Should I Report Social Media Comments from Colleague?

posted 1 year ago in The Lounge
Post # 46
6502 posts
Bee Keeper

Report him! His employers can decide how to deal with it. As PP stated, it will become part of his history and make it harder for him to play he-said-she-said when one of his students or peers reports him, which seems only a matter of time. 

Post # 47
3214 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

An anonymous email to his Advisor with screenshots of the dialog should suffice…

Post # 48
1494 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

I don’t know that there’s much point in figuring out whether you’re REQUIRED to report him versus whether you SHOULD. You aren’t required (unclear what the policy requires and he doesn’t even work at your university) but you absolutely should. 

If he really doesn’t think he’s said anything wrong, then he should have no problem with his employer finding out what he said. After all he said it on a public forum, and Facebook no less, where generally your real name is attached to what you say. No expectation of privacy there. 

Post # 49
1680 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

anonthrowaway12 :  I do understand in a small way part of what John is saying (ie. trial by social media rather than innocent until proven guilty in a court of law) however they way he has said it and the insulting words he’s used (hoe?? mangina??) is completely unacceptable, led alone in his position. 

How you represent yourself on social media does bleed in to your professional life.  We recently had to terminate an employee who wrote insulting things about a client on their Facebook page.  If you want to have these discussions, do them in private and in person, not on a public forum.  I have no sympathy for John. 

I agree with PP, screenshot and report.  Judging from the way others have responded to him, I’m assuming you won’t be the only one reporting him. 

Post # 50
1169 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

hickoryhills :  You are completely brushing over the fact that she is also supposed to report sexual harrassment, which is unwelcome verbal or physical conduct. Verbal generally includes written. Calling his colleagues “sweetie” and “mangina” certainly falls under harrassment.

Additionally, IMO there is no shame reporting questionable behavior. If the behavior goes against the policies set forth at the university/workplace, the supervisor will do something. If it does not, there will be no corrective action.

Lastly, and I can’t believe that this needs to be said, “unseemly opinions” contribute to rape culture and sexual violence in our society. When we tolerate and don’t call out these opinions because 1st Amendment/there’s-nothing-wrong-with-having-a-horrible-opinion we are ultimately tolerating opinions that do contribute to sexual violence in the long run. If someone is part of a subculture in which it is okay to talk about how women are “hoes who dress provocatively and deserve [sexual violence]” then don’t you think that this in the long run encourages predators to prey on vulnerable people? It does.

Sure, you are legally allowed to have whatever the heck type of opinion you want to have, but that doesn’t mean that this shit should be tolerated, because it does have devastating affects on our society. Reasonable people need to call this shit out, just like they would call out racism, antisemitism, etc.

Post # 51
2442 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: NJ

I don’t think you shouls be the one to report it. Your connection to him is too distant. He is a colleague, but in another university? I am certain, in today’s climate, someone will report him but it should be someone at least in his own university. 

The reporting could be considered to apply when there is actual sexual harrassment or abuse, not simply giving an opinion on the subject. 

He must be nuts to opine thusly anywhere, given this climate where people cannot wait to take offense at any possible opportunity.

Post # 52
407 posts
Helper bee

Report him. 

Post # 53
279 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2018

The rule of reporting: If you are questioning it you report it. It’s not up to you to decide. A gut feeling is enough reason to report. 

Post # 54
11777 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

Actually, sexist words can be a form of sexual harassment.


a few examples:


Types of behavior which may constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:

* Sexist, sexually suggestive or intimidating remarks or behavior

*Verbal abuse of a sexual nature, graphic commentaries about an individual’s body, sexually degrading words used to describe an individual, suggestive or obscene letters, notes, electronic mail messages, or invitations.

*Spreading rumors about a person’s sexuality 

*Name-calling, such as bitch, whore, or slut

Post # 55
1169 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

DanaWeddingGuest :  What does her being “too distant” have to do with anything? This kind of thinking is how you get the bystander effect–e.g. I’m too distant to do anything, I’m not the right person to report, etc.

And again, calling professional colleagues “sweetie” and “mangina” does constitute as harrassment as per OP’s university’s policy. There is no evidence that the guy’s university doesn’t have the same or similar policies in place. Either way, his university will make the ultimate call. OP would not be making a call by reporting, just expressing concern.

longtobee :  Yes, definitely. In the training for my job at my university, they made sure to instill in us that if we are questioning whether we should report, then it is better to report than to be sorry. Reporting is not an indictment, it’s expressing a concern. The appropriate person ultimately makes the call.

Post # 56
859 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2019

We went through harassment training at work.  At least in our company’s policy – it extends to social media.  

Post # 57
2217 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

franklymydearidont :  Right, if I came across that post, and the guy had listed his occupation/employer in his FB profile, I’d be tempted to shoot a screenshot of that to his employer, and I have nothing to do with the organization! I think the mandatory reporting comment from the very first post is confusing the issue.


She has to report sexual harassment/sexual assault. It doesn’t have to be sexual assault/sexual harassment for her to report something. (Not making a case for whether or not what he did consititutes sexual harassment, I am talking about a mathemetical/logic concept, as in, All A’s = B’s, but not all B’s = A, if that makes any sense).

Post # 59
110 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

Holy heck, Bee! As a fellow female graduate student in the sciences at a major university, you report him to his university! 

Specifically, I’d recommend sending two emails giving the concerns stated and screenshots: the first to the Director of Graduate Studies for his department with his advisor copied to it and the second to his campus judicial administrator with the top admin from the graduate school/graduate life department and title 9 admin copied. A few quick google searches should turn up the emails you’re looking for.

You owe this to yourself, your female colleagues, his female colleagues, and to any females he may mentor now or in the future. There’s no room for that nonsense in academia any more and I can almost guarantee his campus feels the same way.

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