Journalist Barrett Tryon posted a Los Angeles Times story — about how the newspaper that he worked with was being sold — on his personal Facebook page. His employer asked him to take it down and after refusing to do so, he was put on unpaid leave.
Tryon Skyped into the What’s Trending live show today to tell us about the incident in his own words.
So, what happened?
“Last week we found out our company sold, and the next day there was an LA Times article that came out that said that the new company that bought us was going to take our newspaper and flip us by the end of the summer,” Tryon said.
“It was reported by an unnamed source. I used that pull quote… and I posted the link on my personal Facebook. It was up for several hours and I got an email from my boss…she said…’You’re violating social media policy. This is not factual information and you need to take it down.'”
Shira pointed out how this brings up modern day issues of how employers should deal with their employees’ social media presences. Basically, does your employer have a right to fire you based on what you post on your personal pages?
“If you’re being smart about what you’re putting online and you’re not slamming your employer, I think you have every right to put what you want on your personal Facebook,” Tryon said.
Tryon went on to point out that he wasn’t slamming the new owners or his current company. That would’ve been much worse, he admits.
So how should an employer react to something like this?
“Have a dialogue with your company, whether or not you have a social media policy,” Tryon suggested. “And if you don’t have one, maybe discuss — what should it include and not include?“
UPDATE: Tryon tweeted Wednesday night after the show —
UPDATE: to quote Gotye, @csgazette you are “somebody I used to know.” My job was reinstated with pay, but decided I’m no longer interested.
— Barrett Tryon (@tryonb) June 20, 2012
Do you think Tryon was treated unfairly? Let us know in the comments and @WhatsTrending!
Follow Barrett Tryon on Twitter.