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@AmyVernon An employer must have cause in Canada, which is why these codes of conduct have become a standard part of job contracts here (they have in-built, broad-based cause for dismissal as part of the language).
This brings up another issue, worker's rights and the marked decline in union membership that has made workers so vulnerable to the whims of corporations. As well as decimating the middle class...
For the record, I have never enjoyed the protection of a union. I have worked in a half unionized shop (creatives were non-union, technicians were union). The divide was remarkable and it made me very aware of the protections afforded by collective agreements.
2 years ago on 1984 Redux: The Social Media Thought Police
@CjShaffer1 Say whatever you want? Not necessarily. In Canada we have hate laws for example that cover a lot of ground.
I only buy the "contract" argument if the contract is both limited and clear. No company can own anyone 24/7, and values must be limited to tangibles, like "you can't pretend to speak for the company," or "bad-mouth a company product" and so forth. That sort of thing is sensible to me and directly related to the business in question and its brand. Beyond that, "values" can be ascribed to anything, and any behaviour/speech can be used as evidence for their contravention. Scary thought.
@CjShaffer1 I think you missed the point. No one sells their autonomy to a corporation. It is not contractually possible in a free society. Are we not still free, or have we given all of our freedoms to corporations?
I agree with Lindsay, losing one's livelihood for spouting hurtful comments is indeed Big Brother at its worst. The example used here, we might agree, is by all objective measures pretty awful, but the guy deserves to lose his job for it? How about a reprimand or a public shaming instead? Must job loss be the go-to punishment for stupidity? And where does this lead? Who gets to decide what is in good taste or is representative of some organization's "values?" If I like a book, philosopher, religion, or political party my employer thinks is not representative of its "values," is that also grounds for termination? That's where this road inevitably leads.
This is about freedom of speech. Broadly defined that means defending speech you yourself find entirely objectionable. It's also about personal autonomy. I work for a company for a set number of hours and that is all. No company should ever have control over my thoughts or actions outside of company time. I am not a company representative or spokesperson in perpetuity. To think otherwise, I would suggest, is to say you are no longer an individual, rather you are a wholly owned subsidiary no different than a piece of real estate (and a vastly underpaid one at that).
Finally, if social media is a forum of implied self-censorship as well as tacit, crowd-sourced censorship, what good is it? Is it strictly to be used for hustling brands and other stuff and junk? If I cannot use it to find out what people really think, it's not really social is it? It's just another barter system that asks for a moment of my time so that I might enjoy a wee spot of Newspeak. Like the writer warned, "slavery is freedom" and we seem to be ok with it.