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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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Editorials: The [Facebook] Empire Strikes Back ...

Above: These guys aren't going to get hired anywhere anyhow.

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- Out of my Facebook: Nosy employers should butt out - Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

We’ve all been warned. Posting embarrassing photos, snarky comments, racist or sexist jokes, on your Facebook page or other social media outlet can get you in deep trouble. With your family, with your friends, with your current or future spouse and with your current or potential employer. ...

... But a recent Associated Press article outlined how more and more private and public workplaces are demanding that applicants either grant the job interviewer "friend" status, allowing them to thumb through each applicant’s social media postings, or even turn over user names and passwords, which will allow potential employers to delve deeply into not only the job seeker’s public and semi-public postings, but also his or her most personal data.

This is wrong. It violates Facebook’s own privacy rules, and is a practice that should not be allowed to take root. It makes no more sense than demanding that a job applicant give the interviewer the keys to his apartment so that the person who holds the applicant’s professional and financial future in his hands can amuse himself by mucking about in another person’s most private effects. ...

- Facebook Also Creeped-Out By Employers Looking At Profiles, Threatens To Sue - Carl Franzen, Talking Points Memo

... On Friday, Facebook’s recently appointed chief privacy officer, Erin Egan, posted a note on the social network’s privacy page explaining that Facebook will "take action to protect the privacy and security of our users," including suing employers who violate user privacy. ...

- Employers asking for Facebook passwords, usernames invades privacy - New Jersey Star-Ledger Editorial

... For one thing, in this tight job market, there’s nothing voluntary about complying with that request. Moreover, the employer-employee relationship should be based on trust, not spying. Asking to peer into the Facebook keyhole of our lives shreds trust before the relationship can even begin. Might as well ask someone to wear a wiretap at home. ...

- Asking for Facebook passwords during the interview is an invasion of privacy - Jolie O'Dell, Venture Beat

- Passwords are private - National Post Editorial

... We have no sympathy for people who post blatantly inapproriate photos or updates on Facebeook. One should assume that anything that gets put on the site could become public and proceed accordingly. If the boss would consider it a firing offence, don't do it on Facebook.

Still, there's simply no excuse for potential employers demanding a Facebook password. It is their responsibility to do their own due diligence on potential hires. They should check applicants' public Facebook profiles for red flags, as well as reviewing resumés and calling references. They should not, however, take advantage of job seekers' desperation for a paycheque by requiring personal information to which they have no legal or moral right. ...

- Asking Job Applicants for Facebook Passwords Does Not Go Far Enough - Chunka Mui, Forbes

... Wouldn’t it be great if we could scour the Facebook accounts of CEOs and other senior executives to make sure that we don’t have the same types of unsavory behavior, undesirable friends, and other past instances of bad judgment? ...



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