Online Reputation Management Blog

Australian Airport Employee Fired For Facebook Posts Supporting ISIS

Computer hacker stealing information with laptopAn employee of Perth Airport in Australia was fired last month after his Facebook page showed multiple posts supporting the terrorist group ISIS.

Nirmal Singh is contesting his termination, calling it “wrongful dismissal” and claiming that he never supported the Islamic state. He is also seeking $7,000 in lost wages.

Singh was an airline service agent for Aerocare Flight Support but lost his job after management discovered Facebook posts written by Singh under a pseudonym. Aerocare justified the firing of the employee, claiming that the content of the posts was in support of a terrorist organization and raised issues of national security as well as air safety.

Singh contends that the posts were “political in nature and therefore did not breach the company’s social media policy.” Furthermore, he argues that because the posts were written under a different name, no one reading his statements would have been able to identify his place of employment.

Sing also told the Fair Work Commission that at least one of his messages was “sarcastic” and should not have been taken seriously. He also allegedly wrote several other posts under his alias, Sherry Solus Singh, and used a real photo of himself.

An investigation has discovered three messages, including two that featured information about radical Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir, which promotes the upset of Western governments and the instatement of a global Islamic state. Singh also “liked” the group’s Facebook page.

Though Singh has stated that he understands that even “jokes” must be taken seriously by airport security, “There is no post that threatens anyone or names anyone,” he argued.

“There were concerns I understood and I addressed those concerns by offering to delete the posts and the profile but how they breached the social media policy, I don’t understand,” he said.

Tensions in the Middle East have rendered a state of high anxiety and sensitivity across the globe, thus forcing airport security to be on high alert at all times. Airport employees especially must be careful about what they post to social media, and management must be meticulous in their background checks and hiring practices. As many as 35% of CEOs of small and midsize businesses report that staffing is the most significant business issue they currently face.

The Government Can Now Screen Your Social Media Accounts For Sensitive Information

smartphone with social media bubbles (like, tweet, friend, shareIn our age of technology, social media and blogs are able to reach 80% of Internet users and account for 23% of their time spent online. And now the government can see how Americans spend their time on the internet after a new law has passed that allows private investigators to research social media accounts for security clearances.
In a new policy signed by the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, investigators are able to now collect social media information on public accounts.

Aimed primarily at individuals seeking governmental positions that give them access to privatized information about national security, this law was put into effect because of the sheer size and reach of social media.

Fox News reported that Republican Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz said, “It defied common sense for the government to overlook social media data available to anyone with an Internet connection.”

Chaffetz is also glad to see the National Intelligence Council was working on fixing “such a glaring lapse in our security clearance process.”

As the policy is only aimed towards public information, investigators are banned from requesting passwords or logging into private accounts. Overall, they are not able to obtain any information from a private source.

Additionally, private communications between users, such as through apps like Facebook Messenger, will not be accessed.

This action was met with some conflict. Many members of Congress do not believe the government should use a third party resource to provide information for security clearances.

Using social media as a part of the background check process has been an accepted practice in the private sector. Current research shows that more than 40% of employers report using social media to choose their job applicants.

Additionally, more than four million Americans hold a security clearance that allows access to classified information of national security. This number is expected to grow within the next few years.

Apple and Google May Not Renew Safari Deal, Experts Say

apple-safari-1920

Though no one is certain of the date, Apple and Google’s search engine deal is expected to end sometime this year, leading experts to speculate on whether the two tech giants will renew their partnership.

Online journal Search Engine Land reports that the deal between the two companies, in which Apple made Google the default search engine for its web browser Safari, is now being weighed on both sides. Given Google’s modest net revenue generated under the agreement, however, some industry experts are predicting that the companies will part ways.

It was reported last year that Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, led discussions with Microsoft, which owns Bing, and Yahoo about a potential switch. Since at least 2011, the revenue Google generated from its default position on Safari has been steady but small. Another online journal, The Motley Fool, reported that Google is expected to make $7.8 billion in revenue from its deal with Apple. However, since Google pays Apple $2.2 billion for Safari rights, the net revenue comes out to be $5.6 billion, 8.5% of Google’s 2014 revenue.

Still, this may not be enough to convince Google to keep its spot with Safari. Especially considering that Google gave up its default rights in Firefox to Yahoo! in the United States, some predict that Google may do the same with Apple.

It is worth nothing that Google is still the default search engine in Firefox outside of the U.S.

Apple may also feel the deal is unnecessary. According to a 2012 survey of iPhone users, 45% of respondents claim that they go directly to google.com for an online search. Another 19% use the mobile Google app, bring the total percentage of users who use Google directly to 64%. However, 26% of users use the Safari toolbar, which employs Google unless the user changed its default settings to Yahoo! or Bing, which is perfectly possible.

Overall, Apple figures it can drop Google’s default position without much fuss, as users can either manually restore Google as default or go to Google directly each time they want to search.

For its part, Google has an 84% share of the mobile market in the United States. In addition, Google Chrome currently leads the field in the most Internet traffic, including desktop and mobile. Google’s dominance in search engine and Internet traffic may leave the company confident enough to say farewell to Safari.

Fashion Guru Zoella Upgrades Living Situation, Gives Online World a Lesson on the Influence of Blogging

Social Media with Blogging
Fashion blogging sensation Zoe Sugg — labeled by InStyle as the “undisputed pin-up girl for the digital generation,” has cashed in on her success and bought a stunning new Brighton home in the U.K.

Sugg, better known by her blogging name Zoella, is only 24 years old. She began her online career when she was just a teen, reviewing beauty products from her bedroom in YouTube videos.

Six years later, she now pulls in over $30,000 each month from advertisers who want to place their products alongside her videos. She has seven million subscribers and gets about 12 million hits per month.

Her new home has five bedrooms with ensuite baths, a gourmet kitchen and even an additional log cabin for casual relaxation. She will share the residence with her 21-year-old boyfriend, Alfie Deyes, and has announced on social media that they have dubbed their home the “Zalfie Pad.”

Many other fashion bloggers make a living — though perhaps not as luxurious a living as Sugg’s — by linking to products for which they receive commissions, Yahoo! Finance reported Feb. 19, and fashion bloggers are fast becoming the best avenue for major designers and retailers such as Bloomingdales to reach customers.
Blogging and Branding
Sugg’s success doesn’t just indicate her personal charisma; it’s a perfect example of the rapidly expanding power of blogging, both for individuals and major brands.

“Blogging is an opportunity you do not want to miss out when it comes to publishing for your personal brand,” Susan Gilbert wrote in a Feb. 13 article for the website Business 2 Community, neatly summing up the potential blogging offers businesses of all sizes.

Instead of simply advertising products, blogs rely on a persona with whom customers can identify (even on blogs where that persona is actually constructed by multiple individuals). Blogging, therefore, can help businesses develop a more comprehensive brand identity, create conversations and make customers feel that they’re being included in an inner circle — as opposed to simply being told what to buy.

In this case, as in many others, better branding leads to better sales, as well. Research shows that blogs are actually 63% more likely to impact buying decisions than newspapers are. That’s an important lesson for any online marketing experts debating the nature of online influence.