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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: 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.

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