Category Archives: Social Media/Networking

State Leaders Work to Protect the Privacy of Employees' and Students' Social Media Accounts

Source: Nathan Dickerson, Council of State Governments, Knowledge Center, May 7, 2012

Social media has changed the public’s expectations of privacy, but a backlash has risen against employers’ requests for access to current and potential employees’ personal social media accounts. Schools also have faced similar controversies for attempting to exercise control over students’ online behavior. Several state leaders from across the country have written legislation to address these concerns and ensure the privacy of personal social media accounts. The proposed bills protect, at a minimum, employees from having to turn over personal social media account information.

When Your Boss Doesn’t ‘Like’ You: Surviving in Social Media

Source: Mischa Gaus, Labor Notes, March 8, 2012

Social media are presenting new challenges for unions as employers develop policies and discipline employees for their posts on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. But whether workers are talking to each other in the lunch room or online, labor law still provides protections for private-sector workers to engage in concerted activities with their co-workers.

Acting General Counsel releases report on social media cases

Source: National Labor Relations Board, Office of the General Counsel, Memorandum OM 11-74, August 18, 2011

From the press release:
The National Labor Relations Board’s Acting General Counsel today released a report detailing the outcome of investigations into 14 cases involving the use of social media and employers’ social and general media policies.

Organizing in Hard Times

Source: Academe, Volume 98, Number 4, July-August 2011

Articles include:
Angry Badgers
By Mari Jo Buhle and Paul Buhle
Protests in Wisconsin revive the state of “badgerness.”

Learning from Wisconsin

By Jamie Owen Daniel
The wolf is now inside your house, so organize.

Social Protest and the Future of Higher Education in Puerto Rico
By Victor M. Rodríguez
Repression and civil rights absuses have accompanied protests against tuition hikes.

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube–and Democracy
By Bob Samuels
The shape of new social movements shaped by social media.

Academic Librarians in the Breach

By Steve Aby
Distinctions matter, even in the heat of attacks against collective bargaining.

Most Working Americans Now Use the Internet or Email at Their Jobs

Source: Mary Madden and Sydney Jones, Pew Internet & American Life Project, September 24, 2008

From the press release:
A new national survey from the Pew Internet & American Life Project shows that 62% of adults who are currently employed use the internet or email at work and they have mixed views about the impact of technology on their work lives.

On the one hand, they cite the benefits of increased connectivity and flexibility that the internet and all of their various gadgets afford them at work. On the other hand, many workers say these tools have added stress and new demands to their lives.

This survey, “Networked Workers,” also finds that 96% of those who work use the internet, email or have a cell phone for some purpose in their lives, even if those things are not specifically tied to work. We call this larger group “Wired and Ready Workers.” When they are asked about the impact of these technologies on their work lives:

– 80% say these technologies have improved their ability to do their job.
– 73% say these technologies have improved their ability to share ideas with co-workers.
– 58% say these tools have allowed them more flexibility in the hours they work.

At the same time, Wired and Ready Workers note various negative impacts of information and communications technologies on their work lives:

– 49% say these technologies increase the level of stress in their job.
– 49% say these technologies make it harder for them to disconnect from their work when they are at home and on the weekends.
– 46% say these tools increase demands that they work more hours.
See also:

Social Isolation and American Workers: Employee Blogging and Legal Reform

Source: Rafael Gely and Leonard Bierman, Harvard Journal of Law & Technology, Vol. 20 no. 2, Spring 2007

Times have changed. Americans, and particularly American workers, live in a much more socially isolated world than they did in the past. Union halls and employee group bowling are rare these days. In some respects, the Internet and today’s “virtual world” have contributed to these developments. For example, when employees are telecommuting or working “virtually” off-site, developing a strong sense of community with their colleagues is far more difficult. But while the Internet may be part of the problem, it also has the potential to be part of the solution.