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Baltimore Fire Department Implements Strict Social Media Policy

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This does raise a good question. What most people do not understand is that your "RIGHTS" protect you from the government, not your employer. I can stand on a street corner as a citizen and say pretty much what I want, without fear of the federal government stopping me. But if I stand in the middle of a corporate office building where I work, and say the exact same things, I may very well be fired.

So the question is, what happens when your employer is the "government"?

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If your employer is a government agency the same rules apply as your second scenario. The employer, whether it be a government agency or not, can and will impose limits on what they deem to be professional actions by their employees.

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We are on a slippery slope and I personally feel like the potential for infringement exists. Drawing the line is the toughest part for me as most of the time I'm not sure where I'd draw the line on my personal professionalism let alone somebody else. Problem is we can cherry pick our opinions and inferences. For example, I do not hide the fact that I intend to vote for Gary Johnson on Facebook. Of course, you could question my professionalism based on the Libertarian way of looking at the drug war. Again, social media is a slippery slope and I'm not sure I like the way thing are headed in certain cases. Personally, I like to side on allowing for more freedom instead of regulation, but I'm not qualified to make the judgement on where to draw the line.

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If they want to curtail you using the site while on the clock, I can respect that. But that should have NO say in what you do in your spare time. BUT, it's your personal responsibility to maintain some professionalism. You have to understand that your co-workers/boss may see your post and find it distasteful. I don't feel the employer should be able to stop you from posting on your own time, but I do think they can hold you responsible for the posts no matter what.

I work for the government. I can't access social media from work, but can at home. I post my political views and personal views. I'm not about to bash my employer or go into specific details on a social site. That's begging for disaster. We are told to be mindful of postings, but they know they can't stop what we do on our free time. But again, you can bet your ass they'll hold me responsible for something they don't like.

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