Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

[P]
Freedom to Post

By CheSera in Internet
Tue May 01, 2001 at 10:52:37 AM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)
Freedom

Ah the blessed freedoms of the internet. I can say what I want, be who I want, go wherever it strikes my fancy. Back in the wilder days of the net this might have been true. I certainly remember when none of my employers knew what the net was, and I never considered the possibility of censure over something I posted on one of the many boards I participated in. Today I am afraid.


I've known of the threat for a while now. It's not like people haven't been screaming bloody murder over privacy concerns both within the workplace and without. However it took a recent article in the nytimes (registration required) to really drive the point home. I could really be written up, suspended, or fired for posting something on the Internet.

One of the reasons I am a little more wary of these issues these days is that I have recently been recruited by a mega-corporation. As big as they get I guess. The work is pretty frustrating at times, and in order to blow off steam, some of the people here have put together a website just to complain about customers, co-workers, and other daily annoyances in life. The forums are the main focus point of the site for obvious reasons.

Now, I've posted there with considerable passion and have probably said some things I'd regret if ever called into a meeting with my boss. All of it is meant just to allow me to release some of the tension that comes from working a full time job. Better to get into a flame war with my co-workers online than to go postal in real life, right? Now, my boss is pretty cool, and I really doubt that I'd get in any trouble with him, even if he saw the page. But the higher ups, and those in other departments, might not take it so well. It boils down to this: should I censor myself in my online communication?

I don't want to. I'm not sure if I need to. Is it inappropriate for me to post things about my job, not confidential stuff or anything of course, but still things about my job? Is this free speech? I sincerely doubt that the company I work for would appreciate some of the things I say, and I >know some of my co-workers would take offense. Personally I'm going to keep posting until someone tells me to stop, but I'm certainly not going to point the site out to anyone other than the few co-workers I trust.

Sponsors

Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure

Login

Poll
Talking about work on the web is:
o Good for blowing off steam 16%
o Ok, as long as you don't go overboard 35%
o Usually a bad idea 18%
o Only if you don't mind losing your job 25%
o Suicidal 4%

Votes: 91
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o article
o website
o Also by CheSera


Display: Sort:
Freedom to Post | 49 comments (44 topical, 5 editorial, 0 hidden)
Probe your memory banks deeply, seeker. (3.81 / 11) (#1)
by elenchos on Sun Apr 29, 2001 at 09:59:59 PM EST

Somewhere in the hazy past, do you have any recollection of having signed anything in connection with this employer of yours? Did it have words on it? Words to the effect of "employment contract?" Bingo! Shuffle around under some of those empty Domino's Pizza boxes and game cartridges and see if you still have your copy anywhere. If you can find it, try to scrape off some of the pizza sauce and make out what it says. With me so far? OK, now, read this thing and try to figure out if you have entered into any kind of agreement to say or not say certain things. Once you have this agreement, or lack therof, foremost in your consciousness, rewrite your article and see if the same questions remain unanswered for you.

I'm not sure what you want K5 to help you with. You want to do X, but your employer does not want you doing X, we think, although we are still speculating at the moment about what you agreed to. So if you know you are going to get fired eventoually for doing what you know they don't want you to do, what are you working there for in the first place? It isn't like high school where someone is making you stay there and the only fun you can have is to bitch and make trouble. If you hate it that much, go somewhere you like.

Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have

People need to blow off steam (3.28 / 7) (#2)
by John Milton on Sun Apr 29, 2001 at 10:06:48 PM EST

You just pointed out one of the best reasons for the right to privacy. No one can be perfectly happy all the time. Which is better? To blow off steam anonymously or to blow away your co-workers. I know how you feel. I am attending a very religious college. If some of the opinions I express here were to be shown to my school, I would probably be expelled. Their that strict.

