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Few, if any of us, haven’t found ourselves looking for hilarious videos on YouTube. From bridal parties doing a jig down the aisle to friends filming unsuspecting buddies dancing and singing to the radio in front of a mirror, there are times when YouTube is good for the soul. That said, there are certain things you can post that can cost you a job. A. Harrison Barnes, attorney and founder of, says there are a few misconceptions about what freedom of speech rights actually cover and filming yourself doing something illegal or unethical might not fall under your Constitutional rights.

As incredible as technology is in contemporary day, that’s not license to disregard the law or common sense in an effort to make your mark. Filming yourself, or having someone else film you, as you participate in bad behavior can easily get you hauled in front of your personnel department’s head honcho. And, says the founder, if you think it’ll never land on the boss’s laptop, think again. All it takes is for one person to have ulterior motives and before you know it, the very one you impressed at last week’s staff meeting is now the one wondering why he ever even hired you.

While we value the freedom to support any political party and practice any religion we choose in this country, the fact is, you can easily get a video flagged as inappropriate. If you think a video is bad enough landing in the wrong hands, try sensing the difference in a flagged video landing in the wrong hands. Any over the top stances you have are fine, but putting it all out there for speculation is inviting trouble. It’s true it’s a fine line with employers and what they can and can’t use for just cause; however, employment lawyers across the country are staying busy these days with these kinds of cases. One case is all it takes for a new pattern to be established in a court of law.

Remember, your employer has stockholders and clients to answer to and if you’re viewed as dead weight by one single client or shareholder, you can easily become the “has been that never really quite was”. It’s a huge gamble, says A. Harrison Barnes. So what’s best left off the internet? Sexual videos, racist, animal abuse and those that portray radical views that can be construed as dangerous, among others. Finally, the last thing you ever want to do is become the star of your very own video at the neighbor’s party where you make fun of the boss or the company you work for. Your employer could easily – and rightfully – cite confidentiality issues as the reason for your termination.

Barnes suggests keeping the uploaded YouTube videos to catching life’s funny and unpredictable moments that don’t target anything politically incorrect or certainly, anything that can cause problems for you at work. No joke’s worth losing your stock options and position.

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