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Unfortunate case of someone getting fired for a weblog post

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 29, 2003

Unfortunate case of someone getting fired for a weblog post.

Reader comments

GluttonOct 29, 2003 at 1:02PM

Be vague, use code-names, and don’t tell anyone you know about your site. Sad, but a reality.

MJOct 29, 2003 at 1:28PM

He wasn’t fired for blogging it so much as he was fired for taking an unauthorized picture and posting it to the internet. Companies like Microsoft have policies about people doing things like this. Those pictures, if they were seen by the wrong people, could have caused a lot of legal problems for MS.

I’ve personally witnessed someone being terminated because of similar circumstances. It’s not fair, but it’s understandable and from a legal perspective, generous. That guy is lucky they didn’t sue him for theft of “intellectual property”, or attempted corporate espionage (they’d have a hard time winning hat one, mind you, but you never know…)

pbOct 29, 2003 at 2:37PM

Can’t exagerate what a bone-headed move this guy made. Ass MJ said, lucky he didn’t get sued or prosecuted.

ernieOct 29, 2003 at 4:37PM

Most large corporations I’ve ever worked for (>10,000 employees) ban cameras/picture taking altogether, period from any employee (without a special photographer badge) and especially spies, uh, I mean temps.

All else is a red herring.

spygeekOct 29, 2003 at 4:56PM

The mega-corporation that I work for just modified their policies on cameras due to the popularity of camera phones. The old policy says that you couldn’t bring in any photo equipment at all, while the new policy says you can bring in cameras, but you need permission to take pictures of mega-corporation stuff. It’s no longer the heyday of corporate espionage when you could sell copies of the employee phone directory in the parking lot for 500 bucks, but the vestiges remain.

dooceOct 29, 2003 at 7:23PM

dumb dumb dumb. who in their right mind would write about work on their weblog?? or dumber yet, post pictures of work on their weblog?

HAVE I TAUGHT YOU PEOPLE NOTHING?

rachellebOct 29, 2003 at 11:53PM

earlier this year our legal dept made me take down any and every reference to my company from my site. including photos. dooce, i thought the difference was that i never really actually talked about work.. just that some photos of my friends happened to be taken in the office. they totally freaked. it’s all gone now and luckily i still have my job.

jessieOct 30, 2003 at 1:22AM

dooce you are a queen :)

Michael HanscomOct 30, 2003 at 3:06AM

dumb dumb dumb

I reserve the right to be dumb. ;) Happens to the best of us every so often — my ‘moment of dumb’ just happened to go wildly public.

When I mentioned in my post that I’d “read stories here and there on the ‘net about people who had for one reason or another lost their jobs due to something on their weblogs,” I actually had your story in mind, doonce. I just couldn’t for the life of me remember who, when or what exactly had happened until a friend of mine pointed me to your story.

I thought at the time that I made the post that I had my bases covered, and I was wrong. I goofed up, and stumbled into my 15 minutes of fame in the process. Best thing I can do now is accept responsibility for that, and get on with life as usual.

JamesOct 30, 2003 at 6:35AM

This seems to be becoming quite a problem. Pixelkitty had similar issues with her employer not all that long ago which resulted in her leaving the company. And of course Dooce too.

MJ (another)Oct 30, 2003 at 10:35AM

heh… imagine being the in-house videographer that regularly tapes the CEO of a company that’s been in the news recently. My life is nervousness.

JenOct 31, 2003 at 9:57AM

My boss googled the word “boss” on our site after finding out (okay, me telling her) I had a blog. Luckily, the two instances of boss that pertained to her were “my boss told me I had bad posture” (very true) and “my boss recommended this book.” The third mention of boss was my first boss, who died in a coke-fueled binge with his mistress.

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.

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