doug — off the record

just a place to share some thoughts

My Tweets Do Not Reflect the Views of My Employer

How many times have you looked at a person’s Twitter profile and read this?

They may not, but once thrown on your wall, they can stick.

Writing on the internet is like writing with permanent marker.

It takes the events of this past week to remind us of this.

It’s a heck of a way to get a Wikipedia entry or to trend on Twitter.

At times, it seems like there’s a competition to outshock each other.

Is that what it takes to get attention these days?

You may well be speaking on behalf of yourself and not your employer but it may not matter in the long run.

Digital image, digital footprint, digital future … we’ve all read about this.  Some have paid attention; some have not.

I’ve seen the debate – “Should I have a personal profile and a professional profile?”  Maybe, but just remember that at the end of the day, you are you.  Disclaimer or not.

Thanks to Miguel Guhlin for sharing this story.  Does common sense need to be legislated?

5 responses to “My Tweets Do Not Reflect the Views of My Employer”

  1. Thanks for posting this Doug. It never hurts to get more reminders of the consequences of what we post.

    I do think, though, that there is a slightly different reason for posting that your tweets and your writing do not reflect the views of your employer. After all, your blog is called “..Off the Record”. 🙂

    As a representative of the Ontario Ministry of Education, people expect that what I say *when I am working* is the stance of EDU. Everything I present while *on the job* must be approved.

    When I am on social media *on my own time*, I need people to understand that what I write does not represent Ministry policy and it has not been approved for distribution.

    I still need to write respectfully, honestly, and professionally, but as “me”, not as my employer. That difference is important to point out, not because I am a different person in my personal and professional life, but because I need to ensure that my own personal stance is not confused with the official stance of the Ontario Ministry of Education.

    I think that was just as important when I was a principal, representing my board as a professional, but not representing their views when I engaged in conversations about education in social media as “me”.

    I have weighed in on the professional vs. personal conversation here:
    and Brandon Grasley has worked on this issue here: (Check the comments here as well).

    Dean Shareski explains how he combines professional and personal in this video:

    It’s an important conversation.

    Thanks for keeping it going.


  2. Thanks for your thoughts, Donna. I think they go further to support my original message. For example, you may have your own thinking online, but voicing a dissenting opinion about policy would be a career ender!

    As for “Off the Record”, I worked once with a person who used to print emails and use it any time there was a discussion “You said….” and then would whip out the printout. When I chose the title for the blog, I knew that it would be a place to share my thinking and that I needed to reserve the right to refine that thinking at any time.

    The bottom line, to me, is that I don’t particularly have an opinion at this time about one versus two accounts but if you’re going to Jekyll and Hyde with the two of them, you may not like the results.


  3. The phrase ‘Opinions are my own’ makes me want to ask, “Whose else would they be?”

    I can’t imagine posting things I wouldn’t allow anyone to read. The biggest reason would be hypocrisy. I caution students against posting, making ‘fake’ accounts and such. Why would I then do it myself?

    Then again, I tell them not to enter personal details onto websites :).


    1. You know, Janet, I’ve always thought that but never have seen it put so succinctly “Whose else would they be?” Love it!


      1. …and if the comments are NOT your own, we have other issues :).


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