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Disciplinary over Tweets - I need a hand hold

(306 Posts)
BelgianFudge Fri 08-Jan-21 00:35:33

Does anyone have any experience of facing disciplinary over getting into a twitter spat? Nothing to do with the employer, but someone has sent screenshots to them and disciplinary action has been initiated.

Sorry for scant detail but I'm understandably worried about revealing much.

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Bluntness100 Fri 08-Jan-21 00:37:37

Normally companies have a policy on social media use. Does yours? Have you read it?

Did you say something that could bring the company into disrepute? What views were you expressing?

LawnFever Fri 08-Jan-21 00:38:45

Do you have your work details on your Twitter account?

BelgianFudge Fri 08-Jan-21 00:44:14

It was DH - yes we've read his company's Social media policy and it is vague but does say that even personal tweets could be considered against policy if they bring the company into disrepute.

He has no work details on his Twitter, nothing to link him to them whatsoever and never tweets about work.

But he's been a dick head on Twitter getting into arguments with people. He was a bit of an arse towards someone, and they sent a screen shot to a load of names taken from a previous tweet which DH had been tagged in - which just happened to include his employer.

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BelgianFudge Fri 08-Jan-21 00:45:23

He was expressing political views, but called this person a dickhead and told him to shut up. That was the screenshot that was sent around. Unpleasant but not overly offensive.

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Lou98 Fri 08-Jan-21 00:45:26

Most companies will have a social media policy that you will have agreed to in your employment contract.

Depending on what was said/level of offence etc and your company's own policy will depend on what action they take but if it's in your contract and you're in breach they would have the grounds to dismiss you.

BelgianFudge Fri 08-Jan-21 00:47:28

Can just being a general arse on twitter when it is not linked to your company be considered bringing them into disrepute?

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glasgow357 Fri 08-Jan-21 00:49:40

Of course. His employer was tagged in it!!

Bluntness100 Fri 08-Jan-21 00:49:47

But it was linked to his Twitter op. Because whomever told them saw from his Twitter he was employed by them.

ivfbeenbusy Fri 08-Jan-21 00:50:44

Yes I know a few people who got into trouble for it. The severity of the punishment really depended on

1) how many people saw the posts - ie what the account privacy settings were; if he has a closed profile not visible to just anyone and only to friends then he is in a better position

2) whether his account says who is employer is? If his place of work is in his profile he'll be in more trouble

3) nature or the comments - obviously racism, sexism etc is going to be more severe then just expressing a political view (unless he was supporting the nazi party or something)

ktp100 Fri 08-Jan-21 00:52:42

I mean, arguing is human nature, calling someone a dick head is hardly shocking BUT if any of his political comments have included anything that could be considered racist, sexist, anti trans etc (and lets face it, there is a LOT of it going on at the moment, particularly from the right) then unfortunately he may get in the shit, yes.

BelgianFudge Fri 08-Jan-21 00:52:55

But it was linked to his Twitter op. Because whomever told them saw from his Twitter he was employed by them

No there's nothing on his twitter to say who his employer is. But a previous tweet of his (a pleasant one I should add) tagged a load of people, including his employer.

This person just sent the screenshot to the whole list of them. And accidentally hit upon his employer as a result.

This person even subsequently tweeted that he didnt' know what DH did as a job, so it's clear he didn't make the connection. I've screenshot that.

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BelgianFudge Fri 08-Jan-21 00:56:41

1) how many people saw the posts - ie what the account privacy settings were; if he has a closed profile not visible to just anyone and only to friends then he is in a better position

Ooh I don't know, I'll check. But regardless of DH's account, the person who subsequently screenshot his tweet and sent it out will have bypassed that anyway. DH deleted his tweet, but it's out there now.

2) whether his account says who is employer is? If his place of work is in his profile he'll be in more trouble

It doesn't. It says what his profession is e.g. 'Bus driver' but doesn't say who his employer is.

3) nature or the comments - obviously racism, sexism etc is going to be more severe then just expressing a political view (unless he was supporting the nazi party or something)

No - definitely nothing racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-trans or anything remotely like that. He's basically very leftwing and angry about Brexit, and argues with anyone who disagrees with him. The 'offensive' tweet that was shared called a person a dick head and told him to shut up. That was it.

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LincolnshireLassInLondon Fri 08-Jan-21 00:58:47

I've come across similar cases. Two options...

1. He can apologise profusely, say lesson learned, lockdown his tweets, tell work he's done so and hopefully he will just get a mild sanction.

2. He can argue it's nothing to do with work. In this case, based on what you've said, that argument is weakened by the fact that the person he annoyed was able to contact his work using info from Twitter. He therefore is associated with the company on Twitter. Also the policy about personal social media doesn't help.

If he's in a union then call them. His rep would know if this has happened at the employer before and what the outcome was.

He should immediately delete any other social media posts that could cause offence. The company will likely do internet searches for anything else he's said online that could bring them into disrepute.

Providora Fri 08-Jan-21 00:58:56

Does he have friends/ family on Twitter who know him and where he works?

Were his opinions in any way shaped by knowledge gained through his employment?

Either of those would put me in the firing line with my employer (public sector).

