Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Latest Social Media Concern for Employers

By Jacob Gershman
A new video sharing app is emerging as the latest source of anxiety for employers worried about social-media risks at the office.
Workplace videos are sprouting on Vine, the new six-second video app developed by Twitter. And a lot of them aren’t pretty, says Daniel A. Schwartz, an employment law attorney at Pullman & Comley LLC in Hartford, Conn., who writes the Connecticut Employment Law Blog.
“Employers who are just concerned about what their employees are just doing onFacebook FB +0.31% are missing the bigger picture of how smartphones are infiltrating the workplace,” Mr. Schwartz told Law Blog. (Law Blog reached out to Twitter for comment and is waiting to hear back.)
By plugging in terms like “hatework” or “bored” or “work” into a Vine search box, he says he quickly pulled up a number of clips showing employees doing things that would make their bosses cringe.
For example, he found a user wearing a rental car company uniform who posted a video of himself smoking from a bong. Another user filmed herself leafing through what appears to be confidential business plans. Another worker seems to have filmed himself driving heavy machinery at an airport.
He also found a bunch of videos of employees venting about how much they hate their jobs, including one person who makes an obscene gesture at a grocery store where the person apparently works. (The person behind the camera also displays an employee badge.)
Food and retail establishments are “particularly susceptible,” said Mr. Schwartz. “Vine is one of the fastest growing social networks. And people aren’t posting what they had for breakfast anymore.”

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