You Can Lose Your Job Over Blog Comments, Too

By Daniel Scocco

In the past we have seen people losing their jobs for bad mouthing their companies on Twitter and on blog posts. It turns out that the same can happen with blog comments, even if you are not the one writing the comments!

Confusing? Well, here is what happened. Around one month ago Skype hired Madhu Yarlagadda, a former Yahoo! employee, to be the new Chief Development Officer. Once the news got out, TechCrunch wrote a post reporting the news.

Once the post was a live a bunch of people started leaving comments criticizing and openly insulting Madhu Yarlagadda. These were presumably people who had worked with or for him in the past, and they were claiming he was “dishonest,” “political” and things like that. You’ll still find some of the comments on the post, but the heaviest ones were deleted by TechCrunch, since Madhu threatened to take legal action.

Long story short, the thing blew out of proportions, and as the NY Times reported today, “the comments caught the attention of Skype executives who became concerned about their new hire, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.”

The result? Madhu left the company just one month after joining.

The takeaway message? I am guessing there are many. For one, people are reading blogs, including the comments! Another one would be: be careful with what you put on the Internet.

In this case the stuff was coming from other people though, so the advice would be: be cool/fair to other people, or they will rub it on your face on the Internet. But then again I am not sure if the haters had merit or not in this question, so it might not even be Madhu’s fault.

What do you think?



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30 Responses to “You Can Lose Your Job Over Blog Comments, Too”

  • Farouk

    that’s really dangerous!!
    moments ago i was reading a post about someone who has lost his job because of a status update on facebook

  • Melvin

    Well this is hard for my opinion. I mean does that mean that we should then comment on a different name? I’ll never do that of course!

    Its true that we are accountable for our comments but if time comes that I would get fired from my job for saying something honest, then so be it.

  • Tinh

    We should be careful in this case or our employer should monitor internet activities within office?

  • Dean Saliba

    I guess It just strengthens what I have thought about all along: “if you are dishonest, or screw people online, then it will come back and bite you on the backside at some point”.

  • Ray

    In the past, you’d never be hired (let alone invited to participate in polite society) unless upstanding people of good character introduced you and vouched for you. In those days, reputation and honor were the most important things. Today, because of the proliferation of lawsuits, reputation is again becoming important to the folks who do the hiring.

    Look less at this ‘story’ as one man’s loss of his job, and more at it as a company’s new and additional opportunity to assess the reputation of its newest hire. While it may be bad news for one man, it’s good news for a whole lot of others.

  • Mike @ Tech and Biz Gadgets

    That is getting too much out of hand, how would the person can know what is being written about him or her and how much would it be truth?

    I have heard people losing a job over their facebook profiles but this is new low!

  • mohsin

    I have read this story on TechCrunch, the guy lost job because too many people posted negative comments about him. He lost job because of his ruthless behavior in the past.
    So the Second take away from this story is that in this era of blogging and social media, your reputation goes with you 😉 So one should think and act wisely.

  • jason

    While what happened to Madhu was more than likely not all his fault, it brings to mind these situations where one has to look for themselves better in order to ensure that collateral damage of such situations does not ruin your career.

  • sapphire

    At some point this is going to get out of control. You can’t be friends with everyone and not everyone is going to like you, no matter how nice you are. People will say crap about you at some point, but you shouldn’t be fired over it.

    It’s unfortunate for Madhu that his name got hung out to dry and no one knows what really happened in his previous businesses. It should be between him, his employer, and his former business associates; not the whole internet of millions of users.

  • Nimwey @ online jobs

    I think it’s really up to Madhu if what those people posted are true or not. Is here any statement from him why did he leave skype?

  • Julius

    I think that most of what happened is not Madhu’s fault. Nevertheless, it is still important to be cool with other people on the Internet, as they have such a huge influence especially if they collectively voice out their opinions.

