Having worked with some truly global MNCs and being associated with many more due to work, collaborations etc. I have observed something which stands out – their standards and values. They remain strictly professional wrt. ethics and are earnest in creating an image which boosts global acceptance. They even adapt to the countries where they do business trying to learn their culture and endorsing products, services etc. accordingly. When employees are concerned, there are a set of guidelines which employees should strictly follow while acting officially.
Recently, there has been a surge in companies thriving on the web. And we see more and more sites allowing free speech and letting people express themselves. Many of these companies are not “huge” by revenue but they are popular. These companies thriving on mass popularity sometimes tend to change the very definition corporate standards. To become popular, they are sometimes officially encouraging nuisance. IMHO, it is grossly unprofessional and against corporate ethics. If you are giving a weapon to the masses, you are the one responsible to keep a check on whether they are using it in unethical ways. And if you can’t do that, at least don’t encourage it officially.
Today when checking my stats, I found an official Automattic post (under FROM OUR BLOG) which leads to a post “10 Things That Suck About Being a Guy”. Automatticans found it most interesting. Yes, not only 10, guys might have 100s of issues, everyone has. We go to consult the doctor and we go to psychologists and I can’t remember a single guy I knew in the past 29+ years who spoke to his “shrink” that way. This kind of expression may be OK for friendly banters, but not in public and definitely cannot be encouraged as an “interesting” blog by a technological organization of some reputation. I understand the target blog post in question is popular because there are many people out there who have the time to read and enjoy this kind of humour and the blog abounds in similar posts. But when you are a company, keep a tab on your quality and standards. How are we supposed to justify the selection of this entry – endorse anything that sells?
I am a vocal supporter of freedom of justified speech and knowledge but not the abuse of it. As they say – with great power comes great responsibility.