I'm a Christian and am religious myself, but I can't stand rabid Christians. They make a bad name for Christianity. If I weren't able to post here semi-anonymously, I would probably explode. Accountability is good, but sometimes people need to be able to speak their mind without the fear of retribution.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


Wrong (2.33 / 3) (#5)
by skim123 on Sun Apr 29, 2001 at 10:10:01 PM EST

No one can be perfectly happy all the time

I am perfectly happy all of the time.

Sorta like being gay: you're walking around, you know something's up, you just don't know what it is yet.
[ Parent ]

Wrong (none / 0) (#17)
by Glacky on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 10:42:18 AM EST

I am perfectly happy all of the time.
No, you only think you are... After all, if people believed you could be happy all the time, they'd be so utterly miserable because they weren't happy all the time, and shrinks would be the rulers of the world. ;-)

[ Parent ]
Oh, but I am (none / 0) (#19)
by skim123 on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 11:34:21 AM EST

After all, if people believed you could be happy all the time, they'd be so utterly miserable because they weren't happy all the time, and shrinks would be the rulers of the world

I am utterly happy, and I realize this calamity that would befall the Earth if I let others know - so I stay pretty reclusive, living a quiet, introverted life. But a happy one.

Sorta like being gay: you're walking around, you know something's up, you just don't know what it is yet.
[ Parent ]

Hmm.. (none / 0) (#32)
by mezzo on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 07:43:17 PM EST

And what is this secret to your happiness?

--young grasshopper.

"The avalanche has started, it is too late for the pebbles to vote."-- Kosh
[ Parent ]
It's simple (none / 0) (#33)
by skim123 on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 11:22:19 PM EST

And what is this secret to your happiness

Happiness is simply the lack of negative influences in your life. Plausibly, no one can remove all negative stressors from ones life and, in fact, attempting to do so with, paradoxically, create stress, thereby invalidating one's attempt at pure bliss. Therefore, I choose not to try to eradicate negative stressors, but rather to simply ignore them. It's a joyous world of abosolute and utter denial.

Sorta like being gay: you're walking around, you know something's up, you just don't know what it is yet.
[ Parent ]

Ahhh *zen* (none / 0) (#35)
by Glacky on Tue May 01, 2001 at 06:09:04 AM EST

So if your immediate superiors give you an impossible deadline, you simply laugh and ignore it, or if you cut your finger opening the mail, you settle back and let it bleed?

May I ask what substances you take to achieve this state? ;-)

[ Parent ]
Blind optimism helps (none / 0) (#39)
by skim123 on Tue May 01, 2001 at 02:13:14 PM EST

My son, denial is just not ignoring everything that may cause stress, but ignoring those things that occur in unignorable events that cause the negative stress. Ah, the road to enlightenment is not as easy as you had thought, no?

if you cut your finger opening the mail, you settle back and let it bleed

I tend to my wounds but think, "Life is sure wonderful, I nearly cut my entire finger off, but fortunately only have a small papercut." As the blood flows I smile and become lightheaded, thinking how wonderful it is to have fingers.

So if your immediate superiors give you an impossible deadline, you simply laugh and ignore it

No, I start in on it and don't worry if I get it done by the deadline or not. I just work at it and when the deadline is up, we'll see how much I've completed. And I put on a happy face.

Sorta like being gay: you're walking around, you know something's up, you just don't know what it is yet.
[ Parent ]

heh. (none / 0) (#46)
by mezzo on Tue May 01, 2001 at 07:39:23 PM EST

sometimes its just so hard not to worry though.

you're funny.

"The avalanche has started, it is too late for the pebbles to vote."-- Kosh
[ Parent ]
The six magic words (none / 0) (#47)
by skim123 on Tue May 01, 2001 at 09:10:12 PM EST

"Ah, well it could be worse."

sometimes its just so hard not to worry though

The clever thing here to do is worry optimistically. "Man," you could say to yourself, "I am worried about X, but it could be worse: I could be worrying even more!" And then you will be happy, because you are not worrying nearly as much as you could be. :-)

Sorta like being gay: you're walking around, you know something's up, you just don't know what it is yet.
[ Parent ]

How does that add up... (none / 0) (#49)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Wed May 02, 2001 at 11:28:03 PM EST

... I mean, if I go from worrying about (X) to worrying about ((X) and (how X could have been Z where Z>>X)) wouldn't the two worrys just sum up? Since I still have X in the summation, I don't see how X+Z < X if Z is itself positive (i.e. something to really worry about). So do you feed in spurious, "negative" worries? "Well, a cut finger is better than evil overlords from the 5th parallel universe that drink human brains. Gosh, I'm happy."??

