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Should being a fed be a round-the-clock job?

Federal employees might take off their badges when they get home, but they never stop being federal employees.

That’s the perspective offered by a self-described “HR Professional” commenting on a recent post by Nathan Abse at the Gov Careers blog about a social media policy being enforced at the General Services Administration.

Under the policy, GSA can hold employees accountable for their activity on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites, even when they are acting as private individuals, on their own time, and not as government representatives.

HR Professional agrees, saying federal employees always represent their agencies, whether they intend to or not.

At the very least, “if you want to play, keep the fact that you are a government employee, especially your agency, off of your profile,” the HR pro writes. “If you wouldn't post it on a billboard across from your office, keep it offline.”

But feds should also keep in mind that some agencies now make it a practice to vet prospective employees by searching social networking sites, the commenter points out. Iffy postings could endanger your job prospects, even if you weren’t a fed at the time.

Check out all the comments at the Gov Career blog post and let us know what you think.

Posted on Aug 02, 2010 at 12:18 PM


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