In its previous edition, the Boar featured a story about the overuse of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, asking whether we had all become ‘virtual exhibitionists’. In the week since then, more stories have broken about people getting into trouble for saying things that were deemed inappropriate.
Two were just a little dumb. Firstly, we have the case of Steve Molyneux, a magistrate from Telford who was forced to resign after releasing details of a case he was sitting on Twitter. Molyneux claims that he only repeated what was said in open court, and so did nothing illegal, and he may well have been right. However, his claim that the reason he was using technology was to bring “transparency” to the judicial system is slightly ridiculous – the man just wanted his mates to know about his cool cases. So maybe he didn’t need to resign, but he gets an F for his excuse anyway.
Secondly is a Swiss worker who told her office that she was too ill to use a computer, but then was spotted by a colleague online on Facebook, and was promptly sacked. She accused her employer of spying on her, and claimed that she was on the site from her iPhone while laying in bed. Nevertheless, she had said that she had a migraine and needed to lie in a darkened room – it’s doubtful that having a backlit iPhone in your face counts as ‘darkened’.
Finally, we have a story that is a little more serious. Moldovan Natalia Morar is accused of masterminding the country’s ‘Twitter revolution’. After suspicions that elections in Moldova were rigged, marches in the streets took place and parliament was damaged after many protestors had found out about spontaneously organised demonstrations on the networking site. While the protests got out of hand, this use of social networking as an agent for change is a better reason to be in trouble than skiving work or breaking court confidentiality. Morar faces fifteen years in prison.
The Boar thinks that use of Twitter and other sites has got out of hand. To find out more, just join our Facebook group.