Personally, I edit my input via a slightly more straightforward method of self-control... a continuing program of brainwashing through positive and negitive feedbacks.


[ Parent ]
Don't hold back (3.00 / 2) (#24)
by itsbruce on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 02:30:00 PM EST

I'm a Christian and am religious myself, but I can't stand rabid Christians.

Blow them away! Go on - you know you wan't to do it. We'll all be your character witnesses and swear you had no choice.

Having acquired your killing weapon of choice, take up position on a flyover and take out every car with a "Kill them all, let God sort it out!" bumper sticker. If virtuous irony isn't a cast-iron defence in court (and it really should be) then you can always say that they were consenting parties to the act. Or say they were mercy killings.


--I unfortunately do not know how to turn cheese into gold.
[ Parent ]

I'm torn. (4.00 / 2) (#27)
by John Milton on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 07:00:00 PM EST

On the one hand, I'm pretty sure you're insulting me. (It's hard to tell with sarcasm) On the other hand, that post just cracked me up. I'm leaning toward the latter. :)

Oh well, I probably deserve it. My last post was a little bit of hyperbole. I only used the "blow them away" reference because it was in the article. Actually, my big fantasy is to punch one of my bible teachers. That's not exactly love your neighbor, but I'm not sure Hell wouldn't be worth it.

Although I probably wouldn't be expelled for expressing odd opinions, I would never have any peace and quiet. I would be constantly evangelized. Most of the people at my college are very nice. It's just that the really laid back people aren't in charge. I've heard them say prayers for people from other denominations, because "they aren't christians."

I don't mind not being able to express my opinions at school. What bothers me is that my college acts like it owns me. If someone said that they saw me dancing in my own free time, I would be expelled.

If he's not libeling your company publicly, then they have no reason to go after you. He should let his employers know that they own a peice of his time. The rest of it is his. As for me, if things ever got really bad I would just transfer. I don't have to be here, but I'll stay as long as it is convenient.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
Start Looking For Another Job (4.00 / 9) (#6)
by Carnage4Life on Sun Apr 29, 2001 at 10:12:17 PM EST

I don't want to. I'm not sure if I need to. Is it inappropriate for me to post things about my job, not confidential stuff or anything of course, but still things about my job. Is this free speech? I sincerely doubt that the company I work for would appreciate some of the things I say, and I know some of my co-workers would take offense. Personally I'm going to keep posting until someone tells me to stop, but I'm certainly not going to point the site out to anyone other than the few co-workers I trust.

Free speech applies to congress (not even local or state governments specifically) and not corporations. Most employees in the U.S. are "at will" so you can be fired at the drop of a hat as long as it wasn't some sort of discrimination (racial, sexual, etc).

Anyway in a nutshell you are saying that you making comments that could get you fired and are simply hoping that no one ever traces it back to you. Quite frankly if I was in your shoes I'd start looking for a job for two reasons:
  • If the job sucks so badly you have taken to flaming your coworkers, customers, and your employeers then it is an unhealthy work environment for you.

  • You are risking termination and it is unwise to do that without having contingency plans.


freedom to post (3.77 / 9) (#8)
by eLuddite on Sun Apr 29, 2001 at 10:28:58 PM EST

I don't want to. I'm not sure if I need to. Is it inappropriate for me to post things about my job, not confidential stuff or anything of course, but still things about my job. Is this free speech?

Look, free speech is protection against government action. As guardian of the ethical penis, the well kept military secret and, of course, the children, government may overstep its bounds to silence you and Free Speech is your defense when that happens.

