Fun-List: Top 10 Ways in Which Social Media Can Get You Fired!

According to Proofpoint, an Internet security firm, of companies with 1,000 or more employees, 17 percent report having issues with employees’ use of social media. Furthermore, 8 percent of those companies report having actually dismissed someone for their behavior on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. Some other interesting findings from the study:

  • 15 percent have disciplined an employee for violating multimedia sharing / posting policies
  • 13 percent of US companies investigated an exposure event involving mobile or Web-based short message services
  • 17 percent disciplined an employee for violating blog or message board policies

So, how do you avoid getting fired when using social media? What are the things which will, most probably, get you fired? Here we go with another Thoughtpick fun-fact list with a point:

1. Speak ill of your boss or manager

Example: “I hate my job!! I want to tell my bosses how dumb they are and how meaningless this job is, then quit, and be happy!” Revealed by

2. Post publicly that you are looking for a job, when you already have one

Since we all know that social media is not really a place to share private thoughts, I’ll bet you a thousand bucks that if you do post that you are looking for another job, someone, somehow, will make sure you boss knows about it! (Even worse, he hears about it right before your appraisal!)

3. Share company information with your friends through Twitter or Facebook

It’s bad enough that you can’t trust people you work with in terms of company information, try publicizing that information on your “private” Facebook account, or better yet, your personal blog that is supposed to be read my only “close” friends!

4. Bad mouth other employees on your Facebook or Twitter account

I’m having dreams about killing one of my colleagues!” is not a phrase you should share! Even if it was just a “reaction” to a situation you felt strongly about at one point or another, try to keep it in! Someone might actually take it seriously – or even worse, they might just complain about you to management claiming that you are not a team player!

Sharing Too Much!

Sharing Too Much!

5. Post pictures of yourself while committing illegal acts

“Employers have increasingly begun to use Web sites like and to screen applicants and current employees”. Daniel Abasolo

I don’t think any company would allow its employees to abuse drugs, even the mellow type which is smoked! ;) If you are looking to get fired, roll a joint, even a fake one, and place it in your mouth as your profile picture! This might even get you in jail – if that’s what you fancy!

6. Post pictures of yourself while committing acts that do not match your company’s ethics or code of conduct

For example: Let’s say you work for an organization dedicated to protecting animal rights, if you are aiming not to get fired, make sure you don’t post a picture of yourself choking a cat - with a caption that goes something like: “Die you little devil!”

7. Use your blog or Facebook account to share rumors about your workplace

Let’s say you heard a rumor about a certain employee in your workplace. Sharing this rumor would hurt other employees and can cause loss of trust throughout the team. This might get you fired, or at least, it will cause you to be left out!

8. Confess personal matters through venting on your blog or Facebook account

You are going through a rough time and you need to vent so you choose social media to do so and you get really personal; describing your mental and emotional instability, mentioning your thoughts of suicide or just telling the world that the “pills” are making you calmer. If this gets to your employer, you might be fired because they NEED somewhat “stable” people at the workplace!

9. Share contradicting or controversial information on Facebook

For example:

Jason Brown worked with the Colleton County Fire-Rescue for the last three years. He was fired in mid-February after posting a controversial video on his personal Facebook page. Brown said some think the video is racist. He said it was just meant to be funny.

10. Use social media excessively

Always remember: whenever you use social media, someone out there is able to track the time you are wasting there! Whether you are playing Cafe World or simply posting new status updates periodically, you run the risk of getting caught and fired!

Example of Using SM Excessively

Example of Using SM Excessively

So? What do you think about this list? Can you think of something else which could get you fired? And do you think this is fair? Looking forward to hearing your thoughts below.

Comments and Reactions

  • Krud

    Whether or not it's fair depends on the degree to which your company has set up internet use policy. If they've made it clear that you're not supposed to use the internet for personal use, then yeah, it's in the rules, so if you violate it, it's on your own head. As for representing the company, I make it a point to rarely give out my name and location, and NEVER the name of where I work, so the odds of it reflecting on my workplace are non-existent, unless you already know me in real-life, in which case you're probably someone who doesn't care what my connection is to my company.

    In my case, my boss has been rather vague about internet use etiquette, and since he has the internet log in his office, there's no way of being “secret” about it, really. But at no point has he ever indicated that I shouldn't be on Twitter, or do personal e-mail, or anything of that nature. Perhaps it's supposed to be a “given,” I don't know, but there are many office protocols that are a given in other locations I've worked that have seemed largely inapplicable where I am now, due in part to the nature of the business. (Which I won't reveal, in keeping with my professional anonymity. ';D)

    Though I think you could add “clicking on links that infect your computer/network” to the list. That's asking for trouble, and is why I shy away from most blind links, even from people I know.

  • susanyoung

    Wondering what colleges/programs are teaching in the major of “Common Sense” ….entertaining piece, and oh, so scary.

  • MichelleQuillin

    I've seen social media (and forums, which are social media, too) destroy reputations when through “6 Degrees of Separation,” someone discovers you're the friend of so-and-so, and the next thing you know, things you shared in one context are now exposed. I especially see a lot of #'s 8 & 9 on Facebook and MySpace among young people, and it just breaks my heart to know that they're revealing things about themselves that are best kept between close friends — privately — where they can know that what they've shared can't be used against them by someone with an ax to grind.

    Truth? I'm glad the internet wasn't around when I was in high school and college. I was an idiot, so I shudder to think what would be out there for the world to see. Photographs and journals can be destroyed — the internet is forever!

    Michelle Quillin for New England Multimedia & Q Web Consulting

  • John

    Of course it is fair. A job means that you go to work, to be productive in whatever ever field that job is in. The owner doesn't pay you to be on facebook or twitter or texting and talking to friends. Save that for your time. Being paid while using the time for personal things on the internet is stealing. That's how I see it.

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  • Love Poems

    using of social media we need to very carefully bcz so many factors can be following us may be likes officially, society, stats & so many factors we need to keep in mind to avoid violence by using social media. the use of social media is not good at official time bcz its waisting the time for organization where you are working. in just uk so many employees fire just bcz of facebook :P i am scared to use social media at my own office :P

    Love Poems

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  • Leading_t

    This is really nice reply.

  • mark chang

    are you sure social media really work ?


  • Petter Shown

    I saw your blog and have thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts. Just wanted to say hi.

    good night sms

  • mubh

     Social networking is nice but time consuming hobby.

    Testking 350-001

  • Anonymous

    thanks it is great information. we can take care in future.
    Faisalabad Wedding Photographer

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