Last night, the Labour Party announced an eye-catching and unexpected plan to nationalise BT’s Openreach business unit and provide free broadband to every home by 2030.
It’s a big business story, so the FT immediately wrote it up and popped at the top of their homepage.
BT’s chief executive, who is currently overseas, told the FT that it: “was an “appealing” idea for customers but that it would need to be thought through carefully.”
So far, so normal.
Later in the FT piece, they quote Neil McRae, BT’s chief network architect, as tweeting: “Labour plans broadband communism.”
Oh dear. Corporate communications will not be pleased. Understandably so.
A quick search on Twitter will easily find the tweet and Mr McRae’s account. His profile doesn’t mention his work. His feed is nothing out of the ordinary – a mixture of current affairs and personal interests.
I have huge sympathy. I don’t mention my work on my Twitter account either. I happily give away some of the credibility and status that comes with company and title for some separation and freedom.
But it’s only a little more separation. I know my profile and views can easily be followed back to my employer. Because of this I avoid expressing strident views on topics close to work. It is not a terrible hardship. Do I always get it right? I don’t know. I hope I do.
You only have one life and it cannot be split out online by not mentioning work or using pseudonyms.