It's in many a social media profile biography. It even used to live in my own bios. It reads something like: Thoughts do not reflect those of my employer

OR

Opinions = mine

OR

Thoughts are my own

OR

Retweets aren't endorsements

Are those accurate statements? Technically, yes. Hopefully you do have your own opinions. We would all like to assume that the thoughts that you have are indeed your thoughts. That said, let's look at why we put that disclaimer up.

Is it to protect the employer? Maybe. The root of the statement is a CYA move by most of us when we do use it. On the surface, using that statement appears to give us more editorial freedom.

But does it really give us more freedom? I doubt it.

If you collect a paycheck from someone, you technically represent them anywhere you are. It may not seem fair but it's a reality today. Take a look at what this PR exec tweeted this past December. She didn't talk about her company or anything work related. However, her "own thoughts" got her fired.

pr-exec-tweet

While our opinions may not align with those of our employer, how we carry ourselves in public - whether in real life or digitally - does reflect on them in some way. Plus, implementing a disclaimer like that doesn't provide you any legal protection, as described in this Forbes article.

So are our thoughts our own? Sure. We just have to be responsible with what we do with those thoughts.

What's your opinion on this subject?