Should employers monitor Facebook use of second-chance offenders?

A few weeks ago, I came across an article by Terrence O’Brien on, “Facebook ‘Subscribe to’ Feature Lets You Follow Your Friend’s Every Move.”

Facebook is testing a new feature that lets you subscribe to a specific user’s content. In practice, this means receiving a notification every time that user updates their status, posts a new photo, link, video or note, and Mashable aptly dubs it the ‘Stalker Button.’ Taken at face value, this would appear to be a direct answer to the ability to “follow” a user on Twitter…

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And then it got me thinking about the following scenario…

Here’s the scenario:

Evelyn Employee tells Stan Supervisor that she has heard that another co-worker, Harry Harasser, has been using Facebook to sexually harass Evelyn. Evelyn and Harry are not Facebook friends. Rather, Evelyn learned this when another co-worker, Darla Do-Gooder who is Facebook friends Harry, showed Evelyn the offensive messages. The company, Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Delaware, Inc. conducts an investigation, reads the offensive and unwelcome comments and decides to meet with both Evelyn and Harry.

At the meeting, Harry, a first-time offender, swears up and down and he has seen the light and will discontinue the offensive online behavior, but Evelyn isn’t having it. She wants Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Delaware, Inc. to set up a Facebook account, become friends with Harry, and subscribe to Harry’s Facebook content for a probationary period of 90 days. That way, if Harry steps out of line just once, the employer will know. Evelyn assures her employer that she will consider this a reasonable step to end the harassing behavior.

What do you think? Should Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Delaware, Inc. monitor Harry’s Facebook activity?

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