Apple threatens to fire an employee who posted a TikTok video with basic iPhone security tips. The employee, Paris Campbell, says she was told she had violated company policy by identifying herself as an Apple employee and posting about Apple-related topics.
The company’s social media policy warns employees against posting about customers, colleagues or confidential information, but Apple doesn’t specifically prohibit employees from posting about the technology entirely.
“We want you to be yourself, but you should also be respectful in posts, tweets and other online communications,” an internal document said.
Campbell, a single mother living in New York, has worked at Apple for nearly six years, most recently as a repairman in Apple Retail. Last week, she responded to another TikTok user who had lost her iPhone at Coachella, then received threatening text messages saying her personal information would be sold on the black market unless she removed the iPhone from her Apple ID.
“I can’t tell you exactly how I know this information, but I can tell you that for the past six years I’ve been a certified hardware engineer for a certain company that likes to talk about fruit,” Campbell said in her response video, before the user is warned not to listen to the extortionists. “Your phone is basically useless to them, and you’re the only person who can save them, and I suggest you don’t.”
That video went viral and was viewed 5 million times in about 24 hours. On Friday, Campbell received a call from a manager telling her to remove the video or she would be subject to disciplinary action “up to and including termination”. When she asked what would happen if she left the video, she said the manager went back on the original comment and said he would contact her. So far he hasn’t.
Over the weekend, Campbell posted a second video titled “dear Apple,” in which she revealed she was an Apple employee and said she was waiting to hear if she would be fired. “Until this video, I never really identified myself as an Apple employee,” she said. “The funny thing, though, is that after going through the social media policies… it doesn’t say anywhere that I can’t publicly identify myself as an Apple employee, just that I shouldn’t do this in a way that makes the company look bad. ”
Campbell, who has been a stand-up comic since 2011, has a significant following on social media, including 439,000 followers on TikTok.
The popularity of her posts may not be enough to keep her from getting fired. Last year, Apple fired two high-profile activists for allegedly sharing confidential information. But Campbell says her videos don’t contain information that isn’t already publicly available.
“I think Apple’s response is in stark contrast to how we portray ourselves as a company by telling people to think differently, innovate and come up with creative solutions,” she said in an interview with The edge. “I don’t just have all that Apple knowledge because I work for Apple. I come to this knowledge because I have a long technical education and history. That’s why they hired me.”
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The edge.