We have yet another case of a company firing an employee for writing stuff related to the company on his/her blog. This time, the company is Microsoft and the blogger who has been fired, is Michael Hanscom.
Last Thursday (October 23rd), Michael posted an entry on his blog mentioning how Microsoft was using Apple Power Mac G5 computers in its Redmond campus. The post also contained a photo of a truck offloading the G5s. This seemingly innocuous post was either noticed or brought to the notice of some in Microsoft. And on Monday (October 27th), Michael's manager called him to inform him that he was "no longer welcome on the Microsoft campus". In short, Michael was fired for allegedly violating security.
While blogging about the company you work for, is a dicey practice (and I strongly advise people to refrain from doing it), the way Microsoft has reacted in this incident can only be termed as knee-jerk and haphazard. By summarily firing Michael Hanscom, it has, no doubt, courted a PR disaster. What might've stayed fairly unknown, is now spreading across the Net at the speed of blogs.
What I fail to understand is... the photo contained in the post was completely innocent in itself. Michael chose to qualify it as being a pic of inside the Redmond campus. It was his word against that of Microsoft, had Microsoft chosen to merely refute Michael's claim. But by choosing to fire Michael, Microsoft has implicitly admitted that the photo is indeed what Michael claims it to be and that G5s are indeed used within Microsoft. (I have it from reliable sources that Microsoft uses LINUX quite heavily inspite of publicly deriding claims that Linux is a serious competitor to its Windows line of Operating Systems).
Surely, Microsoft cannot be this naive!!