Nowadays pretty much everyone uses social media in the workplace, regardless of whether their bosses say it’s OK, because, well, screw ‘em, am I right people? But Americans are split on
the issue of whether bosses should be able to discipline employees for posting inappropriate content on their personal social media accounts, according to the latest YouGov Omnibus survey of 1,141
Overall, 41% of Americans surveyed said they think companies should be able to discipline employees for their social media activities, versus 32% who say they should
not be allowed to. Interestingly, college graduates were more likely to agree that companies should be allowed to discipline employees for social media activity, at 51%, compared to just 38% of people
with a high school education.
Less surprising (to me at least) is the fact that the proportion who agree with discipline increases in correlation with their salary, which presumably
reflect responsibility and authority.
Americans were significantly more likely (52%) to think an employer should be able to discipline employees for posting social media content that
supports hate crimes, violence, or criminal activity, versus 25% who think it isn’t the company’s concern so long as it’s on a personal account. And 47% of respondents said a company
should be able to discipline employees for posting content that attacks the company.
The YouGov survey also asked about perceptions of social media of privacy. It found that Americans
are not at all clear about, or confident in, the privacy of social media content. Thus, 57% said they did not think social media was a good method for sending private messages and relatively few knew
that LinkedIn and Twitter had private messaging capabilities (15% and 17%, respectively). However, 53% knew that Facebook has private messaging options.
As you might expect, younger
adults are more likely to use social media for private messaging: 67% of 18-34 year olds said they have used Facebook’s private message function, compared to 41% of adults over the age of 55.
That might be because 27% of adults ages 55 and up said they were unsure when messages sent on social media are private and when they are public. Overall, 50% of Americans said they assume
that a message that starts out private might be made public at some point.