Research by YouGov for Croner, a human resources group, has revealed that 39 percent of "bloggers" admitted posting "sensitive or damaging" accounts of their employer, workplace or colleagues.
A "blog", which is an online diary or log, can potentially be viewed by anyone, anywhere in the world, and because the postings are archived, they are often accessible for some time after publication. YouGov surveyed 2000 "bloggers", over a third of whom admitted to naming their employers and posting derogatory or damaging comments about them.
The findings indicate that "blogging" is becoming an increasingly popular activity that allows individuals to express their personal opinions under the cloak of anonymity. However, it is creating a potential minefield for employers. There are the dangers that employees may reveal confidential information and trade secrets online and that they can damage the reputation of the company and defame or harass other employees through their online blogs. In addition, there is the danger that work productivity could be hampered by employees "blogging" on their work computers during office hours.
There are, however, a number of measures that employers can take to manage the risks created by employee "blogs". Measures must balance the interests of the company with the individual's right to freedom of expression – this can be a delicate task but one that employers are becoming increasingly aware of.