The golden age of Social Networks is starting to become a golden pain in the ass. The internet and tv news are abuzz today over revelations that some employers are asking job candidates for their Facebook login credentials, DURING the job interview. Some companies, such as Sears, are utilizing a Facebook app that allows them to see your entire Facebook profile.
While it’s never been a good idea to post that drunken crack pipe orgy photo to your Facebook page, it now can be (extremely) harmful to your future career ambitions. Here is just one specific case, of Justin Bassett of NYC, as SeattlePI.com reported today:
Bassett, a New York City statistician, had just finished answering a few character questions when the interviewer turned to her computer to search for his Facebook page. But she couldn’t see his private profile. She turned back and asked him to hand over his login information.
Bassett refused and withdrew his application, saying he didn’t want to work for a company that would seek such personal information. But as the job market steadily improves, other job candidates are confronting the same question from prospective employers, and some of them cannot afford to say no.
In their efforts to vet applicants, some companies and government agencies are going beyond merely glancing at a person’s social networking profiles and instead asking to log in as the user to have a look around.
As you can see from the full SeattlePI.com story here, many people are aware that companies vet their job candidates very thoroughly these days. And part of the vetting process is reviewing their Facebook profile and their twitter accounts. However most smart people have figured out how to keep their dirty laundry secret from all but close friends, and this means companies had to take things a step further. But many people are outraged by the request for the job candidates login details, so that companies can actually access peoples private accounts.
While one would think that this serious breach of personal privacy would be counteracted by the law, this appears not to be the case as SeattlePI.com reports:
Facebook declined to comment except for issuing a brief statement declaring that the site forbids “anyone from soliciting the login information or accessing an account belonging to someone else.”
Giving out Facebook login information also violates the social network’s terms of service. But those terms have questionable legal weight, and experts say the legality of asking for such information remains murky.
The Department of Justice regards it as a federal crime to enter a social networking site in violation of the terms of service, but during recent congressional testimony, the agency said such violations would not be prosecuted.
It’s crazy times out there in the job market. With so many people in desperate need of a job, they now have the added pressure of keeping their Facebook and other social media profiles squeaky clean. Of course, the smartest thing for job seekers to do would be to cancel and wipe out their social networking accounts completely and spend more time searching for jobs.