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Big Brother is Watching You.. Against the Use of Social Network Websites to Evaluate Employees Geoffrey Hohman CIS1055-07
What is all the fuss about? • Headline News • Souza Firing • Background Checks • 45% of employers screen candidates through social networking sites • Their findings concluded that 53% of these screened candidates posted inappropriate information and photos • Other Firings • Roommate
What is a Social Networking Website? • A social networking website is a means of displaying personal information online • It helps users connect with others who have shared interests, hobbies, and/or activities • Social Networking Websites • Facebook • Myspace • Twitter • LinkedIn
Why would an employer check up on these sites for employee activity? • Background Checks • Required • Company Policy • Contract Clauses • Matching Company and Employee Interests • Employee Conduct • Illicit Behavior • Unprofessional • Immature • Suspected Criminal Intent • Employee Performance
Why this is wrong? • Invasion of privacy • Impediment to our First Amendment rights? • Labor Laws • Personal Life vs. Work Life • Acquired Maturity
If this is wrong, how do employers get away with it? • Technically it is not illegal • Much information is public • Employers have the right to fire an employee without due process • Discrimination • Policies and Contract Clauses • Fake Profiles
Research Out of 20 Participants
What Should Be Done • There are several possible methods of change: • Legal Protection • Stricter Profile Settings • Employers must acquire consent from employee • Employers must disclose that they actively search your social networking profiles and pages
As a precaution… • Until proper legal action can be enforced against this behavior, we must protect ourselves • There are a few different ways to keep the employers at bay • Do not give your employer a reason to fire you • Take some precautionary steps to ensure your job security..
Precautionary Guide Take advantage of all security measures presented to you • Facebook Settings Do not racy comments or any comment in general that might upset your boss • “My boss is an #$&@ing idiot and can go &@$% himself!” = A BIG no-no as a Facebook status Untag yourself in any photo that presents yourself in a compromising manner K.I.S.S.
Precautionary Guide Cont’d. CENSORED
Conclusion • This behavior is just plain wrong • It is an unacceptable method of evaluation • Employers should evaluate actual job performance and not Facebook statuses, Tweets, and pictures displaying drunkenness • Something MUST be done before the situation spirals out of hand
References • Barry, Bruce. "Facebook, freedom and thin-skinned bosses." cnn.com. CNN, 11 Nov 2010. Web. 14 Nov 2010. <http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/11/10/barry.facebook. firings/index.html?iref=allsearch>. • "Forty-five Percent of Employers Use Social Networking Sites to Research Job Candidates, CareerBuilder Survey Finds." Careerbuilder.com. Career Builder, n.d. Web. 14 Nov 2010. <http://www.careerbuilder.com/share/aboutus/pressreleasesdetail.aspx?id=pr519&sd=8/19/2009&ed=12/31 /2009>. • Herold, Cathy. "Employers and Social Networking Sites." Suite101.com. Suite101.com, 26 May 2010. Web. 15 Nov 2010. <http://www.suite101.com/content/employers-and- social-networking-sites-a237226>. • "Woman fired over Facebook remarks." msnbc.com. MSNBC, 10 Nov 2010. Web. 15 Nov 2010. <http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40105130>.