Facebook and Employers

The next big question: Should Facebook be able to have an exclusive access to a prospective employee’s Facebook account prior to or during employment?

In this article, a writer for the Atlantic brings up several great points while rehashing on previous times when this question has been mused upon due to employers’ actions in regards to accessing social media. The ACLU is now involved in the debate, and several states who require that prospective employees provide passwords to social media sites are suspending the practice until further notice.

It does seem to me like requiring employees to surrender access to their employers is a direct violation of privacy. There are certain contracts for employment that can require employees to do certain things that could be considered a violation of their privacy: drug tests, for instance. But requiring access to a Facebook account is on an entirely different level- it includes access to pictures, messages, wall posts, events, comments- essentially everything that you do on Facebook would be up to grabs by your employer. And not only would it be something up for grabs, but with screen shots and downloadable Facebook activity, it would be no wonder what an HR representative could pull out of context as grounds for dismissal or a reason not to land a job.

With the way some people use Facebook today, providing access to a personal Facebook account would be like allowing a camera crew to follow you around for a week, recording your every word and pooling all the possibly incriminating things together. Like I have said before, maybe I’m a paranoid, but I definitely wouldn’t go for a job that required a week long reality TV show to be shot as mu judgment- so why would I think it’s okay for a possible employer to have access to my Facebook, my personal life, in order to land a job?

On the other side, there is always the concept of background checks. Maybe it makes sense to human resources that they require Facebook logins to do their background checks- it would reduce costs by a third party and it would give a more accurate view of an employee’s entire life, not just criminal background. And if someone is so worried about giving away their Facebook login, what could they be hiding?

So time for you all to weigh in- what do you think?

The time tested and true solution- as I’ve said time and time again- be careful what you post. It might just catch up with you.


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