LincolnshireLassInLondon Fri 08-Jan-21 00:59:17

BelgianFudge

Can just being a general arse on twitter when it is not linked to your company be considered bringing them into disrepute?


Potentially, yes

Lou98 Fri 08-Jan-21 01:00:35

BelgianFudge

*But it was linked to his Twitter op. Because whomever told them saw from his Twitter he was employed by them*

No there's nothing on his twitter to say who his employer is. But a previous tweet of his (a pleasant one I should add) tagged a load of people, including his employer.

This person just sent the screenshot to the whole list of them. And accidentally hit upon his employer as a result.

This person even subsequently tweeted that he didnt' know what DH did as a job, so it's clear he didn't make the connection. I've screenshot that.



Regardless, this person has managed to involve his company and so it does now include them and has been taken from his Twitter so they are within their rights to employ disciplinary action based on him being in breach of their policy.

To be honest, the best thing your husband can do is go to the disciplinary meeting and come across as genuinely sorry for the tweet, admitting that it was irresponsible and assuring them it won't happen again. If he goes in trying to justify that it's nothing to do with the company, they aren't mentioned on his Twitter etc then they're more likely to take it further to dismissal etc than if he tells them he regrets it.

At the end of the day, he is a grown man and shouldn't be arguing with people on social media, so needs to own up to that at the meeting

BelgianFudge Fri 08-Jan-21 01:02:08

LincolnshireLassInLondon

I've come across similar cases. Two options...

1. He can apologise profusely, say lesson learned, lockdown his tweets, tell work he's done so and hopefully he will just get a mild sanction.

2. He can argue it's nothing to do with work. In this case, based on what you've said, that argument is weakened by the fact that the person he annoyed was able to contact his work using info from Twitter. He therefore is associated with the company on Twitter. Also the policy about personal social media doesn't help.

If he's in a union then call them. His rep would know if this has happened at the employer before and what the outcome was.

He should immediately delete any other social media posts that could cause offence. The company will likely do internet searches for anything else he's said online that could bring them into disrepute.

He intends to apologise, tell them he's very ashamed and will never do it again.

He hasn't deleted anything as he didn't want to be seen to be tampering with it. I guess he should have done. Too late now - they will already have looked. There are other tweets of a similar nature just arguing with people and telling them they're wrong.

He has been in touch with the union, who have been very supportive. They have dealt with it before, it didn't go well.

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BelgianFudge Fri 08-Jan-21 01:03:18

Does he have friends/ family on Twitter who know him and where he works?

Yes he does.

Were his opinions in any way shaped by knowledge gained through his employment?

No - nothing to do with his work at all.

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ivfbeenbusy Fri 08-Jan-21 01:04:09

@BelgianFudge

Ah ok - In the case I've known where someone screenshot something like that the person making the comments argued that they were being malicious in taking the screenshot and showing it to people in a wider circle than intended.

He'll likely get a slap on the wrist and have to do some social media training or something

BelgianFudge Fri 08-Jan-21 01:05:25

To be honest, the best thing your husband can do is go to the disciplinary meeting and come across as genuinely sorry for the tweet, admitting that it was irresponsible and assuring them it won't happen again. If he goes in trying to justify that it's nothing to do with the company, they aren't mentioned on his Twitter etc then they're more likely to take it further to dismissal etc than if he tells them he regrets it.

That is what he says he will do. Just apologise profusely. They haven't even told him yet what he has been accused of, but he is assuming it is that. He's very ashamed of being a dick.

At the end of the day, he is a grown man and shouldn't be arguing with people on social media, so needs to own up to that at the meeting

I couldnt' agree more. Believe me I've told him that. A lot.

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BeanieB2020 Fri 08-Jan-21 01:06:31

This is a thing that is happening on Twitter a lot, though I've mainly seen it happen to people who are posting things that are racist. People on Twitter are good at identifying people and contacting their employers with tweet screenshots with the intent of getting them fired. Best not to get into any political arguments on there.

BelgianFudge Fri 08-Jan-21 01:08:11

Ah ok - In the case I've known where someone screenshot something like that the person making the comments argued that they were being malicious in taking the screenshot and showing it to people in a wider circle than intended.

They were definitely being malicious. Posted taunting tweets, multiple times telling him how they had shown all his contacts what sort of person he is. Then taunted him when he blocked them (which I could still see), posting a screenshot of DH's blocking message, with the screenshot of the original tweet again.

They were definitely being deliberately malicious. I have screenshots of all of that. But at the end of the day, their malicious behaviour is less relevant than DH being a dick head on twitter.

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BelgianFudge Fri 08-Jan-21 01:09:46

This is a thing that is happening on Twitter a lot, though I've mainly seen it happen to people who are posting things that are racist. People on Twitter are good at identifying people and contacting their employers with tweet screenshots with the intent of getting them fired. Best not to get into any political arguments on there.

Yes I've seen it happen too. And I've pleaded with DH not to get involved with political arguments, or any arguments, on Twitter. He has been incredibly foolish and he knows it now.

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HibernatingTill2030 Fri 08-Jan-21 01:22:36

I had a colleague who got into hot water over social media posts. But hers were directly related to the employer/her job. (along the lines of what a shit company it was to work for). Still employed, has learnt her lesson about who she friends on FB.

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