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Facebook Rant: The social network and its impact in the workplace
How Work is Affected by Facebook
I would like to take a moment to share an informal rant about the social network Facebook. Recently I have read many articles about how people have been fired or expelled/suspended from school because of things that they posted on their Facebook page. The more articles I read the more my jaw dropped in appropriate WTF fashion. My first reaction was to be completely appalled. How can a professional or student be fired and reprimanded based on something that was done during personal time and has nothing to do with work or school? Has our country really fallen so low that freedom of speech and expression has been completely thrown out the window? After I calmed down a bit I realized that there are actually two sides to this problem. Yes, it is wrong for employers to use personal information to judge a person on their work ethic and abilities and what a student does during non-school hours and off campus is absolutely none of their business. However, I can’t help but play devils advocate and think that if people would just set their privacy filters correctly then this issue wouldn’t have come up in the first place.
Facebook is a tool to connect people that might not have the opportunity to talk all the time or keep people informed of events and share common likes. (I would say likes and dislikes, however since Facebook can’t seem to create a “dislike” button it isn’t really relevant) Each user is given complete freedom on how they want their page to be utilized by the outside world. Everyone has the option to make their page completely private where pictures and posts are only visible to the people you allow it to be visible to. I don’t understand why people feel the need to make everyone their friend and give friends of friends free access to their page. What person is dumb enough to accept a friend request from a boss or co-worker and then proceed to bash or talk negatively about their job? Seriously! Also I don’t understand peoples desire to post pictures of their drunken exploits. If it is something you are too embarrassed to show to your grandmother then it probably shouldn’t be posted to the internet where the whole world can see it.
While the user should take responsibility for their actions I still don’t believe that having a personal life is grounds for termination. It is an infringement on a persons privacy for employers to demand applicants social network passwords and access to their page. Apparently there are now teams of people who have developed a way to score an applicant based on their habits on Facebook. Anyone who has less than 500 friends is apparently not personable enough for certain jobs. I am not a psychologist am having a very difficult time understanding why my not wanting to be friends with completely random people that I barely know has any indication of my ability to be outgoing and communicate efficiently.
I have a feeling there are going to be more articles about Facebook firings and the resulting lawsuits. It is unfortunate that it has come to this.
Please accept this as an informal rant on issues that have been bothering me. I welcome discussion and other opinions but please keep any comments mature and respectful. Thank you for reading!
- Life Inc. - Gay worker claims Facebook 'like' got him fired
A former management analyst at the Library of Congress is claiming he was fired after he "liked" a Facebook page for same-sex parents, an act he says led to his boss discovering he is gay. Peter TerVeer liked the “Two Dads” page on Facebook, a gr …
- Facebook entry gets office worker fired | Technically Incorrect - CNET News
An office administrator has been fired for branding her job 'boring' on her Facebook page. Read this blog post by Chris Matyszczyk on Technically Incorrect.