Employer Ethics and Social Media Access

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Employer Ethics and Social Media Access

Abstract

For this assignment on moral reasoning I will be discussing the ethics behind the new trend of potential employers asking for Facebook passwords and or current employers. Is it unethical to give access to such accounts, do we have a right to protect certain things that we put on the internet or is it for public view even if you’re account is set to private. If we become employees of an organization are we then giving up all rights to a private life via the Internet?

Employer Ethics and Social Media 1

Social networking has become a part of the majority of Americans every day life. So much lives and breathes on these sites. The world has become such a fast pace busy world that a growing presence is being communicated online rather it is welcomed or not. Lines are quickly becoming blurred between professional and personal relationships but where does the line get drawn? The amount of time spent on these site have grown excessively, “as of June, 22.7 percent of Americans' online time was spent on social media, a 43 percent increase from just a year earlier. By contrast, only 1 percent of time was spent on search engines and about 8 percent on e-mail” (Search Engine Watch, 2010). With this rise people lives will be now seen through a looking glass kind of mirror. Relationships of all kinds, both professional and personal will be able to see you in a new, more translucent way. “The days of you having a different image for your work friends or co-workers and for the other people you know are probably coming to an end pretty quickly” because of the dominance of social network sites — where people use their real names — and the extent to which information is now shared online, said Zuckerberg. That's good, he said, because “having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity” (Danah Boyd, 2010). However is it a lack of integrity when you wouldn’t necessarily expose certain things in your offline life to everyone. Depending on the situation or the person you have the right to keep something’s that could damage a reputation in a faulty way, it leaves people open for judgment. But as time goes on and the world becoming more “online” now than ever is what get’s shared online have people the Employer Ethics and Social Media 2

right to share that information with others. Does gossiping flow at a much faster rate and therefore repercussions are made on your personal life because someone decides they didn’t like the way you looked that day or the way you said something. However misinterpretation is more readily seen. People read emails and status in a voice and tone that is inside their head. No matter how the person giving the statement might have intended to say it, it is received by a vast variety and a multitude of different ways. Is it our job to know how the other party will see it. How is the world supposed to protect themselves against a world that can be so easily viewed by almost anyone. Even if it’s set to private, by the six degrees of separation, is it ever really private?

Today, employers are utilizing these tools more now than ever. They are using to keep an watchful eye over the behavior of those they have on their payroll. It has become increasingly common that employers are firing employees for behavior that they have deemed inappropriate, even though the employee was using the social networking site on his or her own time and the activity was no where near the property of the employer. Most currently they seem to be going a step further as potential employers and existing ones are now demanding the username and password to the accounts to be able to access them as a third party. One such case was a teacher’s aide in Michigan who was first suspended and then fired for not giving up her password to the social networking account. The young lady by the Employer Ethics and...
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