Facebook Live and the hella-icky, vomitous workplace implications

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Vomitous is a word, right?

What is Facebook Live?

Facebook Live permits anyone with a Facebook account to whip out their smartphone and broadcast video live to their Facebook friends and followers, each of whom receive a notification when the broadcast begins.

For example, right from my desk in Philadelphia, I could see my friends at the Society for Human Resource Management streaming live on Monday from the Diversity Conference in Austin, Texas. Pretty cool, right?

When is Facebook Live not so good for work?

Well, the first paragraph from Sam Wood’s article on Philly.com entitled, “Philly Checkers shut after worker claimed he spit on food, others had sex with customers,” pretty much explains it:

A Checkers restaurant in Philadelphia was shut down and several employees were fired after a worker, in what he now calls “a publicity stunt,” posted a [Facebook Live] video describing how he wiped the floor and blew his nose using hamburger buns, spit and sneezed on food, and claimed workers were having sex with customers in the kitchen.

That lede and first paragraph seem pretty bad, right? Now consider that the employee’s NSFW video, which you can view in Mr. Wood’s article — hey don’t leave yet — streamed live for 44 minutes and 8 seconds!

According to the Daily Mail (here), “the Checkers franchise is taking the matter seriously and issued a statement saying the restaurant on Stenton Avenue will remain closed until it is ‘fully sanitized and re-inspected’ and that the workers involved in the video have been fired.”

But, I’ll skip the drive through for now.

When was the last time you updated your social media policy — let alone conducted training?

Imagine a similar, unauthorized employee “publicity stunt” in your workplace broadcast across social media for nearly an hour.

Yeah, ew.

So, there are a lot of things that you can do to mitigate risk here, but, hey you!

Yeah, you with the social media policy that references weblogs, MySpace, and Friendster.

Why don’t you start by making sure that your social media policy is updated and granular enough to address live streaming video, whether on Facebook or other social networks/apps.

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