Blogging and Competetive Advantage

Recently an article on web blogs mentioned Mark Jen, a Google employee, who was fired for blogging. "The fired Google worker isn't the only blogger to land on the unemployment lines. Delta Air Lines, Microsoft and Friendster, the on-line social networking service, have all allegedly canned hired help for blogging. Countless other employers are taking steps to prevent loose-lipped workers from disclosing company information on the Internet." The controversy now is whether the trade secrets that make companies different should be protected or the employees' rights to free speech.


Dr. Tufte said...

This is a great topic. Think about it - could I potentially get fired for something I write (or even one of my students writes)? Probably so, if it hit enough hot buttons.

The key point is whether or not you divulge something that is somehow protected. Then there is the common misunderstanding of the first amendment: "Contrary to conventional wisdom, the First Amendment protects against censorship by the government, not employers or any other private party. In most states, employment is considered "at will," which means that employees can quit and employers can fire anytime and for any reason."

Dr. Tufte said...

-1 on Mack's post for a spelling error.