Crap you post on a web site is only free speech in the sense that no one forced you to post it. Your post is acceptable because, somewhere down the line, Money Grubber Networks Inc. is going to make some money off it. That's why they let you post it. But as soon as Your Company LLC fires off a cease and desist letter to Money Grubber Networks Inc. alleging copyright infringement or libel or what restrained lawyerly threat have you, your speech becomes one with yesterday's dinner. They wouldnt be very good money grubbers if they spent all their capital protecting you from your company, would they?

Examine your TOS and look for someone's right to make your words go *poof* at the click of a delete key. Who does that right belong to? Examine your employee contract and look for someone's right to dismiss you for good reason. Who does that right belong to?

The Internet does not protect free speech because it has no rules to protect minority opinion. The Internet spends less time routing around censorship as damage as it does drowning dissenting opinion. Start posting a few "I love children - I mean really love them!" articles here and watch how much of your free speech we're willing to listen to.

---
God hates human rights.

Been there, done that (4.36 / 11) (#10)
by Tatarigami on Sun Apr 29, 2001 at 10:45:18 PM EST

I've been in the same position (outsourcing company handling a helpdesk for a large ISP), and while it seems your employer is an order of magnitude bigger than mine, the same trends might apply. I had my own site dedicated to tech support calls I took while still in the call centre. (Haven't updated it sinced I moved over to email support, but I'm not too proud to mention it every chance I get.)

At first I was pretty confident that the question of what management thought of the site wouldn't come up, but after a while it started to get popular with my co-workers. Feeling nervous about the number of PCs on the call centre floor with my site in the cache, I did some careful probing and found that upper levels of management were quite happy for me to have it there, provided I avoided any mention of the company or our client by name.

As a matter of fact, on a couple of occasions, the client have passed a request down through my own management to me for stories they can run in their internal newsletter.

The thing you want to keep in mind is that you have no control over who becomes aware of the site, and that the Gibson Game might raise a few eyebrows.


Maintain separate identities (4.00 / 6) (#11)
by adamsc on Sun Apr 29, 2001 at 10:49:58 PM EST

This should be obvious - don't post anything using a work-related persona. If you're ranting about work in a public forum, don't name names or use an account anyone you work with knows about. I'm not talking about deception, merely enforcing the separation between your private life and your job.

If you aren't obviously connected to a company or referring to them in ways a non-insider would recognize, a company has a lot less grounds for legal action. This isn't usually a big deal for the purposes of ranting - it's just as satisfying to vent about "this marketing wanker at $Employer" as it is to fill in the real name.



Freedom of Speech (4.00 / 14) (#12)
by Kellnerin on Sun Apr 29, 2001 at 10:55:50 PM EST

Is this free speech? I sincerely doubt that the company I work for would appreciate some of the things I say, and I know some of my co-workers would take offense. Personally I'm going to keep posting until someone tells me to stop, but I'm certainly not going to point the site out to anyone other than the few co-workers I trust.

No offense intended, but why does freedom of speech so often seem to be equivalent to freedom to do silly (or at least inadvisable) things? Whether it's your "right" to vent about your job in a public forum or not, you have to think about how appropriate it is (in the grand scheme of things, not just "can I get away with it") to post to a website (sheesh, putting it in writing?) airing out your frustrations with your job and fellow employees, especially if you know it might not be taken particularly well. But hey, maybe I'm just paranoid. I don't even post on my company's internal Web Board, because I know some higher-ups do read it, and I'd rather not have them think I spend all my time posting junk to the web (I really do hope they don't notice the number of times I refresh the k5 moderation queue ...)

Everyone has work frustrations, and everyone vents about it. This is why you come home to your significant other and you ask each other how your respective days were. This is why groups of coworkers (the same ones you'd trust to read your postings and not inform on you) go out for drinks after work on Fridays. If there really are serious issues that need to be remedied then they should be taken up with a supervisor. And if none of the above works, then you need to just get the hell out of there.

