So an Ottawa grocery chain (Farm Boy) has fired employees because of postings they made on Facebook under their real identity (via: Michael Geist). Facebook is a MySpace clone focused on University/College students. Devon Bourgeois and James Wood are now jobless because of messages they posted on a message board on Facebook (although it was not publicly available). The gist I got from the story is that the company fired them for admission of theft based on posts on the Facebook message board.
Devon was the administrator of the “I got Farm Boy’d” group that was decribed as “just for fun – inside jokes”. It has 187 members from the Ottawa and Cornwall area and it is not publicly viewable — you have to be a member to read the messages.
The worst part of Devon’s story is that he doesn’t have a common name. Typing his name into Google only brings up 5 hits, which means that once this news story is indexed it will easily turn up any time someone Google’s his name. Future employers, girlfriends and nosy people in general will be able to find out about his indiscretion.
Hopefully the MySpace generation will take this as a wake-up call and be more careful in what aspects of their life they post online. Here is a series I wrote about online anonymity that could have helped them out:
- Digital Breadcrumbs – Intro
- Case Study – Stalking My Friends Online
- Online Anonymity – Protecting and Masking Your Identity