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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 TheConner.net 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 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.


"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il











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