By Kenneth Rosen
College memes are still going strong. Ever since the explosion of college-based-meme fan pages on Facebook and Tumblr, the ‘Likes’ continue to grow, the memes steadily stream in.
Recently one made the rounds here – the new school bus with a man’s mouth blown open with water splashing into and around it.
And within a few hours comments posted on the site and our Facebook hammered the image and its graphic insinuation of vulgarity. I was surprised that most comments weren’t as raunchy as I’d feared they would be, but what astounded me the most? Some of our own staff members were commenting and posting their captions or comments.
Immediately I deleted them and crafted an email that went out to my editorial board:
One quick note: I’ve noticed a few of you are commenting from your personal Facebook accounts, whether it be liking things or anything of that nature. Please refrain from liking others’ comments or commenting as it’s a strange conflict of interest. Liking a post or status update that we write is, however, OK and an entirely different story.
I think back to the times Savannah Morning News posted an article, controversial or not, and how my fingers twitched over the comment box wanting to weigh in. But how would it look if one of their freelance reporters commented against the organization they worked for? Lots of brows would furrow: why don’t they support the views of their paper? Or, more importantly, their fellow co-workers? Was the article slanted if one of their own doesn’t agree with it?
While companies regularly update and create policies and guidelines that protect the interests of the corporation and its employees, use of social media in the workplace and as a professional is a no-brainier: refrain from anything that would make you hesitate pressing that ‘Send’ button.
While Facebook was once an outlet for the individual it has also become a whistle-blower for any skeptic that may want to degrade the publication or company that they work for. The best practice for social media use is to question whether or not what you’re posting needs to be posted.
Then question your motives again.
Contact Kenneth Rosen.
Between the ink, Beneath the skin is a weekly column written by the EIC of District that gives readers a behind-the-scenes view of the inner workings of the publication.