Washington Post Bans Workers from Criticizing Sponsors on Social Media

Washington Post bans workers from using social media in a way that “adversely affects The Post’s customers, advertisers, subscribers, vendors, suppliers or partners.” According to a little reported on piece by Andrew Beaujon in the Washingtonian.

According to the policy, the Washington Post reserves the right to fire workers who defy the ban. The Post’s policy went into effect on May 1st of last year and applies to the whole company.

The Post’s policy doesn’t just inhibit workers free speech it encourages them to snitch on each other: “If you have any reason to believe that an employee may be in violation of The Post’s Social Media Policy . . . you should contact the Post’s Human Resources Department.” The Post declined to comment on the policy to the Washingtonian.

Many worry how this policy will impact the Washington Post’s coverage of stories involving the CIA. The richest man on earth, Jeff Bezos, Washington Post owner and CEO of Amazon, signed a $600 million contract with the CIA for web hosting services.

The Washington-Baltimore News Guild, representing newsroom and commercial employees at the Post, has protested the policy and sought to have the more controversial parts of the policy removed in new labor agreements.

Former Washington Post reporters have suggested, criticizing the CIA might jeopardize your career at the newspaper.