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Case study 4 - Farah

When social media use turns to cyber bullying


Farah is a clinical psychologist. She is currently not on good terms with a number of members of her place of work and has been complaining about this to her close family and friends on social media. This has included posting inappropriate comments about her colleagues. Her posts do not attempt to hide who she or her colleagues are, and makes direct references to her employer. The posts make her frustrations plain, and at times use derogatory and abusive language about her colleagues.

Her social media profile is publically available, as are the comments she has made about those at her place of work. In addition a number of her colleagues have mutual connections on social media, so it is easy for them to access the posts. One colleague has seen some of Farah’s posts, and has approached her directly about this on social media. Farah has responded by tagging the colleague in her posts and using derogatory language about her.

The colleague refers the matter to their manager. The colleague has since received complaints from some of her service users, who have searched her name online and found Farah’s posts. She is concerned that as a result of the posts she has lost the trust of her service users. Farah asserts that this is a personal matter and unrelated to their work. However the manager considers this a disciplinary matter, and follows this up with a full investigation. The matter is also referred to HCPC, which leads to a fitness to practise investigation.