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Jason Seiden, the co-founder and CEO of Ajax Social Media, calls it profersonal: the inherent intertwining of our personal and professional personas online. Last week, Greek Olympian Voula Papachristou got a quick and dirty lesson on being profersonal. Greece removed her from its Olympic team over a tweet mocking African immigrants. Here's the offending tweet:
"With so many Africans in Greece . . . At least the mosquitoes of West Nile . . . will eat homemade food!"
According to The Huffington Post, the Hellenic Olympic Committee subsequently "banned all Greek athletes from using social media to express any personal opinions not related to the Olympics and to the preparation for their competitions."
Voula's story is a perfect illustration of the disappearing line between the professional and the personal online. If an employee doesn't want something they say online to affect their employment, they shouldn't post it. We can debate whether an employee should lose his or her job for something non-work-related he or she posts on his or her personal time. If, however, someone can connect an employee to his or her place of employment through an online profile, what is posted becomes fair game for an employment decision.
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