Tag Archives: Facebook

To ‘Friend’ or Not to ‘Friend’?

For HR professionals, “friending” employees on Facebook or connecting on other social media sites is far from a simple decision.

I posted the question “Do any of you accept friend requests on social media from employees?” to the HR Department of One group on SHRM Connect, the Society for Human Resource Management’s online community.

I was prompted to pose the question by the recent friend requests I was getting from employees at the company I work for. I’ve been building good rapport with many of them, and now they’ve been requesting me on Facebook. My gut told me it was not a good idea to accept their friend requests, but I wanted insight from fellow HR professionals.

Others said it’s better to invite those employees to connect on LinkedIn instead because that platform is more professional. Concerns about connecting on Facebook—and retaining those connections after a promotion—ranged from finding out too much information about employees to being accused of favoritism or impropriety.

Most people who commented recommended against accepting a friend request from an employee, and employment attorneys generally agree. That’s because people tend to share very personal details about themselves and others on social media, and what you see may create conflict. For example, one person wrote that an employee who was supposed to be teleworking had posted on Facebook that they were actually partying in Las Vegas.

I will not be friending the employees who requested me, and will take the advice of those who responded to my question of communicating why I will be rejecting their friend requests.

Further Information

This article is based on a news release from the Society for Human Resource Management on behalf of Chelsea Wheeler.

Michelle Chapman

Chapman, Michelle. Michelle Chapman, from Cornwall, was found by forensics investigators to have sent messages to herself on Facebook in her parents name from a computer at her own address in order to frame them for trolling.

Crown Prosecutor Philip Lee said that Chapman “wanted to make their life hell” and sought “revenge on her father for matters in the past“.

Nyanza Roberts

Roberts, Nyanza. Nyanza Roberts, who was 25 at the time, was fined £250 by Hull Magistrates’ Court after being found to have persistently made use of an electronic communications network for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety under Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003. She was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £85 and a £15 victim surcharge.

Facebook Bullying Stories are All-too-Familiar Today

There are Facebook bullying stories all over the Internet and television today. You can watch news programs like Nancy Grace in the evening and see the faces of young kids who took their own life due to bullying on the Internet as well as through cell phones and in the school hallways. Then you go online and continue to read and hear about more young kids all around the world who have been negatively impacted by online bullying.

There are some new words that have been introduced into our vocabulary because of these new forms of bullying:

  • Cyber Bullying
  • Facebook Bullying
  • Bullycide

No one should be happy for the development of any of these words. It’s true that every generation comes up with their own “cool” terminology, but the terminology being used with our children today is downright scary. These terms speak to the growing trend of kids teasing, threatening, stalking, and even impersonating one another online.

Teasing was bad when it happened during school hours in the hallways, but today kids who are bullied get no relief. They are bullied at school then it follows them home through text messages on their cell phones and messages posted to their Facebook accounts and on other social media accounts they may maintain.

This is why the growing number of Facebook bullying stories is being taken seriously by many government officials. Many states now have laws stating that stalking and harassing someone online is a crime. Many others are set to follow that lead and implement similar laws which will give police the ability to charge bullies for harassing others online.

Yet, even with these laws in place Facebook bullying stories continue to come from across the country and around the world.

One of those Facebook bullying stories was Phoebe Prince, who hung herself in her closet in January, 2010. She was knowingly harassed and teased by other kids in her school, both online and during the school day offline. The town where Phoebe lived was so outraged by her death that a storm of controversy was sparked over whether her Facebook bullies should be publicly announced and criminally charged.

Yet, not all Facebook bullying stories end in suicide. There are some stories of teens and their families fighting back against the bullies for justice. In 2008, a suit was filed by a teenager and his mother against four teenagers who bullied him online. In this case, the teenagers set up a fake Facebook account using the boy’s real name, pictures of the boy, and even his real cell phone number.

On this fake Facebook page the bullies pretended to be their victim and posted comments about homosexual gay acts along with remarks that would be racially offensive to many people. Once the page was discovered by the victim and his mother, there was extreme embarrassment and emotional distress which led to a lawsuit.

Unfortunately, the number of Facebook bullying stories that end in suicide continues to rise. While there are some victims fighting back through the courts and winning with new laws, there continues to be a culture of bullying and stalking working beneath the surface of Facebook and other social networking sites.

Today, hearing that a teenager killed themselves due to Facebook bullying isn’t unheard of or nearly as shocking as it should be. Facebook bullying stories are almost commonplace because they are becoming so common.

More information

This article was written by Mandy-Jane Clarke of Stop-Bullies.com.