Virgin Airways Fires 13 for Facebook Postings

November 2, 2008

Virgin Atlantic Airways Airplane

An unlucky 13 Virgin Atlantic Airways employees were fired on Friday for publicly dissing their employer on Facebook, a popular social networking website which claims to have 110 million users worldwide. The 13 cabin staff critiqued both the airline and some passengers. The ill-thought-out Facebook comments involved planes departing from London’s Gatwick airport, and also claimed that the airplanes were infested with cockroaches.

Not surprisingly, Virgin Atlantic was displeased. In a press release regarding what the company viewed as “totally inappropriate behavior,“ Virgin said: “Following a thorough investigation, it was found that all 13 staff participated in a discussion on the networking site Facebook, which brought the company into disrepute and insulted some of our passengers. There is a time and a place for Facebook. But there is no justification for it to be used as a sounding board for staff of any company to criticize the very passengers who ultimately pay their salaries.” It was also felt that staff holding such negative views would not uphold expected standards of customer service.

And, once again, we are reminded that the Internet is, by its nature, a public forum. Unless you are trying to collect unemployment benefits, don’t diss your boss on the Internet.

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Photo credit: Bill Wilson

Copyright ©2008

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