Case A: She was a single mom, working days as a medical assistant, and picking up shifts at a local restaurant… One night, after coming home almost empty-handed, she ranted on her Facebook page. Someone copied and alerted her employer. She lost her job.

Case B: Another local company, issued employee warnings to it’s entire labor force; “Don’t let a few moments on social media, cost you your job.”

Case C: Melissa Kellerman, after getting knocked over in yesterday’s game, had her twitter account pulled after commenting on it.


Photo courtesy of Yahoo Sports

The Cowboys Organization, called her in, and ordered her to delete her account…. Here are the tweets she deleted….

Here are a list of comments that one sees in public media whenever this topic is broached….

Only a fool believes Facebook is private.

Don’t put anything on the internet you don’t want everyone to see.

Social Media is just that. Social. Don’t be shocked when your private life goes “social”….

And all those statements are true. When using the Internet, you need to be guarded lest your employer sees what you are saying…..

Now here’s an interesting question: WHY?

WHY DO EMPLOYERS HAVE THE RIGHT TO DICTATE INTERNET PROTOCOL?

The initial response is that they get to protect their image.
When someone says something on the Internet, it is publicly damaging if negative.

But why not people? Why can’t they be entitled to use their right to freedom of speech on the Internet?

If someone is complaining to another about being harassed by their superior, and it get forwarded and she gets fired, is that right?

If someone is complaining to another about improper mine safety and the deliberate non compliance of safety issues being forced upon them by management, and it gets forwarded and she gets fired, is that right?

If someone is complaining about being treated unfairly by their management team, and it gets forwarded and she gets fired, is that right?

Probably not.

The Internet is not private. but there can be reasonable assurances that some things on the Internet are private. Discussing topics on the Internet should be as safe as walking through the park, discussing items there… Sure, there could be someone behind the tree, listening to everything you say, but the fact that they had to hide behind a tree to hear it, means they weren’t legally entitled to the knowledge. Likewise someone could steal letters out of a mailbox. Someone could tap a phone. Someone would listen to your cell phone with a scanner… All of which are illegal.

But, reading someones private inbox message because it is on the Internet, is not…

It needs to be.

The law needs to catch up to technology. People are allowed to say what ever they want. That is guaranteed.

It is time that same right is canonized into America’s legal code. So that if a corporation acts aggressively upon someone’s free speech, that company stands to lose a year’s profit in damages and legal fees. That is the level of penalty required to protect the privacy of every American, when it comes to their using the Internet.

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