Facebook Content and Your Career
A member contacts the OECTA Provincial Office for advice regarding a personal Facebook account. Among the vacation photos she posted on her Facebook wall, there is a picture of her dancing in her bathing suit and holding a beer. The member wants to know if the photo poses a risk to her career, and what she can do to protect herself.
OECTA advises members that any pictures of themselves that they would not want students, parents, administrators, and colleagues to view should not be posted on any social network site, such as Facebook. A picture can be easily misunderstood, leading to gossip and accusations, which can harm your reputation and your career.
Always strive to protect your online reputation by protecting your “digital footprint.” Remove any pictures or personal information that could be damaging to your professional reputation. Check your privacy settings to control who can access your personal information. Privacy settings also allow you to control who can post to your Facebook site. Maintain your professional boundaries at all times, in the classroom and online. Do not invite students to be friends on Facebook or other social networking sites. Do not use your Facebook page or any social networking site to share workplace gossip or confidential information about your students.
There are countless examples across the country of teachers who have been disciplined or dismissed by their employer or the College of Teachers for inappropriate behavior related to the internet, ranging from comments about their employer to videos of themselves posted on YouTube. The moment you post personal information to the internet, you have lost control over who will see it and how it will be used. Pictures can be easily copied, altered and displayed in a completely different context. If you do not want the information published on the front page of a newspaper, do not post it on the internet.