@GameStop Overreacts to Employee Planking By Firing Them

On September 6, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Mike D. Merrill (@mikedmerrill)

GameStop Fires Employees over Planking

GameStop has recently received quite a bit of press for firing employee John Mazzocchi for planking in a GameStop retail store and posting photos and comments on Twitter. While I don’t doubt they have the authority to terminate employees for violating their existing social media policy, the question is should they have. For a gaming company it would seem practical jokes and Internet memes could only help to get customers to engage with this well known brand. And yes, I recognize the safety issues here.

On Friday afternoon I had a twitter chat about this with Brian Cuban, Dawn Hensley and Will Staney. For those of you still wondering the value of Twitter, let the below twitter discussion from Storify document the conversation (couldn’t get embed to work at all).

Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below as well.

GameStop Employee Fired over Planking


  • http://twitter.com/victoriaharres Victoria Harres

    Mike this is a really great subject. I blogged about social media policies and the law a week ago after hearing a presentation by @GlenGilmore. A lot of companies could be risking trouble with the National Labor Relations Board by such stringent policies as you mention above. People who have been fired over things such as making negative statements about their employer in social networks have won law suites. A lot of regulations have been more clarified or put in place only in the last 12 to 18 months, so if a company has a social media policy older than that, or did not seek legal council in creating their policies, they need to go back to the drawing board. (If you care to read my post: http://victoriaharres.wordpress.com/2011/08/19/social-media-and-the-law/ )

  • http://www.mikemerrill.com Mike D. Merrill

    Vicky, I think all of this is causing concern as as our personal lives move online companies need to really think about do acts like this actually hurt the business. Now it’s their right to protect employees and assets, but I guess at some point they need to consider the message it sends for being so harsh. Reality is all of this is negative publicity for the companies. Just google this story. Tons of negative press on this. 

  • http://www.balancedworklife.com/blog Bryce Christiansen

    HAHA, the twitter conversation about this was hilarious.  I loved the debate.  I’m with you.  Gamestop could have gone in so many different directions with this. 

    Think social media contests of planking, gaming planking, anything.  If your customers value planking then why fire them over it.  That’s just bad pr.


  • http://www.mikemerrill.com Mike D. Merrill

    Yeah I wonder if there was more to the story than is publicly known.