Tuesday, 7 November 2017

The New "Free Speech"

quote [ She flipped off President Trump — and got fired from her government contracting job

But Briskman wasn’t wearing anything that connected her to the company when she was on her ride, nor is there anything on her personal social-media accounts — where she wordlessly posted the photo without identifying herself — to link her to the firm. ]

Well, as long as it's not the government censoring my speech or denying my access to health care based on what I say, then I guess I have no right to complain…

I think it's time to consider the sentiment in this XKCD strip outmoded. https://xkcd.com/1357/

This is starting to become like a Black Mirror episode (my apologies if there literally is A Black Mirror episode about this, I've only watched occasionally). Private corporations control your access to expression online, and can censor you at their whim. The fact that more traditional forms of communication remain unaffected is like being cut off from the internet but still be able to send telegrams.

You may not have to fear imprisonment by the government for your speech, but you do have to fear for your livelihood, access to medical care, internet access and thus ability to communicate. And the private entities controlling your access to these do fear governmental, even just political disapproval. This is just loss of free speech with more steps.
[SFW] [dystopian violence] [+4 Good]
[by the circus@1:08pmGMT]


damnit said[2] @ 1:52pm GMT on 7th Nov [Score:3 Insightful]
You may not have to fear imprisonment by the government for your speech, but you do have to fear for your livelihood, access to medical care, internet access and thus ability to communicate. And the private entities controlling your access to these do fear governmental, even just political disapproval. This is just loss of free speech with more steps.

Spoiler alert: You represent your company even on your off days. It’s a business and at the end of the day, their public image trumps your freedom of speech.

You probably won’t like racists getting fired.
Kama-Kiri said @ 2:41pm GMT on 7th Nov [Score:1 Funny]
Ok, fair point. If world got around you attended Klan meetings on Saturdays and your company was consulting for the NAACP I admit that I wouldn't be too surprised if the company decided you were a liability.

But, ok, let me try to argue the other side: say you were protesting in Charlottesville and were caught on camera giving a Nazi salute. No, I don't think you should lose your job for that.
LurkerAtTheGate said @ 5:01pm GMT on 7th Nov
Local hippie burrito shop fired a guy for attending Charlottesville rally. Owner got a number of complaints and took action. Potheads don't like nazis apparently. They also don't like snitches - they let the employee go that started the mess about her coworker being a nazi.
foobar said @ 6:10am GMT on 8th Nov [Score:-2 Troll]
filtered comment under your threshold
norok said @ 1:41pm GMT on 7th Nov [Score:1 Underrated]
"Briskman was in charge of the firm’s social-media presence"

"her personal social-media accounts — where she wordlessly posted the photo without identifying herself "

She knew better but her pride got the best of her. If she'd not posted it to her own account nor told a few people to score ego points she'd been fine. Instead, she got the same treatment as James Damore. Everything was copacetic until it came back on the company; at which point they had to act.
Kama-Kiri said @ 2:30pm GMT on 7th Nov
Certainly she went out of her way to make it easy for the company to fire her ...

But should they have fired her? Let's say Trump asked an aide to make some phone calls to make sure it happened. Chances are. Should you lose your job for attending an anti-Trump rally? That can probably be arranged, too.

The argument is that since the company does business with the government it can't have employees showing anti-government sentiment, even on their own time. That seems dangerously wrong somehow.
norok said @ 3:56pm GMT on 7th Nov
I think you're speculating a bit much where Occam's razor will do just fine. A conspiracy is hardly necessary to explain it. You've already noted their argument.

How one sees instances like this as either justified or 'dangerously wrong' seems to fall where you are on the political spectrum. It has become too subjective. One just needs to have some principles such as "don't be a dipshit about contentious issues if you want to keep your job."
lilmookieesquire said @ 4:08pm GMT on 7th Nov
It really goes beyond political spectrum. This is about your responsibility to your workplace outside of non-paid work hours.
lilmookieesquire said @ 4:06pm GMT on 7th Nov
I think the greater issue is if we want to be a society where business can have input into people’s behavior outside the office.

What happens if it’s a conservative business and you go to a woman’s right to choose rally and it conflicts with the ideals of their customer base and management?

Yes you signed a contract and you’re held to NDA outside the office...

But does this mean you can’t promote vegan ideas while working at McDonald’s? I just kind of think none of this really crosses the line but it seems like it’s getting a wee bit close.

The issue here seems to be that she brought it to attention in her company on a public media forum.
norok said[2] @ 5:11pm GMT on 7th Nov [Score:1 Underrated]
I think you're reaching too far.

The clear delineation is bringing public controversy back upon your company.

The dichotomy on how people perceive these things is stark. As I noted in another comment here this goes back to the Google Memo debate in August. Many on SE were quick to laud the firing as justified and were also entirely unsympathetic to the point that he should receive any sort of compensation.

And in this thread your own points about the firing and it's legal repercussions were indeed different but you reserved your criticism towards society as a whole.

Where one falls on the political spectrum seems to invariably sway one's perception of unique events.
C18H27NO3 said @ 8:54pm GMT on 7th Nov [Score:1 Underrated]
So it's ok for an employee of the same company to post to his facebook account, with direct references to the company, about a "fucking libertard asshole." He didn't get fired. She apparently broke the obscenity clause, but her co-worker did not. Yeah. Ok.
norok said @ 9:17pm GMT on 7th Nov
That's what you're supposed to take from that section of the article; that there was a double standard.

