A Nintendo employee was sacked on 31st August as a direct result of personal blogging activities at Inexcusable Behavior.
The blog, written semi-anonymously under a pen name, was apparently discovered by bosses at Nintendo, who took a dim view over some of its contents.
Though the employee claims that she was never informed of any formal policy about personal blogs, a spokeswoman for Nintendo, Perrin Kaplin, said that she “was expressly discouraged from doing what she did. I’ve seen everything that she’s written and it’s really not work appropriate.”
It’s not clear from reports whether she blogged during work hours, or maintained her blog outside the workplace. Either way, it does raise the question of what exactly is appropriate to share on a personal blog about work issues.
“We get a lot of calls from people who have been accused of defamation when they’re blogging anonymously,” says Rebecca Jeschke, a spokesperson for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “In most cases, these charges of defamation are pretty weak. There’s a very strong tradition of anonymous speech in America and it’s protected in the First Amendment.”
Arguing for free speech isn’t always enough to save a job, though companies like Nintendo need to put policies in place specifically covering blogging, rather than relying on statements such as “we generally don’t encourage them,” particularly as they’re not banned outright.
If you want to keep your job, be very careful what you blog.
(Via The Stranger)