For those interested in more links, here's a story from the dreaded Salon about Vault.com and online bitch-about-your-job boards.

--Stop it, evil hand, stop it!--

Just lock the site. (none / 0) (#29)
by John Milton on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 07:06:51 PM EST

If he really does just trust a few close friends, why doesn't he just password lock the site?


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
Using a "Secret Identity"? (3.00 / 2) (#13)
by logiceight on Sun Apr 29, 2001 at 11:06:03 PM EST

I wonder if when posting to a board like this you should use a "secret identity".

Because if you don't anything you say now can be used against you 20 to 30 years from now in a trial or political election.

The Endangered Anonymous Terminal (4.00 / 1) (#21)
by Blarney on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 12:33:41 PM EST

How do you have a "secret identity" anyhow? It isn't enough to not give out your email address when you sign up for K5. You also have to make sure that the IP you post from can't be tracked back to you. Even though K5 is operated by ethical sysops, people could break in and read the logs, or somebody could be sniffing right outside the K5 server. Not to mention the possibility that "jackbooted uzi-wielding thugs" might demand the logs....

Your cable modem is not anonymous - even a regular user can tell what town or maybe even what apartment building you live in from the IP! Dialups require the cooperation of the ISP to trace the user, but it can and will be done if necessary. If you need a library card to use a public computer, or you use a University machine with a login/password, or whatever, you can be traced.

If you can still find an Internet-connected public computer that doesn't need a login, enjoy. Use it religiously, don't ever access your accounts that you create on it from a non-anonymous computer. But these are rare and hard to find, getting scarcer every day. When the last one shuts down, it'll be a sad day for "secret identities".

[ Parent ]

Zero Knowledge... (none / 0) (#26)
by deefer on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 04:04:13 PM EST

Are putting together a suite of "anonymous internet access" stuff - basically, even *they* can't tell what you were doing. Check 'em out... I have no need for this at the minute, so I haven't looked at how good their product range is. A few reviews gave them thumbs up, but not in enough tech detail for my liking.

<std disclaimer.h>
I'm nothing to do with them, don't own any stock, and don't take this post as a recommendation to enter into any contracts with them...blah blah... Just have a look, mmkay? It'd be a good article to have ZK's product suite taken apart by a hardcore security specialist, actually... Any takers?


Strong data typing is for weak minds.

[ Parent ]

Checking it out right now.... (none / 0) (#31)
by Blarney on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 07:34:33 PM EST

Do you mean their "Freedom 2.0 Internet Privacy Suite"? Looks like a useless tool to me. I've already got a "Personal Firewall", living in the hall closet. The automatic "Form Filler" is just a big file storing personal information like CC#, phone#, address - it lives locally, so it isn't too unsafe, but not a security improvement at all, merely a convenience. "Cookie Manager" and "Ad Manager" just do the same thing as the free Junkbuster proxy - they prevent the downloading of banners from a blocklist of sites, and prevent cookies from certain sites. I already have this. "Keyword Alert" is the most intriguing - I have no idea what it could do. It claims to prevent the sending of personal information from my machine (by IRC, for example), and blocks by keywords. Whatever.... I'll check it out someday.

I suppose these are just toys, though. ZeroKnowledge really wants to sell their proxy service, by which you create anonymous identities known as "nym"s. When people check the logs, they'll find that your IP is a ZK address. However, ZK will know your true IP. They claim not to keep logs of such things, but do you trust them? This just places all your eggs in one basket. Should you decide to put up the "Shoot George W. Bush In The Head Today" website through a ZK nym, I'll bet you my last $5 that the Secret Service goes to ZK and gets your real IP address.

ZK can make all the assurances they want, but when you pay by credit card (with your real name and address) to purchase an account, they could tie you to your posts if they want to.

I'm still gonna hope that I never find myself without an Anonymous Terminal. Handy for such things as the late, great SDMI contest....

