Whistleblowing in the Digital Age

Michael De Kort, a frustrated employee of Lockheed Martin, has blown the whistle on what he alleges to be gross incompetence and malfeasance on behalf of the company in its work on a federal government contract to replace and/or upgrade US Coast Guard patrol boats. First he reported his allegations internally. The company failed to take action satisfying his concerns. Next he went up the chain of command within the federal government. According to De Kort, his efforts were stymied by individuals at the company and within the government despite the fact that many people involved in the investigation agreed that his concerns regarding engineering mistakes and security were well taken.Frustrated that, in his opinion, no one was taking the matters he was complaining about seriously enough, De Kort made a home video in which he discussed his concerns and posted the video on YouTube.com. YouTube.com is a web site designed to allow anyone to post a video of just about anything. Mostly it's full of goofy videos made by adolescents (and adolescents at heart) featuring themselves lip syncing to bad pop music. De Kort is using the web site for something decidedly more serious.The video, which can be viewed here, demonstrates the increased flattening of the media world. It is absolutely not an exaggeration to say that now everyone (and every employee) as a printing press and a television station that can literally reach tens of thousands or even millions of people. In the hands of a disgruntled (justifiably or not) employee, this media power is undoubtedly going to cause public relations nightmares for companies of all sizes.The moral of the story: Handle workplace issues as if the whole world is watching because... they just might be.As for Lockheed Martin, a spokesperson stated that De Kort's allegations were without merit. The company then terminated his employment.Technorati Tags:,