As individuals take to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, people are becoming connected in new and different ways. While many of these networks have started out as ways for the youunger generation to link up and communicate online, increasingly the sites have become popular on working professionals. Unfortunately with this trend, social networking users are finding the same sorts of bad behavior found in the real world is migrating to the digital domain.
Considering a recent Pew Center report that claims that over 35 percent of users on social networking sites are aged 24 and older, and these individuals are increasingly present on networks like Facebook, the ability for sexual harassment in the workplace to spill over to these sites is increasing.
Sexual harassment is defined as any unwanted comments, gestures, statements, or actions directed at an individual based upon their sex. While sexual harassment in the workplace is generally understood, the shift to the online word and the possibilities for contact raise some questions, including what is considered harassment online? And
Aas this conduct occurs offline and not in the work place, who is liable for such conduct? Do employers need to take measures to reduce online communication for fear of harassment?
With more and more users on social networking sites like Facebook, coupled with lessened privacy controls over who can see your information, reports of sexual harassment online are growing. It is up to employers to adequately address any allegations of sexual harassment, if they happen in the office or in the virtual world of social networking sites.