December 20th, 2013

planet

kansas schools and scary government social media policies

The Kansas Board of Regents approved a new policy allowing universities to fire employees for social media posts that "conflict with the interest of the school". So, basically anything... they felt the need to make this policy when a professor tweeted something about how NRA members should lose their own kids in the name of gun rights... he said he didn't mean it to sound so violent but holy shit dude.

Bad decisions aside I hate when one person does something obviously bad and someone thinks we need a rule for everyone about it. I hear this from my own company's training department. They get supervisors calling them saying "Do you guys have a training class to tell people to wear their safety glasses? I'd like my department to go, because Steve doesn't wear his."

And they say, "Why don't you just tell Steve to wear his safety glasses?"

And the manager is like, "What, I have to talk to one of my employees? Isn't that your job?"

I also hate the idea of people getting fired for social media posts, especially public employees - when you work for the government I think you need to still be allowed to speak out against the government. That's one reason why I support tenure for teachers, but understand that my needs as an engineer working for corporate america are a little different and I don't deserve it myself. I can't say bad things about my company because it would hurt our competition with other companies. The government isn't competing against anything but bad principles - you gotta call them out.

Free speech means the government can't mess with your right to say things. We talk about it a lot on spacefem.com because trolls who get banned will tell us we're stepping on their right to free speech - no we're not. If we petitioned the government to arrest them, that would be stepping on their right to free speech. We're okay with the idea that you can say whatever you want... on your own damn website. We are not the government.

Schools are. Don't be crazy, public universities.