[ Parent ]

Did you get legal advice from National Enquirer? (4.35 / 17) (#15)
by Sunir on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 12:39:07 AM EST

I've seen some pretty stupid misconceptions of "Freedom of Speech" but this has got to be one of the worst. If you create a website to defame your own company, of course your company has minimally the right to fire you and maximally to seek damages if you don't have solid evidence for your claims. You are somewhat protected through the use of pseudonyms on your site, but that doesn't guarantee you any protection if someone can connect the dots.

Your freedom to speak is not freedom from responsibility. While you have the freedom to be a vocal white supremacist, that doesn't mean you can nor should expect to be accepted by the community. In fact, you will be quite vehemently shunned by your peers.

Moreover, you do not have the freedom to lie about other people. People have rights protecting them from slander and libel. Consequently, if you just mouth off in public, you had better have some solid reasons for doing so.

Further still, while in employ of a company, any statement you make about that company is representative of that company. You are responsible for presenting them in a good light. You are responsible to them, and you are responsible being honest to the public. Clearly, your company is justified in firing you if you are vocally negative about your environment because you are damaging their reputation. No one benefits from this, not even the public.

Ethics become less clear with whistle blowers. Certain jurisdictions protect whistle blowers from punishment, but it's unlikely that a company would want a whistle blower in its midst considering the likely emotional tension. But any protection you get for being a whistle blower comes only with substantive statements. Not discussions of MP3zing as you have on your website.

Goddamit. The way it gets abused, free speech should be left to the professionals.

"Look! You're free! Go, and be free!" and everyone hated it for that. --r

Why not free speech ? (none / 0) (#22)
by Highlander on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 02:05:33 PM EST

The question you should ask yourself when deciding whether this is free speech is: If you where talking like this in a bus, would it be protected by free speech or would it be possible that you get sued successfully for it ?

The lesson to learn is this: talk on the internet like you would in public, not like in a closet. You know the people in the closet, but you don't know who visits the forum.

From the way Sunir argues, it makes me think he is not a professional who should be allowed the right to free speech.

Moderation in moderation is a good thing.
[ Parent ]

You are so 3L337 (I bow down) (2.00 / 11) (#16)
by FeersumAsura on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 04:00:47 AM EST

The hax0r bit really impressed me, I was astounded by you wonderfull design and the fact that most people who posted are dribbling idiots.
These people obviously have an axe to grind because the compnay has realised that they can't type, write coherently or have anything worth saying.
One post taken in whatever context the hideous flat threading gives is "I HATE OLD PEOPLE. DIE DIE DIE!!!!!!!". Wow, do we really want to let these people wander about in public. The overall feeling isn't wrong, it just makes them look stupid.
Well I'm of to Gibson Hax0r to bitch inchorently about people who I think are dumber than me.

I'm so pre-emptive I'd nuke America to save time.
few people? (4.25 / 8) (#18)
by Seumas on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 11:06:07 AM EST

but I'm certainly not going to point the site out to anyone other than the few co-workers I trust.

Well, and the entire Internet population -- specifically the whole of the 15,000 K5 readers.
--
I just read K5 for the articles.

Yeah, I noticed that too. (none / 0) (#30)
by John Milton on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 07:10:10 PM EST

That rang a big bell with me too. Could this be a possible plan to get someone else fired? I don't think someone who was really intelligent would provide a link to the site.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
Then again .. (none / 0) (#36)
by kostya on Tue May 01, 2001 at 11:44:26 AM EST

I don't think someone who was really intelligent would provide a link to the site.

Then again, you might be surprised at what people will do without thinking. And then again, maybe you wouldn't be surprised. I know I wouldn't ;-)



----
Veritas otium parit. --Terence
[ Parent ]
Not very prudent (none / 0) (#37)
by John Milton on Tue May 01, 2001 at 12:20:21 PM EST

I don't doubt he did that without thinking, but the real question is why did he bring this up in the first place? It would have been better to lay low and maybe change the location of the site every now and then. If the site really is just a general gripe section, he has nothing to worry about. You can gripe about your job without anyone even knowing what you do. It's just too easy.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
This is a public place. (4.66 / 12) (#20)
by ucblockhead on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 11:44:06 AM EST

When I just started out in my career, my company made an offer to another programmer, which he accepted. The next day, he was waiting in line for a movie. Our CFO, who he'd not met, was standing behind he. He spent much of the time telling his friends how he'd left the "losers" at his prior company, and how he'd screwed them by deleting all the source code.

