Facebook May Be The New Background Check

Cross your fingers new applicants. Whether your applying for a new job or the college of your dreams, applicants have a new consideration. If you were worried whether that misdemeanor you committed when you were 15 is going to show up on your background check, employers and college admissions are now demanding full Facebook access from job applicants and student athletes. Here are a few ways your application process may be affected:

Logging into Facebook During an Interview: According to MSNBC “In Maryland, job seekers applying to the state’s Department of Corrections have been asked during interviews to log into their accounts and let an interviewer watch while the potential employee clicks through wall posts, friends, photos and anything else that might be found behind the privacy wall”. If this makes you cringe, fear not, a bit of internet marketing and social media optimization can actually increase your chances of landing the job.

Surrendering your Login and Password: In the past, employers have asked for your password and login information to bypass privacy filters to really dig into your personal information. After extreme opposition from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), this practice is no longer allowed, leading to the method mentioned above.

“Friending” a Coach or Compliance Officer: Student athletes are being required to friend at least one coach or supervisor in order to obtain access to “friends only” posts. Student athletes are often the face-card of the school and more times than not, freshman players, all-stars or not, can post inappropriate material.

Social Media Monitoring Companies: Some universities are using software services such as UDilligence and Varsity Monitor to automate social media monitoring. These services will assign a “reputation scoreboard” based on acceptable posts and comments.

The topic is highly controversial, dealing not only with privacy issues but also rights protected under the first amendment. Bradley Shear, a Washington D.C.-lawyer brings up a valid argument, “I can’t believe some people think it’s OK to do this […] Maybe it’s OK if you live in a totalitarian regime, but we still have a Constitution to protect us. It’s not a far leap from reading people’s Facebook posts to reading their email. As a society, where are we going to draw the line?”. Supporter or adversary alike agree that there needs to be regulation on this issue. Would you be comfortable going through your Facebook with a potential employer during an interview?

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