When should you fire an employee for his tweets?

Pax Dickinson, the former chief technology officer at Business Insider, lost his job because of his offensive tweets. This author discusses what business owners can learn from the controversy.

A couple of years ago, I watched a young woman tweet about how much she hated her job and boss. Part of me wanted to message her to tell her to take that stuff off the public timeline. Clearly she didn’t know what she was doing.

Then I saw her boss tweet to her, “No worries. You’re fired.”

I’d venture to guess she learned a valuable lesson. But she’s not the only person in the world who complains online. Just open your Facebook news stream. You’ll probably see at least one or two of your friends who hate their jobs, colleagues or something else that isn’t appropriate to put online.

The law is very vague. If an employee posts things on his personal page, on his own time and from his own computer, he’s not committing a fireable offense. After all, we can’t change what people say in their own homes.

The difference is now we can see what they’re saying—and so can the rest of the world.

Is the brogrammer culture OK?

So, where do we draw the line?

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