Home > Illegal media > You Posted “What” on Facebook?

You Posted “What” on Facebook?

I heard about an interesting story at a large Canadian company last week, which demonstrates the need to be aware of what you are posting online.

First, a little background:

Bob (obviously not his real name) worked for a large Canadian company.  Bob had been there for a few years as a help desk technician. He was moved into this position because of some work he done while working in another part of the company.

A few years back, it was discovered while Bob was on night shift, he was downloading movies and other material.  He was given a warning and he signed an agreement stating he would never do it again, and if he did, he would be terminated.  Now we both know that if he had kept his promise, this post would not be happening 🙂

Recently, the networks at the head office were experiencing some serious lag during specific hours.  It was determined the systems in Bobs cubicle were causing the issue.  Bob came to work one morning and was immediately escorted to a private office, and then off the property.  He did not have the opportunity to go to his cubicle.  His systems were sent to IT for investigation, and it was determined he was back to downloading movies and other items again.  This was not the odd movie here or there (not that makes it any better) but Gigs upon Gigs of data.  He was terminated.

This should be the end of the story (again); another employee is terminated for abusing the network policy at the office.  It happens all the time.  Bob then decided Facebook would be the ideal spot to plead his case.  His first status update after being escorted off the property, but prior to termination, stated that he had learned his lesson, and that he formatted all his hard drives at home and deleted all the material he had illegally downloaded.  He said that realized the error of his ways and would never do this again.  This post was set to “friends only”.  Bobs circle of friends included co-workers.  Again, this story should have ended here, but then Bob was terminated and again Bob took to Facebook to express his frustrations. His next post claimed someone at the office was using his systems and his credentials to access the company network to download material.  He also stated his supervisor knew this was the situation.  Bob named his supervisor and the company in this post.  This post was for friends only.  It set off a chain reaction.  The supervisor was told of this post, by Bob’s Facebook friends.  Trust me, his supervisor was not a happy camper.  The supervisor now had to defend his position and actions.  He took the post to management.  Management then pulled in the company legal department to manage it because the company had been named in the Facebook post, and a supervisor had been implicated in the status update.  Next, the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canadas equivalent to the FBI) was notified because not only was Bob downloading copyrighted material, but he was also distributing it.  It was not just movies, but also software, music, and games using the company network.

I am guessing Bob thought that just because his Facebook posts were to friends, that he was safe.  He was wrong.

Moral of the story:  If you wouldn’t advertise it, don’t post it online.

Categories: Illegal media
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