Is there such a thing as being fired for tweeting?

For years, bloggers have known that they have to be careful about what they say about work or their personal lives because they might get fired, or "Dooced." Will the same become true for Twitter users?

It's well known that bloggers can be fired for writing the wrong things about their jobs. Is this going to be a phenomenon for Twitter users as well? Daniel Terdiman/CNET News

If you've been around the world of blogging for a while, you probably know what being "Dooced" means.

If not, it means being fired for blogging , and the term comes from the real-life firing of Heather Armstrong, otherwise known as the mega-popular blogger, Dooce.

Well, today I was thinking about Twittering something and I began to wonder if maybe doing so might get me in trouble at work. And that got me to thinking about whether there'd been any cases yet of someone getting Dooced for Twittering. Call it being "Twooced."

A little bit of quick research revealed just one such situation: An aide to John McCain was suspended--not fired--for Twittering a link to a video linking Barack Obama to his pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Now, there's no doubt that in the mind of the American employer, Twitter probably has only barely begun to appear on radar. You know, it's just this little Web 2.0 toy that geeks use to communicate with their friends, right?

Then again, blogging itself surely was in the same realm just a few years ago, and now it's well known that many people have lost their jobs for broadcasting to the world their gripes about work or unsavory bits about their personal lives.

Yet, in a lot of ways, Twittering something could very well have a much bigger--and more immediate--effect than blogging. After all, these days, the right Twitter post can start a huge and very loud conversation spanning dozens or hundreds of people. On the computer screens of the right hundred people, an angry post about work could easily end up in a very loud and very unstoppable echo chamber. Heck, if Robert Scoble alone hears about it, the world will too.

And so the question is, are people being careful about what they Twitter? Have they learned the lesson of blogging? Or is it going to be a hard lesson for some people?

So, I appeal to you, dear readers: Have you heard of other cases of people being Twooced? And, what would be a better word--I hate "Twooced"--than that?

If you've heard of such a case, please post to comments or let me know by e-mail (daniel dot terdiman at cnet dot com). Or Twitter, or course.

 

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