South African worker fired for Facebook update

Colleague reported worker who labelled boss a 'serial masturbator' online
||Last Updated: 07/13/2009

At least three South African workers have learned that nothing stays private on the social networking site Facebook.

A 23-year-old clothing factory clerk in the coastal city of Durban was fired for calling his boss a "serial masturbator" on Facebook.

It was one of his co-workers who reported his status update.

The clerk's firing followed the suspension of two other workers in South Africa. One, a 25-year-old man in Pretoria, was suspended after venting about his employer's alleged laziness online. The other, a 25-years-old Johannesburg woman, was suspended for plugging a competitor's product on her profile home page.

While bloggers have faced pressure and discipline for posting defamatory statements, being dismissed over a Facebook status update is relatively new in South Africa.

Media reports from the United States and Britain show at least 15 people in those countries have lost their jobs for bad-mouthing colleagues on Facebook.

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