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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: 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.


"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser











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