so much easier." In my defense, why should I have to cut my hair? Would you tell someone that doesn't meet the employer's ideal religion, weight, or skin color to change their beliefs, lose or gain some weight, or bleach / darken their skin?

It'll be interesting to see what happens when the "new" generations are taking over the "professional" world - people that grew up with social networking, blogs, text messages, information always at their fingertips, etc. We'll just have to wait and see.

RE: Heh
By Kibbles on 3/27/2009 2:51:07 PM , Rating: 3
Unless you're sorely needed, a hyena won't be allowed into a lion pack until he decides to become a lion. Society would probably break down as a whole if we simply accepted every little quirk everyone had. Conformity will always be a requirement in human society, the only change will be what you conform to. Though racial descrimination for employment is illegal, you be a fool to think it doesn't exist. As for weight and religion: if you had a choice of 3 applicants with equal qualifications except one was obeise, one was anorexic(sp?), and one was average weight; who do you think will be hired? If you had an applicant that came in dressed like clergyman but was interviewing for an deskjob, and he insisted on dressing like that all the time. Do you think he'll be hired?

RE: Heh
By CityZen on 3/27/2009 6:54:25 PM , Rating: 4
Society would probably break down as a whole if we simply accepted every little quirk everyone had

What??? So you mean that society would probably break down as a whole if we, for example, start accepting that some people like to have their hair long ... Are you serious?
Hmmm, let me tell you, this isn't the 1950's anymore

RE: Heh
By CityZen on 3/27/2009 6:56:07 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, and by the way, I'm a guy and I have short hair :D

RE: Heh
By FITCamaro on 3/27/2009 11:07:58 PM , Rating: 2
Has nothing to do with conformity. It has to do with looking professional. Not like a stoner or a recluse who lives in their moms basement.

RE: Heh
By jtemplin on 3/27/2009 11:40:37 PM , Rating: 3
It has everything to do with conformity. "Looking professional" implies altering your appearance in order to fit the "attitudes, beliefs and behaviors" recruiters expect job candidates to demonstrate.
Conformity is the process by which an individual's attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors are influenced by other people. This influence occurs in both small groups and society as a whole, and it may be the result of subtle unconscious influences, or direct and overt social pressure.

In this case acquiring and holding a job is a direct and overt social pressure. Not to mention a requirement to satisfy ones basic needs like food and shelter. This is all fairly obvious but I think the subject of conformity is quite pertinent here.

RE: Heh
By Robin2009 on 3/29/2009 5:50:57 PM , Rating: 2
I can't choose the one who is obeise (sic.)

I'll choose the one who obeys!

RE: Heh
By kmmatney on 3/27/2009 2:56:54 PM , Rating: 2
By the time the "new" generation is taking over the professional world, I'm sure the next generation will be doing something equally different to the people in charge. Although I can't really think of anything that my generation (I'm 38) was doing back then, that could get us into trouble. Life was simpler back then, I have to admit.

I have longish hair, but I also have a job (materials engineer / programmer). I'd probably cut it if I was looking for a new job with people who didn't know me.

RE: Heh
By mcnabney on 3/27/2009 3:47:00 PM , Rating: 5
I am sorry to tell you that not only does the world not rotate around you, but you are also entitled to nothing. Looking 'out of place' is often a tip-off that you will behave 'out of place'. The world is full of worthless employees that appear to fit the part, but are still worthless. However, they at least appeared like they were serious about work. Having long hair tells managers and HR that you can't groom yourself to fit the professional environment. Grow up and cut your hair. When you are in charge you can do whatever you want to yourself, but as long as you choose to depend on a paycheck from someone else you better learn to fit in. Growing your hair out is a deliberate act of non-conformity, that is one of the reasons why you do it. What do you think that tells your potential boss?

RE: Heh
By CityZen on 3/27/2009 7:04:45 PM , Rating: 3
What do you think that tells your potential boss?

One would hope that the potential boss would be much more interested in the sharpness of his mind and his fitness for the job than in the length of his hair. But who knows, maybe the potential boss is one of those people who judge a book mainly by its cover.

Sorry, I have my hair short but I don't have anything about other people (men or women) who choose to leave their hair long.
Besides, listen to (or read) yourself: "serious about work", "professional environment", "Grow up ", "you better learn to fit in" ... You sound like your father :)

RE: Heh
By NicodemusMM on 3/28/2009 2:36:59 AM , Rating: 1
Growing your hair out is a deliberate act of non-conformity.

Sorry, but you are wrong. In some cases this may be true, but not all. I'm a 33 year old male and have quite long hair... at the moment. I don't grow it out as a fashion statement or to be non-conformist. In other aspects such as attire, grooming, manner of speech and demeanor I am considered professional by my clients and peers. I grow my hair out in order to donate it. A selfless act that requires extra time and attention on my part... not to mention the sneers of the overly-conservative that assume I do it for myself.

RE: Heh
By Robin2009 on 3/29/2009 5:48:34 PM , Rating: 4
Independent thinkers need not apply.

Conformity is what gets you high in the corporate climb.

Companies don't really mean it when they say they value creative people who aren't afraid to speak their own minds. Don't let the open door hit you as you get booted.

RE: Heh
By tmouse on 3/30/2009 8:36:01 AM , Rating: 2
Nothing is going to change when the "new" generation takes over, just look at all of the "changes" that occurred when the 60's generation took over. Hey it's a free world, you don't have to cut your hair unless you want a specific job, then they have rights also. For some jobs like law enforcement or the military there is an absolute need for conformity, as they have to often act in concert with each other. Hair length can also be a health or safety issue. Then there is the social interactions that jobs may require, while through most of our history long hair was the norm it is not now; and that does not seem to be changing any time soon. You can change your hair, you cannot change your race and weight can be a hiring decision, as for religion, companies do not ask but I doubt if anyone came to an interview with huge religious icons all over themselves and ended their replies to the interview questions with phrases like "in accordance with the prophecy" they would be hired. You do not HAVE to change but you may HAVE to settle for something less than you would like.

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