Would you show your Facebook account to a future employer?

Would you show your Facebook account to a future employer? 
After a new storm of social media monitoring, many have no choice. 

“Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected" (Facebook.com). Facebook does not intend users’ information to be solicited or accessed by someone other than the owner – and it’s against Facebook’s Terms of Service.

Nevertheless, we go to great lengths to ensure that our Facebook profile page is kept private so that unwelcome viewers cannot access personal information and photos. I wrote an article recently about how employers research applicants via their social media outlets. An article I read today from Bob Sullivan of MSNBC shed light on new ways employers are getting access to password-protected accounts. 

Sullivan used one example of how student athletes are being monitored at the University of North Carolina. Athletes are required to befriend a coach or administrator on the team for “monitoring the content of team members’ social networking sites and postings” (Carolina Student-Athlete Handbook). If they refuse? “No access, no sports.”

 More troubling, Sullivan says that job applicants have been asked to “voluntarily” display their Facebook page – clicking through wall posts, pictures, and friends – during an interview. The question is: will someone really object if they want the job? No. So the applicant is essentially forced.

Is this an invasion of privacy? Or a thorough inquiry to hire a reliable employee?

I have said that information that is too private for the public should be left offline and all measures should be taken to secure a Facebook profile – it’s for your friends and family, not your employers. But if it’s left open to the public, employers have the right to access that page regardless if you want them to or not. Under no circumstances should an employer pressure you to show your profile, demand a friend request, or force you to surrender your username and password. 

Read the full article from Dan Sullivan at The Red Tape Chronicles

Kevin Walther is a Political Science & Communications student at Northeastern. He is currently on co-op at Howard Consulting Group as a communications assistant in Washington DC. He has previously interned for Governor Deval Patrick, Smarterer, and the U.S. House of Representatives.

Follow Kevin on Twitter @waltherkevin or check him out online.

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