Someone Actually Fired over Facebook Photos

November 7th, 2008

I regularly hear people worry about the lack of privacy on social networks, that notes or photos posted for a group of friends are not private and that sooner or later someone was going to lose a job over it.

Until today I had never actually heard of it happening.  Former New England Patriots cheerleader Caitlin Davis was fired this week for photos posted on her Facebook page.

The photos show her and a friend using markers to graffiti a passed-out-drunk person at a party.  The graffiti apparently included the words “penis”, “I’m a Jew” and a pair of swastikas.

Davis’s conduct is obviously offensive and inappropriate.  It is remarkable that she would compound that stupidity both by allowing photos of the activity to be taken, and then letting them be posted to her Facebook profile- or anywhere else.

The only positive element in this whole story is that I now have a very memorable example to offer people of how not to behave online.  There is no privacy on social networks.  End of story.

[N.B. I haven’t spent a whole lot of time reviewing this story. From what I can tell no one has accused Davis of writing anti-Semitic graffiti, just of being dumb enough to associate herself with it. Either way, it was enough to get her fired.  Lesson learned, I hope. ]

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