Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Textual harassment

While no one will ever confuse the New York Post with high journalism, Monday’s edition has a thoughtful piece by reporter Brian Moore on what has become known as “textual harassment.”

Digital technology has enabled workers to be more productive, allowed them to communicate around the world instantaneously and generally redefined almost every job description on Earth.

But it’s also given cubicle creeps and departmental degenerates new ways to sexually harass co-workers and underlings.

While texting, e-mails and comments on social media sites will never replace the grand tradition of bosses directly pressuring subordinates for sex, lawyers and consultants say digital communication has opened up a new front in the war against workplace harassment.

Textual harassment isn’t necessarily new – harassment is harassment. What is new, however, is the media used to deliver the harassing messages. Today, harassing messages can be delivered instantly to an target via cell phone, instant message, Facebook wall, twitter tweets, and other on-line and other digital media. And, these new media provide companies a new weapon in combating workplace harassment. Where harassment cases often used to be instances of “he said/she said,” textual harassment” leaves a digital paper trail of the alleged transgressions. Because of the digital trail, the investigations of these types of harassment claims are often less complex and the corrective action easier to decide.

[Hat tip: Neil Klingshirn]

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