The offer was rescinded.

The moral: when you are in public, you never know who might be listening. Comport yourself as if this is true.

This is a public place

The internet is not a private little playground. It is a public place. More public than main street during rush hour. Your boss could be watching. Your mother could be watching. Your wife could be watching. That jerk who cut you off on the way to work could be watching.

There is no expectation of privacy here. None. Zero. Nada. There is no more an expectaction of privacy here than in a line at a movie theater, or on a busy city street.

If you want it private, go get yourself a webspace and put a damn password on it, and only give the password to people you trust. Then its private. But don't complain because someone heard something you shouted loudly on a city street and then held you accountable for.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup

How careful are you? (3.00 / 2) (#23)
by itsbruce on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 02:17:14 PM EST

Is it easy to work out who you work for? Just how much do you give away? Are all the sympathetic voices in the forum really that genuine? Or are some of them engaging in some social engineering?

I am not being paranoid. I know people who hang out in such forums with just that intent, just as they lurk in the security ngs and mailing lists for titbits.


--I unfortunately do not know how to turn cheese into gold.

Free speech or not.... (4.50 / 2) (#25)
by botono9 on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 03:30:33 PM EST

Your internet postings may very well be covered by the First Amendment, but that don't mean shit to a corporation. They company may not have the right to censor your posting, but they can sure as hell fire your ass. So basically is all boils down to how much you want to keep your job. If you post trade secrets, then they could come after you.

Where I work (Texas) a company can fire you because they don't like the color of your hair.


"Guns are real. Blue uniforms are real. Cops are social fiction."
--Robert Anton Wilson

But not.... (none / 0) (#42)
by hoops on Tue May 01, 2001 at 03:12:48 PM EST

Where I work (Texas) a company can fire you because they don't like the color of your hair

But not, interestingly, for the colour of your skin. Why is that?

Hoops

I also live in Texas BTW.
--Hoops
If I were a koala bear, the first thing I would do is urinate all over you and bite you in the scrotum. - bri4n
[ Parent ]

On an aside... (4.00 / 1) (#28)
by skim123 on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 07:05:06 PM EST

The Windows error message on the Web site you linked to is funny. For those to lazy to click a hyperlink, it reads: "The MS Exchange Information Store service ... has failed to start because of the following error: The operation completed successfully."

Reminds me of that invention Home (Simpson) comes up with... it's a loud fog horn that, when blaring, means, "Everything's OK!"

Sorta like being gay: you're walking around, you know something's up, you just don't know what it is yet.

(OT) "Operation completed successfully" (none / 0) (#38)
by WWWWolf on Tue May 01, 2001 at 12:30:51 PM EST

"The MS Exchange Information Store service ... has failed to start because of the following error: The operation completed successfully."

Yes, this may SEEM funny, until you realize UNIX perror(), too, gives "Success" when errno == 0... Zero exit status often means successful operation.

Of course, programs should recognize this state and give meaningful error message (in case of the program in screenshot, something like "Something weird happened, but I'm not sure what, because everything seems to be okay". =)

-- Weyfour WWWWolf, a lupine technomancer from the cold north...


[ Parent ]
Huh? (4.00 / 1) (#41)
by skim123 on Tue May 01, 2001 at 02:16:22 PM EST

Yes, this may SEEM funny, until you realize UNIX perror(), too, gives "Success" when errno == 0

Why would UNIX's perror()'s results have any influednce on the funniness of the error message I described? Worry not, I am not some anti-MS, Linux groupie, Travoldus-humping wanna-be. I am better than those people - I hate every operating system: Windows, OS/2, Linux, DOS, all flavors of UNIX, AIX, Plan9, etc., etc.

