Facebook Creeping

In the article Do Employers Using Facebook For Background Checks Face Legal Risks, writer Carolyn Elefant expresses her opinion on how companies are abusing the rights of job applicants and employees.  Social networking is a fairly new idea that has really become popular in the last ten years.  Since social networking is so new to our society, there haven’t been many laws that protect the rights of job applicants and employees.  As stated by Carolyn Elefant, “Long ago, most employers stopped requiring applicants to submit photographs or inquiring about marital status or age to avoid accusations that they rejected a candidate for discriminatory reasons” (Elefant 244).  Choosing an applicant over others because of marital status, age, political views, ect. is against the law.  For companies to check an applicant’s Facebook profile and determine if they would be the right fit without using a formal interview process would be breaking the same law just in a different way.  I was always taught that a bad law is a law that cannot be enforced and eventually abused.  This is exactly what is happening with companies looking up applicants and there should be an action to help prevent this from continuing.

My senior year of high school, one of my good friends on our school football team was effected by this issue.  He was predicted to go to college on a full ride scholarship for football last year.  Once the university went threw his Facebook pictures, they decided that he didn’t deserve the scholarship anymore.  He was a victim, in the same way many job applicants are, of this issue and human rights were violated.  Personally, I believe this is wrong and a serious crime for getting into peoples personal lives.  I understand that a university or company wants to hire the right person and know everything about the individual, but checking on individuals personal life is crossing a very sensitive line and bottom line discrimination.



4 thoughts on “Facebook Creeping

  1. I totally agree with you! Now I thought, by reading the title, that it would’ve been about something slightly different. But reading it, I totally felt what you were trying to transmit, which was how wrong it is to be pretty much rejected because of their personal life. I like how you added the personal experience your friend went through. It added more credibility, not only that but something that most of us can relate. ‘Discriminatory’ is the correct word here. No one lives a perfect life, and I know we should be careful of what we post or put on the internet, but when it comes to invading that person’s life so to say it’s immoral. Hopefully something can be done; sadly it might happen when the number of complaints grow and the people rise against this matter. When the people speak it will be heard! Good topic for a blog, next time perhaps add a little bit more of the topic. Other than that you did great!

  2. I totally agree! I remember my senior year (last year), our teachers and principals kept going off on how we need to make sure what we have on our facebook is appropriate. We were scared and worried that the universities we would apply to would check our facebook and that would affect our grade. Many of my classmates deleted their facebooks until they got accepted to their university of choice. It was quite frustrating because throughout high school we never heard of anything like that. Until, senior year the facebook “creeping” as you called it, became a major concern. Many students were getting suspended or in trouble for the things they had posted on their facebook. I definitely don’t find it fair at all. Although, I understand nobody wants to see someone partying and wearing minimal clothing on their facebook feeds. To actually get punished due to your own outside school or job is ridiculous. “What stays at work, stays at work” is a commonly used quote in the work force, but why isn’t that applicable to facebook.

    It is beyond ridiculous how this world have evolved. I remember the huge concern for discrimination against race, color, gender, martial status etc. Now, it’s “We didn’t hire you because you were holding a red cup in your profile picture.” I just don’t even know what to expect in the future. Getting a job is hard enough in this economy and the need for higher education, but now facebook? What’s next?!

  3. I totally agree with this post! I have been on both sides of the spectrum regarding this issue.

    I am a manager at a local small business and am responsible for doing the majority of the hiring for our employees. With that being said, it is so incredibly tempting to search an applicants name on Facebook, and see not only how they portray themselves for the public eye to see, but it is also an easy way to see what activities they are involved in. But like you said, that is a major invasion of privacy and is an extremely judgmental, and unprofessional way to go about getting to know potential new employees.

    Now, coming from the being judged side of it, last year, I was applying for a scholarship and the people responsible for awarding that particular scholarship tried and tried to get a hold of me via home and cell phone, and could not do so until they “Creeped” on my Facebook, found my place of work, and got a hold of me at my job. Then on top of that, they proceeded to tell me that they were going to award me the scholarship until they got a hold of my profile and felt I just wasn’t quite the applicant that they thought I was. To say I was not a happy camper was an understatement. I felt undermined as well as unfairly judged. And that is the reason why, from a business stand point, I would never use a Facebook page to judge an applicant.

    Getting a job is already no easy task with the economy, and desperate need of certain degrees and certificates, but now seeing how easy it is to use the world wide web to discriminate makes it that much more difficult to become hired. Yikes!

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