Slack has become the digital water cooler for many organizations, but as employees feel more comfortable on the platform, they put themselves at more risk. Take the most recent example of when conservative site Big League Politics posted screenshots of BuzzFeed employees discussing how scared they were about Donald Trump’s presidency (this conversation happened right after the election). Though the chat was (probably) intended to be innocuous casual banter, one employee did flippantly write about the idea of someone assassinating Trump. This, obviously, did not sit well with the right-wing blog; just look at its headline: “EXCLUSIVE: Leaked Screenshots Reveal BuzzFeed Director Wishing for Trump Assassination.”
The real take-home here is that Slack is not our friend. It creates a digital record of everything you say, whether or not you meant it literally. And even if your Slack room is a safe space or not archived, there’s a chance that someone could screenshot what you’re saying. This is all to say that even though Slack is intended to be as frictionless as possible—anyone and everyone can share and work and shoot the shits so easily!—journalists should be extra wary. Something like this could happen. Or, worse, your chats could be subpoenaed. Here’s my piece looking into Slack’s perils for journalism.