But it clearly says that she was monitoring Facebook as part of her job. She got caught by her own company's policy.

Should the punishments have been equal? Sure. But she made it to national news with hers.
damnit said @ 1:47pm GMT on 7th Nov
She used the photo as her cover picture on social media and then told her company it was her. So her company fired her.

Yes, it’s not fair one of their directors in the company didn’t get fired for practically the same thing.

Freedom of Speech is not freedom from consequences.
HoZay said @ 2:58pm GMT on 7th Nov
She surely knew she was working for assholes before she outed herself.
lilmookieesquire said @ 3:53pm GMT on 7th Nov
This is the down side to the “freedom of speech does not shield you from consequences” argument. I’m not sure I agree with that argument, but like kami points out, am I okay with letting people nazi salute etc w/o getting identified/fired.

Because it’s becoming easier to identify people and crack down on their behavior and be controlled by business/company/their work.

And I think part of that question is, outside of business hours how far should company reach be?

I don’t think it’s a massive issue yet but it’s going to be a growing one as survalliance and automation gets better. As HR, why *wouldnt* I have 24H surrvaliance on my employees stored that only gets accessed if they might be reported.

We’re really almost there. But it’s not a big TV, it’s all around us. Can you avoid it? Not if you want to interact with society, really.
norok said @ 4:01pm GMT on 7th Nov
It wasn't her bike ride that did it. It was the fact that she was the social media director for the company and posted it on her social media account. She knew better but she did it anyway.

Her pride was her fall. Don't worry too much for her though. She rightly assessed that she would receive positive attention from the media. It was made clear over a year ago that you will be given a platform for public acts against Trump.
King Of The Hill said @ 10:30pm GMT on 7th Nov [Score:1 Underrated]
Play stupid games... Win stupid prizes.

What she did - flipping the bird... was childish and stupid.
Doing that and posting the photo taking credit as the flipper? Stupid.
Her career as social media director? OVER.

Who in their right minds would hire a social media director who didn't fathom what she was doing to herself via social media.

She is probably thumping her chest and saying "I don't want to work for a company that would do that to an employee anyway". Truth is, she was just any employee and the truth is her own actions.... Her chain of actions got her fired. She had to fuck up twice in a row to get there. I find nothing wrong with her employer.

Personally I'd find anyone that did the same thing whether they were flipping off Obama or Trump, etc to be exceptionally childish and not well grounded. Not a very rational behavior from an adult regardless of how far to any extreme their views are.
lilmookieesquire said @ 4:11pm GMT on 7th Nov
Oh dang I figured she was low level. Director... the. I’m pretty sure this was calculated. But I also assume this means she was salaries as opposed to hourly- which might have a bearing into corporate overreach.

I’m disappointed.
steele said @ 5:12pm GMT on 7th Nov
Director doesn't change anything. Norok here is acting like she's using her own personal profiles to represent the company's social media presence and that's what makes it a fireable offense. That's not how this shit works. You're still brining up valid points to anybody with half a mind about how much control a company should be allowed to exert over your personal life.
norok said[1] @ 5:20pm GMT on 7th Nov [Score:0 Underrated]
From the article: "As she was monitoring Facebook this summer, she found a public comment by a senior director at the company in an otherwise civil discussion by one of his employees about the Black Lives Matter movement."

Clearly her job description, and her company's social media policy, was to monitor employee's social media activity.

She got caught. Someone was policing the police in her department.

In it's bias to present what we are supposed to see as a double standard the article inadvertently spells out exactly how justified they were in firing her.
steele said @ 5:23pm GMT on 7th Nov [Score:-1]
filtered comment under your threshold
norok said @ 5:27pm GMT on 7th Nov [Score:-1]
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steele said @ 5:37pm GMT on 7th Nov [Score:0 Underrated]
And as long as the people's livelihoods and survival are dependent on the bottomline, we're fucked. Shame we don't have some sort of organizational infrastructure to stand between the common people and their bottomline to create a sustainable balance.
norok said @ 5:40pm GMT on 7th Nov [Score:-1]
filtered comment under your threshold
damnit said[1] @ 11:19pm GMT on 7th Nov
So, true story, my friend in 2011 was in the top spot for a guidance counselor position after rounds of interviews. After the interviews, he got a call from the school, saying they won’t hire him.

It didn’t make sense because it was sure he had no competition. So he called one of his buddies involved with the hiring to find out what’s up. He learned that it came down to his YouTube account and videos with friends on vacations and other events. It was pretty harmless fun, but they didn’t like that it shows him drinking and cursing a few times in the videos.

TL;DR - Through social engineering, school finds “questionable behavior” in friend’s videos. Does not hire him. He “privated” his account after that.
Morris Forgot his Password said @ 12:17pm GMT on 8th Nov
As I understand it, the US constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech only protects individuals from government repercussions. So I am not sure this is new. I seem to remember from awhile back of a police officer getting reprimanded for having Bush bumpersticker s on his police car as well as various incidents of private sector employees who were reprimanded for wearing clothes or buttons that had political messages.

I have a couple of social media agreements I have signed that include clauses about inflammatory comments and disparaging colleagues, management and company direction or policy. The caveat is in both these agreements is they only apply if I anywhere on social media identify myself as someone connected to the companies.
Morris Forgot his Password said @ 6:31pm GMT on 8th Nov
On a related note:

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