Think Before You Post

21 Feb 2011

I’m sure that many of you have already heard about Natalie Munroe, the Pennsylvania teacher who made some negative comments about here students on her personal blog. If not, I’ll give you some links so you can catch up on what has now become an international news story, and has Ms. Munroe preparing for a legal battle to be able to return to her job.

A few facts about the incident:

  • She says she was blogging for her friends & not a larger audience. (Seven people were following her blog.)
  • Her blog post that got her into trouble was posted over a year ago.
  • The posts in question did not name any students, and did not include her last name.
  • She has been suspended from her job.

There are a couple of points I’d like to make about what happened:

  • When you post something on the Internet it can be read by anyone with Internet access.
  • Even when content is removed from the Internet it is VERY likely that it has already been archived by Google and other search engines.
  • Regardless of what Munroe meant, people make their own interpretations.

What we can learn from this:

  • Regardless of whether or not this falls under free speech, Munroe’s is paying a high price for her comments.
  • Once you post something on the Internet you lose control of it.
  • What you post on the Internet probably won’t go away, even when you delete it.
  • Everything you do on the Internet contributes to your digital reputation.

Think before you post.


Munroe Defends Comments – CNN
ABC News Report
Munroe defends herself on her blog
Chris Lehmann’s Open Letter to Munroe – Make sure you read this.