Social Networking – defamation by former employees

[article just received via email from HR Review]

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“directory service 118 118 has asked social networking site Facebook to delete one of its pages, on which former employees criticise the company.

The ‘Survivors of 118 118’ page – set up by two former staff members – features an invective against both 118 118 and its customers, that has captured media attention in recent days.

118 118 spokesperson, William Ostrom, said: “They absolutely do not represent the views and the attitudes of the vast majority of our staff.

“We are now in discussion with Facebook for them to withdraw the comments on the grounds that they are defamatory to our customers.”

This is the latest in a series of events that has seen employers come into contact with social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace.

Many employers are now rumoured to be checking on both current and potential employees via the information they post about themselves on the internet.

According to a survey of managers at 600 companies by networking website Viadeo, one in five conducted internet searches on the names of potential employees and around a quarter of these searches then lead to rejection letters because of what they found out about the candidate online.

Viadeo manager, Peter Cunningham, said: “Millions of people are inadvertently contributing to their Internet reputation every day by leaving personal information online, much of which is cached and remains available via search engines even after the author has removed the webpage.

“The rise of search engines such as Google means potential employers are never more than a few clicks away from information about you.”

He added: “People must manage their Internet reputations.

“Online information must be tailored to work to their advantage.”

[article ends]

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