Sorta like being gay: you're walking around, you know something's up, you just don't know what it is yet.
[ Parent ]

We have specific names for this sort of things. (none / 0) (#43)
by WWWWolf on Tue May 01, 2001 at 04:06:14 PM EST

Why would UNIX's perror()'s results have any influednce on the funniness of the error message I described?
Obviously you have never seen "Blahblahblah failed: Success" style error messages in UNIXen.

Once you have seen one such error, you have seen them all. =)

In other words, your picture thing was something that can, in philosophical circles, be described as an "old joke".

Here's some mandatory reading. Study it well.

-- Weyfour WWWWolf, a lupine technomancer from the cold north...


[ Parent ]
I know (none / 0) (#45)
by skim123 on Tue May 01, 2001 at 04:53:39 PM EST

In other words, your picture thing was something that can, in philosophical circles, be described as an "old joke"

Agreed, but I still think it's funny. Did I ever tell you about the one where I guy walks into a bar with a magic lamp, a tiny piano, and a foot-tall piano player? :-)

Sorta like being gay: you're walking around, you know something's up, you just don't know what it is yet.
[ Parent ]

Re: I know (none / 0) (#48)
by WWWWolf on Wed May 02, 2001 at 01:45:41 PM EST

Agreed, but I still think it's funny.
Well, it probably is a bit funnier than, uh, less funny error messages.

The problem with the funny error messages is that they're often only funny if you're not getting those yourself. =)

Did I ever tell you about the one where I guy walks into a bar with a magic lamp, a tiny piano, and a foot-tall piano player? :-)
Nnnnno... =)

-- Weyfour WWWWolf, a lupine technomancer from the cold north...


[ Parent ]
With Freedom comes responsibility (4.00 / 1) (#34)
by Builder on Tue May 01, 2001 at 04:43:29 AM EST

Others have already said this, but I'll say it again. Freedom of speech brings with it responsibility. If you feel so strongly about an issue that you are prepared to state your opinion in a public forum, be prepared to back that up. With your livelyhood if need be.

Be grateful that you have some freedom of speech. At least you can openly protest against your government! Citizens of many countries don't have that! Cherish it. Use it wisely. Do not waste this freedom by whinging that you don't like a customer who pays your salary!

For seconds, I'm not too sure that I'd hire someone like you. A person who needs to slag off customers and coworkers on a public forum is not good for a company. Not their self image and not their profitability!

I had issues with something that my company was doing recently. It was a moral issue in that I didn't approve of the way they were doing something. After a rant here and another on ASR, I did the right thing (pointed out to me by people more mature than I). I packed my stuff, and I left. Bye bye. If you hate your company, its customers and your coworkers so much, walk away!


--
Be nice to your daemons
fake post? (none / 0) (#40)
by iordonez on Tue May 01, 2001 at 02:14:58 PM EST

I don't know, this post did have a good topic to discuss but I have an aching feeling it was an advertisement for the Gibson site. It is well known (at least on K5) that people will jump on an article that deals with freedom of speech, and they have. But I visited the above named site and it was extremely dead, (I saw around a total of 15 posts). If this is a legit article than it's a semi-decent topic. Other wise it's a waste to argue about something that seems to be made by a group of script kiddies (see gibson game and "gibsonhax0r"). On the upside, I love the error message, sounds like NT to me. "Children are taught to hate, parents just couldnt wait. Some are rich and some are poor, others will just suffer more. Have you ever been afraid and let soceity try and bring you down?"

one among many (none / 0) (#44)
by eudas on Tue May 01, 2001 at 04:45:03 PM EST

there's also things like techcomedy.com and techtales.com... and those others, while not necessarily much more complex, certainly have a lot more activity and content.

eudas
"We're placing this wood in your ass for the good of the world" -- mrgoat
[ Parent ]
Freedom to Post | 49 comments (44 topical, 5 editorial, 0 hidden)
Display: Sort:

kuro5hin.org

[XML]
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!