There is a trend among employers to include an innocent box on their employment application that asks if the potential employee has social media accounts. What isn’t so innocent is the next box that might very well ask for the username and passwords of those accounts. In American universities, athletes are encouraged to add at least one coach or other person in a position of responsibility to their friend list in order to monitor what is posted.
The likelihood of this happening if you apply to Walmart is very low but if you wish to work in a high profile business or what can be termed as a profession such as lawyer, or for the ministry or government, you might well find yourself being requested to share your most highly publicized secrets on Facebook and/or Twitter.
From a business side of the argument you are understand that they wish to avoid any bad publicity so if the top applicant for the position of spokes person for a charity just happens to have photographs of themselves on Facebook with a Glock 18 and a bong, you can understand that there would be some concern. Likewise if a politician was looking for someone to help run their campaign, the fact that the applicant tweets their opinions about anything and everything in a vulgar, offensive way may just cause second thoughts.
As is proven time and time again, having access to social media, such as Twitter, opens the door for spectacular prattfalls, not only for potential employees but employers. Polictians seem to be particularly at risk. Isn’t that right Anthony Weiner.
If this trend of illegally (privacy laws as well as rules of social media against sharing passwords) invading job applicants privacy continues to grow, where would it stop? Imagine students going into high school having to share their passwords? Yes, it might cut down on drug dealers, bullying and violence but would anyone be naive enough to think that students wouldn’t find another way to communicate?
There is a danger, especially with universities in the states that if they were to monitor their students social media and another tragic shooting occurred, the university could be liable if there had been indications of what was planned on Facebook.
Is there a salary or amount of money that would influence you enough to let a potential, or current employer gain access to your social media accounts? We all use social media everyday and nearly everyone says or does something silly, regretful, or down right dumb every now and again. Would you want your managers or whoever to see that?
As peoples privacy is slowly being eroded, both on and off line, at what point will someone put their foot down and claim enough is enough? The argument of if you have nothing to hide you shouldn’t be worried, makes sense if you are aware of who is monitoring you but who is to say who that might be?