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Social Networking And Its Implications


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I have been thinking alot about this over the last few weeks and now feel the need for someone elses view. With the likes of facebook, myspace now forming part of the average young persons social life I am starting to feel concerned about what type of information is shared on them. This follows a message I discovered written by a staff member of someone I know (fortunately not one of mine). It was along the lines of "got absolutely pissed again last night, dont know how I willl get up for work tomorrow... bloody kids....snotty noses....." The accompanying photo was not very pretty with a rather drunk looking young woman in a compromising pose.

 

I realise that everyone is toatally entitled to a social life but the new trend for social netowrking in front of "all eyes" does create a few problems as an employer , particularly if it affects the workforce of someone caring for your young children.

 

Our confidentiality policy does not currently cover this new aspect of life, and am very intersted to hear what you thoughts are.

 

Maybe, I am just turning into an old Fuddy Duddy?

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Absolutely. I have heard that potential employers regularly check these sites to vet job candidates!

Certainly something to consider adding to a policy, and possibly even within contracts of employment

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I've also been thinking about facebook and all the other social networking sites - in fact for the first time this year in my letter about our Christmas celebration I reminded parents that the permissions they give to take photographs at pre-school do not extend to uploading photographs onto these websites.

 

I suddenly had this vision of little Johnny's mum uploading a lovely photo of him with other children in the background without their parents' permission and the possible uproar this might cause - I would hate a photo of my youngest to be on the internet without my permission/knowledge.

 

Staff members are entitled to a private, social life but inevitably if their facebook pages show photographs of them in compromising situations, or they make derogatory comments about children - even if anonymousely - then it does bring their setting's reputation down, I think. Often on here people say they treat the children they care for how they would want their own children cared for. Imagine how a parent would feel if they read their childminder's or childcarer's facebook page and there were these sorts of comments?

 

Perhaps it is something to consider putting into a contract, or writing a separate policy about - and incidentally does anyone have a policy about how they use Forums (should that be fora?) such as this one? I am always incredibly carefully on here not to give away too much information, but not everyone is as guarded as me...

 

And of course I don't have enough policies... :o

 

Maz

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Perhaps it is something to consider putting into a contract, or writing a separate policy about - and incidentally does anyone have a policy about how they use Forums (should that be fora?) such as this one? I am always incredibly carefully on here not to give away too much information, but not everyone is as guarded as me...

 

And of course I don't have enough policies... :o

 

Maz

 

That's a really interesting comment - I must admit I posted about a particular child I needed some advice about and worried that I had described the situation in too much detail, having said that you kind of need to paint a picture for people to understand the issues and offer support. Is there anything on the site where there are guidelines for discussing individual cases?

I suppose policy wise, it should all be covered by your confidentiality policy

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That's a really interesting comment - I must admit I posted about a particular child I needed some advice about and worried that I had described the situation in too much detail, having said that you kind of need to paint a picture for people to understand the issues and offer support.

Well I don't think there's a problem with posting asking for advice about an individual child - so long as your setting can't be identified in any way! Most people choose usernames that don't identify them or their group and I didn't really think about mine when I joined. However my tutor at uni said one day that she'd been on the forum and had worked out who hali and I are so it made me think!

 

It made me think even more when my Local Authority took out a subscription and I did feel a bit paranoid for a while but I'm back to 'normal' now and anyway tend to be circumspect when talking about my own group on here!

 

I'm sure a moderator will point you in the direction of any advice or guidance that is available here, but as a rule of thumb I just ask myself if someone reading my post who knew my group could identify an individual child from what I write. Five out of seven of our staff team are members here now, so obviously I don't count them in that. :o

 

Maz

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What an interesting question! I certainly think that if someone writes something that is going to have a direct detrimental effect on a business, then it may well be grounds for a disciplinary or even dismissal. And confidentiality means that - confidential, whether verbal or written!

 

However, employment laws are a bit of a minefield and you have to tread very carefully. People are entitled to a private social life, and indeed may hold views contrary to whatever may be required of them in their work. I'm not sure what the legal view of this would be!

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However, employment laws are a bit of a minefield and you have to tread very carefully. People are entitled to a private social life, and indeed may hold views contrary to whatever may be required of them in their work. I'm not sure what the legal view of this would be!

Probably a good one to ask Lawcall, if any PLA members are reading this...

 

And has anyone seen Beau's facebook page? How incriminating could those photos get... :o

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I have chosen a privicy restriction on my Facebook page which doesn't allow anyone other than people I have acsepted as a friend to see any of my pictures, comments or uploads. :o Not that there is anything on there to be worried about. xD

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I have chosen a privicy restriction on my Facebook page

I've done that too, I think. MrsWeasley: have I done that too? :o

 

Of course I live a completely blameless life so I have nothing to cover up at all... xD

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Probably a good one to ask Lawcall, if any PLA members are reading this...

