March 6, 2005

Freedom of the BLOG

Blogging is a cathartic experience. The ability to vent, explore, state, express, ruminate and pontificate on various topics can be freeing. Being able to share our personal Op-Ed pieces with the world is thrilling, as well as the best in shared egomania.

It can also get you fired.

Several employees have been given the ole heave ho for innocently keeping a blog that may have included information about their experiences on the job. A programmer from Google and a stewardess from Delta Airlines found out the hard way.

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Mark Jen landed a dream
job with Google Inc. in January. He was fired less than a month later...…..
A former Delta Air Lines flight attendant claims she was fired in November
over pictures she posted on her personal blog that she says the airline
deemed "inappropriate."……..

I can understand the blogger’s assertion that what someone writes on their own time SHOULD be considered "Freedom of Speech"; however, most companies have "at-will" termination clauses which allow them to fire whomever they choose, as long as they aren’t a contracted employee.

Yet companies DO have a right to protect information they deem confidential, look at the struggle Apple Computers had with bloggers that divulged critical data.

Apple, in a lawsuit filed in California state court in December, claims the
product leaks violated its trade secrets and wants the site operators to
disclose the source's identity. But Opsahl counters that the site operators,
like news reporters, are protected under the First Amendment as well as
California state law.

But does this open the door for us bloggers that just do this for fun? Or what about the blogger that is political? Is this a slippery slope into a form of censorship? Paul K. McMasters of the Daily Herald wrote:

The vast majority of bloggers, of course, prove the value of democratic
freedoms. They produce a prodigious flow of vital information and ideas and
serve as a check on traditional media.

Journalists are also worried how subsequent court rulings will impact their ability to blog anonymously.

"What's at stake here is whether online and independent journalists will be granted the same rights as ones from traditional media," Ms Newitz said. (Analyst for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

It’s going to be interesting to see how this will play out. I will keep you all posted.


The Mortgage PRO! said...

Hi Sepia!

This post is not related to the current subject but I wanted to take this time to tell you this; Glad to see you follow footsteps and since you follow well... follow me over to "" I will be glad to assist you any way I can with the new location. By the way, it has more bells and wistles. Still, one of the attributes here on Blogger is the ability to add sound to your blog. I know you will have your new blog up and running in no time. Take care and stay blessed!


StockTec1, The Mortgage Pro!Blog me at ---> You mentioned learning and using HTML tags like the ones I used above to italicize and bold my fonts. Here is an example of one tag I used. The only difference is that every caracter used has a space between them and the next letter when in reality they must be directly adjacent to each other in order for the tags to act on your text. I wrote them like this because its the only way the tags will appear here. See the following:

< strong > < em > < strong > type anything you wish between here... such as Sepialove < / strong > < / em > < / strong >

Example: type anything you wish between here... such as Sepialove. As you can see, the HTML tags didnt appear once they are set directly adjacent to each other in line. Learning HTML will give your posts more power and emphasis. Something I know you will use well. You are well read and it shows Sepia!

MudBoneDaPoet said...

I say Viva La Blog.
Let the revolution begin!