  • Treathyl Fox

    Lose Your Job Over Blog Comments? REALLY? Didn’t some military guy in the Obama administration just lose his job over comments in The Rolling Stone or sumthin? You know … the Bible says “only a fool utters his whole mind”. Lose you job over making comments OR quit your job and keep your comments to yourself? Six in one hand; half a dozen in the other.

  • Steve @ Offenders Search

    Pretty crazy. You think Skype would have a good understanding of who the guy was before offering him a top level executive position. And what managers are a little dishonest and political?

  • Varun Parakh

    Well, that is pretty weird. I mean, if the guy wasn’t wrong at his part, why would he leave the job. Ahh, internet is making things simpler by complicating them!
    Ambiguous you see!

  • Kimberly

    Wowwww. This is a fantastic story. Talk about a kharma slingshot.

  • Dinesh

    If you are webmaster, yes you can delete these type of comments, but still its not possible to read all and verify.

    World is small as carolee Sperry said with internet.

    Now Madhu has to find all who left comments. Bad luck.

  • RFA of Schoolkid.Ph

    Wow, this is quite shocking. With the power that the internet brings, the only thing that can prevent this is for everyone to have stronger values, morals and ethics.

    How I wish there’s a way to find out all the blog comments written on the web about a company or person.. something like a blog comment search engine. Is there such a thing, I wonder?

  • Josh Garcia

    Hey Daniel,

    Reading this the only thing that kept playing in my head…That Sucks!

    Now, it goes to show you the power of commenting. Not only will it get you recognize, drive traffic, and get you fired.

    Chat with you later…
    Josh

    • Web Marketing Tips

      She was not good with other people hence she got such kind of comments.

      I hope now Techcrunch will not write about her next appointment

      • Web Marketing Tips

        Sorry it should be HIS

  • Lesley Rice

    I can’t say I’m surprised. A 3 years ago a friend of mine posted an honest opinion of his daughter’s school on a forum where people asked questions about private schools and their standards. He didn’t trash the school, just said that they had problems in certain areas though they were very good in others. A couple of weeks later he got a letter from the school asking him to remove his daughter immediately because his comment put him in breach of his contract with the school, a contract which said he would be supportive.

    The web is a dangerous place to express a genuine opinion.

  • Rin

    Did he resign or was he fired? I think it’s unfair to pressure an employee to resign over what’s essentially a rumour.

  • carolee Sperry

    It’s a small world, that is for sure! And the Internet makes it even smaller.

  • Paul NYC

    Somewhere along the line someone will not resign and force this issue into the courts. If ever there was a case crying out for the SCOTUS to rule on it’s something like this.

  • Basant | Techno-Pulsesinghbasant

    That was an eye opener, sort of. Web is a democratic world. Here everybody is on the same platform…Moreover once you put anything on the web it can’t be undone…even if we delete it. It’ll exist forever in some form or the other…screen-shots, mail, downloads etc…

    • Web Marketing Tips

      Yes this is the uglier face of this internet world … so better watch your ass first.

  • Samir | Mouse Scroll

    You can no more afford to be careless online or offline, since access to information includes access to reviews and reputation!

    • Web Marketing Tips

      This is the thumb rule that you should be polite with others if you want to get same respect from them.

      Web 2.0 really developed a lot.

  • Nabeel | Create Your First Website

    Hi,

    I think the web has opened up everything. The power of the web can be seen by this example. Just one post (but admittedly with a lot of comments) causes a guy at a top position to resign!

    • Michael

      I think Madhu should have created a positive campaign for himself. As we have witnessed with the Shirley Sherrod case, she responded quickly to the negative version of the video that was posted about her—she went to other media outlets and told her story. When necessary, Sherrod criticized media outlets and others, creating perspective.

      Thus, we all become our own pr/marketers of our information on the web. If someone is attacking your reputation, you need to fight back with a positive campaign of your own. Control the message and stay on message and be proactive.

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