Facebook as a Tool for Employment

Contributor: Tech Mistress is not a so young ‘eccentric’, tech loving lady. She likes to share information in funny and witty ways, to inform but yet motivate. You can follow her on twitter – @AbiikeBlogger, and check out her blog – Mumuocrats.

Government agencies and colleges in America are asking students to log onto their Facebook pages and other social networks during interview. It can be said that some people use their social networking sites and pages like Facebook and Twitter as electronic diaries, but before you use that slur, post that compromising picture or share that view, please pause to consider, as the government and potential employers are watching you.

In America, some government job seekers and student-athletes have complained that the government agency or college in which they’re applying had requested for access to their Facebook pages. It sure wouldn’t take a while, before employers from this part of the world start looking up employees on Facebook, and Twitter. LinkedIn does not count – you’ve got to be professional there.

Last year, Maryland Department of Corrections requested for their employees to surrender their emails and passwords in order for employers to access their Facebook pages. This resulted in a complaint from corrections officer Robert Collins, who went to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The ACLU argued that this was an invasion of privacy. The Department of Corrections has since stopped this practice, but found a loophole — they just ask the applicant to log onto their Facebook accounts right in front of them, giving employers the freedom to browse photos, comments and Walls right in front of the applicant.

The Maryland Department of Corrections defended its practices by saying this type of screening was necessary in order to weed out the bad eggs. For instance, the agency reviewed 2,689 applicants for guard positions and ended up disregarding seven of them due to inappropriate Facebook pictures. According to the agency, the guard applicants were holding up gang symbols using their hands in the pictures.

Social networking site Facebook is notorious for compromising user privacy. For instance, Facebook made changes to its privacy settings back in 2009 without telling users, and also introduced invasive features like facial recognition for tagging photos..”

This practice is also taking place here in Nigeria but has not really gained ground but I have heard of people who have had their Human resources bosses monitor their activities on social media during office hours while some companies also request for usernames for potential employees.

Some have argued that because it is social media, you have made a choice to let yourself out to the world, but should it be used to judge who you are as an individual?

Think about it.


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