Apple Fires Employee for Facebook Rant, Internal Policy Revealed - The UpStream

Apple Fires Employee for Facebook Rant, Internal Policy Revealed

posted Sunday Dec 11, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Apple Fires Employee for Facebook Rant, Internal Policy Revealed

What happens when you work for the big Fruit company and you go rant on Facebook about your iPhone, apps and other things Apple? You get fired, of course. That's what happened to employee Samuel Crisp, one of Apple's beloved and adorned Geniuses. It turns out, even though his profile was set to private, one of his friends turned in his comments to Apple management. Apple termed the guy, stating that his comments violated the company's social media policy.

We've talked about firings over Facebook in the past. However, those were a little bit different. This employee's profile was private, as were the comments. Just because one of his friends/co-workers could only think the things Sam was man enough to post and decided to rat him out doesn't mean he should be canned.

This week, Samuel lost his appeal of the wrongful termination, so obviously the next thing that would happen would be that Apple's internal, private social media policy mysteriously was leaked online, and we have it after the break.

It is very interesting to see how scared of the Internet Apple really is. We've seen some Internet policies in the past that were stringent, but never like this.

Here's some excerpts:

The lines between public and private, and personal and professional are blurred in online social networks. Respect your audience and your co-workers. This includes not only the obvious (no ethnic slurs, personal insults, obscenity, etc.) but also topics that may be considered offensive or inflammatory. In sum, use your best judgment.

  • Employees may run their own websites, but are not permitted to discuss Apple on that website.
  • No speculating on rumours is allowed. This includes confirming or denying any information concerning new products, Apple regulations or services.
  • Blogs, wikis, social networks and other tools should not be used for communication among fellow employees. This regulation goes further in stating that differences shouldn't be aired online, co-workers should not be discussed without their permission, and any images relating to other staff members cannot be posted anywhere without their express permission.
  • Staff are not permitted to post messages or commentary on any Mac or Apple related websites; whether they identify themselves as Apple employees or not.
  • If you identify yourself as an Apple employee, you connect yourself with co-workers, products, and the global brand itself — so conduct online needs to be consistent with Apple policies.
  • Apple's full business conduct policy applies to employees and any who do business with Apple retrospectively. Apple retains the right to discipline (up to termination of employment), or cut ties of any that do not comply with these regulations.
  • Customer privacy is viewed as a priority for Apple as a brand. Any information concerning customers is not to be discussed online in any circumstance. Apple employees are also not permitted to contact customers for social reasons or soliciting outside of business.

Apple says public and private information no longer exists in online media, which is how they defended their ruling. Based on their policy (full policy is available in the source link at the bottom), Apple is within its rights to banish Samuel from the nanobot-filled kingdom of the bitten fruit forever. However, now that we're able to see the policy, I'd like to know your thoughts on it. Is it absolutely crazy or just a way to protect the sanctity of the forbidden company? Let us know in the comments.

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