The court scholar serving Hermann of Thuringia.

The court scholar serving Hermann of Thuringia.
The scholar


Expanding on a Faceboook post

The post describes a new proposed law, that rules separating your employer from you social media accounts should be relaxed. I very strongly oppose doing that.

Back in the Navy, my shipmate was having trouble at work. Our supervisors talked to him about it. He let slip something about his family causing him problems (Personally, I didn't like his wife and thought she was part of his problems at work), so our supervisors followed up and asked him lots of questions, questions that he complained to me about.

I felt bad for him, but also felt that he opened himself up by mentioning his family in the first place. That gave our supervisors a legitimate reason to pursue the matter further.

The WaPo piece quoted here says: "...if say an employee is making slanderous statements about their employer in social media, that the employer has the right to know that.” But why do employers need to know about statements you make on private parts of your social media account? I agree with the statement, but only up to a point. Employers are properly concerned with the public, openly accessible part of your social media account. Yes, having privacy on social media is a two-way thing. If you're not publicly slagging your employer, they have no reason to go into your Facebook or other social media accounts.

But if they feel you're slagging them, then they should have to prove that. They shouldn't simply be given the benefit of the doubt. And no, I don't feel that just because you work with children or for a church or religious group, that the rules on social media should be relaxed and that employers should be able to snoop into your accounts.

Citizens who wish to keep their social media accounts private from their employer should be given the benefit of the doubt and should be shielded from snooping employers. But yes, if an employer has evidence that you're bad-mouthing them or are engaged in immoral activities, then yes, the employee opens themselves up to investigation.  

Update: Just to expand on the privacy issue, I completely agree with this piece in the Inky, that when one posts test questions and/or answers on social media in a manner that's accessible to anyone, no, it's really not a question of privacy. It's not even a question of whether we rely too much on test scores (I think we do), but whether charter schools can legitimately monitor social media and take action on cheating. Yes, I think it's entirely legitimate for them to do so.

If people were truly keeping this information private, if students could only access it via a secure password, that is, that they were members of a defined group, then there might be some privacy argument. But no, if test questions are being posted publicly, then those posting them have no reasonable expectation of privacy and should expect to be found out and pursued.


US Social Forum Philadelphia June 25 - 28

We're very pleased to announce that the upcoming Third US Social Forum (USSF) will be taking place at several sites at Temple University and along American St. in Philadelphia on June 25-28! The USSF is a convergence driven by the understanding that people's movements are what create real social change. This will be an opportunity for regional and issue-specific social justice projects to work towards broader unity and cooperation. 

The Philadelphia USSF is anchored by the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign, Disabled In Action, and Youth United for Change, and rooted in the themes of immigration, political democracy, disability, and poverty. As a movement we will create spaces for strategy discussions, political education, People's Movement Assemblies, local actions, art and culture, convergences, movement schools, marches, housing takeovers, community building, healing, and collective empowerment. We know that a better world is possible and that it can be achieved.

Learn more by visiting the Philadelphia USSF website at, emailing us at or calling 215-869-4753 for more information.