‘Frighteningly Authoritarian’: Publishing Giant Encourages Staff to Snitch on Co-Workers’ Social Media Posts, Union Says – Report

‘Frighteningly Authoritarian’: Publishing Giant Encourages Staff to Snitch on Co-Workers’ Social Media Posts, Union Says – Report

Totalitarians don’t care about labels. They come in all flavors, from the woke left to the RINO right. All they care about is power. To maintain power, they need control.

Totalitarians need to control what you think, what you write and what you drive. There’s no need to read dystopian totalitarian classics such as Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” or George Orwell’s “1984.” We’re living it.

Publishing giant Hearst Magazines announced a new social media policy that encourages staff to snitch on their colleagues if they dare to post, even on their own time, social media that might break corporate rules, according to The Washington Post.

On Monday, Hearst alerted staff by email of the new policy, the Post reported. The news came with an internal document detailing the new rules. The call to action was for the employees to sign the document.

The new policy comes on the heels of an Instagram post by Samira Nasr, editor-in-chief of Hearst-owned Harper’s Bazaar, last month about Israel cutting water and power to Gaza following the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks by Hamas. Nasr called Israel’s actions “the most inhuman thing I’ve seen in my life.”

Nasr later apologized.

 

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To make amends, Hearst “pledged to donate $300,000 to charities in the region,” the Post reported.

The new social media policy doesn’t specifically mention the Israel-Hamas conflict. Rather, it says, “We should be careful to consider the impact that a controversial statement on a hot-button issue may have on Hearst’s reputation.”

The policy says social media posts that don’t meet Hearst’s editorial standards “should not be posted on social media, whether on a Hearst account or a personal one.”

Could it be that in the Age of Social Media, censorship is necessary? Should an employer be able to stifle an employee’s personal political opinions because they don’t align with the company’s official policy? Did the advent of social media make totalitarianism inevitable and the First Amendment obsolete?

After all, shouldn’t a company be able to protect its reputation if an employee goes off the rails and praises terrorists while demonizing their victims?

Beware. Those who make the rules get more powerful by doing it. Power is the most addictive drug known to man. Vague rules give the best high.

“Hearst’s social media rules reportedly apply to personal, as well as professional, accounts and give managers the authority to demand employees delete ‘objectionable’ content,” Newsmax reported. “Simply ‘liking’ or reposting something is also considered a violation of the rules, according to the document.”

“Just because you didn’t say something on social media and instead only ‘liked’ it or reposted it, it still may suggest to our audience that you approve of a particular statement or view,” the policy reportedly states.

It gets worse.

Employees can be fired for violations, the Post reported.

Here’s the kicker: No examples of material that would be considered breaking the rules were included in the policy. I guess that means the brass gets to decide on a case-by-case basis who is breaking the rules and who isn’t.

The policy is very broad, to put it mildly. Even “apolitical” or local topics can come under scrutiny, according to Newsmax.

“Many social movements are politically charged, and apolitical events and movements can quickly become controversial and political,” the policy reads. “Even local community organizations can become politicized.”

In other words, the rule makers can come at their employees for virtually anything they post. Bestowed with great wisdom as they are, the corporate brass can’t be bothered with details. Maybe they’ll just use their feelings to decide who’s a good employee and who’s a bad one.

Hearst editorial staffers are represented by the Writers Guild of America, East. The union didn’t take kindly to the Hearst policy and “filed an unfair labor practice complaint with the National Labor Relations Board on Wednesday,” according to Newsmax.

“Hearst is declaring that our channels for personal expression are company property, even when we’re off the clock,” the union said in a statement.

In what it called a “frighteningly authoritarian flourish,” the union accused Hearst of encouraging staff to snitch on their co-workers for anything that might “impact the reputation or objectivity of Hearst Magazines,” Newsmax reported.

It comes as no surprise that the union advised Hearst employees to back off on signing the policy consent form.

Lizz Schumer, a senior editor at Hearst’s Good Housekeeping magazine, told the Post, “It feels like a drastic overreach on the part of our parent company.”

You think? Get used to it. Controlling the narrative is the expressway to totalitarian power. Never mind the Constitution and the First Amendment. You will comply. Resistance is futile.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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