 

And has anyone seen Beau's facebook page? How incriminating could those photos get... :o

 

:( Now my secret is out - the shame! xD

 

Honestly, you'd have to be pretty stupid to put something on a social networking site that might return to bite you one day! The only other thing I would say is that there is probably a lot of bravado about many entries, in terms of acting up in front of your peers. After all, it might not do your street cred much good to admit you just love those little blighters! I would take whatever is posted with a pinch of salt and if someone is good at their job then that, as far as I am concerned, would be the important thing.

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i read in the paper last week about a case of 2 teachers who were discussing parents of facebook. The comments they were making were not particulary nice and if i remember rightly both teachers were dismissed from their posts.

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I think you do have to be so careful if you use these sites and even if you have chosen privacy settings someone else could so easily put a photo of you up and tag it. I do have a facebook page as I find it so useful for sharing photos etc with family members in other countries.

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Well I don't think there's a problem with posting asking for advice about an individual child - so long as your setting can't be identified in any way! Most people choose usernames that don't identify them or their group and I didn't really think about mine when I joined. However my tutor at uni said one day that she'd been on the forum and had worked out who hali and I are so it made me think!

 

It made me think even more when my Local Authority took out a subscription and I did feel a bit paranoid for a while but I'm back to 'normal' now and anyway tend to be circumspect when talking about my own group on here!

 

I'm sure a moderator will point you in the direction of any advice or guidance that is available here, but as a rule of thumb I just ask myself if someone reading my post who knew my group could identify an individual child from what I write. Five out of seven of our staff team are members here now, so obviously I don't count them in that. xD

 

Maz

 

Spooky! I PM'd Peggy on this same issue before Christmas, when I panicked that someone from the LA had been reading posts I'd made.

 

Peggy was brilliant (as always!) at reassuring me, and raised the same issue of being recognisable by my user name. I considered changing it or re-joining in disguise :o but went with Peggy's advice that nothing I'd posted was derogatory or likely to cause offence.

 

If anything it's been a useful tool for me to use to reflect on my post before pressing the "add reply" button! :(

 

Nona

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I had a colleague who had been suspended and she made really irresponsible comments on her Facebook page, when her suspension finished and she returned to work I spoke to her and commented on her posts and how although it was part of her private and social life I would suggest that she is careful with what she writes as I was doing my best to keep the whole situation confidential in work and yet she was putting things like "Mary (not her name) is really p..... off with the whole work thing" and "Mary hopes she gets an interview" etc etc. She didnt seem bothered however her posts have calmed slightly down .......for now!

Certainly food for thought though!!

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"Mary (not her name) is really p..... off with the whole work thing" and "Mary hopes she gets an interview" etc etc.

I once wrote "Marion is wondering if 45 is too old to have another baby?" as a joke in mine and it still comes back at me - people ask if I'm still thinking about it... :o

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I have chosen a privicy restriction on my Facebook page which doesn't allow anyone other than people I have acsepted as a friend to see any of my pictures, comments or uploads. :o Not that there is anything on there to be worried about. xD

 

 

Ah but if you are a friend you can cut in and see stuff! then all becomes alitttle untaggled web really!

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Well yes - I once had two people chatting on my wall, both friends of mine, but they didn't know each other and they had a long chat, bizarre

 

 

Exactly my point, these websites offer you the chance to view all sorts of entries if you say you can find "someone" you know.

 

I just feel that other than the confidentiality issues there is also the problem of your setting having its image tarnished by a staff member givng a bad impression of herself. I strongly feel it reflects on the worksforce, wite potential to make everyone look bad.

 

I realise that the "Geneie is out of the bottle" and these things are probably here to stay but we need to find a way of managing the situation in some way.

 

I have mentioned this to the Communications Manager at my Early years Partnership and sent her into a bit of a spin!!!! i dont think she had even given this any thought. I guess having teenage children seems to have its uses sometimes!

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Yes having been shown one or two entries my nieces have put on Facebook I would be concerned if I were their employer. ( they are great girls BTW)

I think it would be covered by bringing an employer/setting into disrepute, but it is a difficult one because of human rights etc. No-one wants to stop people having a good time and a bit of fun, but where do you drawn the line? I know there has been an outcry against the GTC trying to control the behaviour of teachers outside school, and being seen drunk on nights out. I think we all want to feel confident in the people we entrust with our children and that they need to be good role models.

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No-one wants to stop people having a good time and a bit of fun, but where do you drawn the line?

I think the problem stems from the fact that by showing compromising photos of yourself or making comments on your facebook page you are putting all this stuff in the public domain - however I understand that this is further complicated when your best friend uploads that oh so amusing photograph of you drunk and lewd at the Christmas party.

 

I wonder what the legal positon is with regard to people uploading other people's images onto these sites - especially if it should lead to someone being dismissed or disciplined by their employer?

 

Maz

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Then there is the issue that a memeber of staff "cant come in today - I have a terrible migraine/feel awful/sickness and diahorrea etc etc", yet have spent half the day chatting to mates and posting things on FB!!!

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Then there is the issue that a memeber of staff "cant come in today - I have a terrible migraine/feel awful/sickness and diahorrea etc etc", yet have spent half the day chatting to mates and posting things on FB!!!

Gosh yes - especially as it is all clearly timestamped! :o Mind you I'm never too poorly to have the laptop on... xD

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