Case Study


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IS 201 Business Ethics and Facebook

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Case Study

  1. 1. Employers Using Social Networking Sites for Hiring New Employees<br />Over 45% of employers that took part in a survey conducted by CareerBuilder use social networking sites to background check potential new hires<br />These sites include Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and Twitter<br />This trend of using Social Networking by employers is increasing<br />
  2. 2. What Turns Employers Away…<br />According to Oregon Business Report:<br />Provocative and inappropriate pictures <br />Pictures/Information about alcohol and drugs<br />Bad mouthing previous jobs and coworkers<br />Poor communication skills<br />Posting discriminatory comments<br />Lying about their qualifications<br />Sharing confidential information<br />Using emoticons and text language in posts<br />
  3. 3. What Employers Liked…<br />According to Oregon Business Report:<br />Profile shows applicant’s true personality <br />Profile proves applicant’s qualifications<br />Applicant is creative<br />Shows good communication skills<br />Well-rounded<br />“Friends” are good references for applicant<br />Applicant received awards and honors<br />
  4. 4. Positives and Negatives of Employers and Their Use of Facebook<br />Positives<br />Negatives<br />Privacy<br />Freedom of Speech<br />Usage of Facebook<br />Purpose of Social Networking<br />Limited Employment Opportunities<br />
  5. 5. Privacy<br />Ask to become friends<br />Judge a person based on profile<br />Judge a person based on friends’ profiles<br />Includes pictures, religion, and political views<br />Personal life should not influence employment decision<br />
  6. 6. Freedom of Speech<br />Content posted will be held against you during interview<br />Forcing people to change the way they think<br />Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to <br /> seek, receive and impart information<br /> and ideas through any media and <br /> regardless of frontiers."<br />
  7. 7. Usage of Facebook<br />Originally designated for college students only<br />Has become worldwide trend<br />Intended for social networking<br />Employers use for personal background checks<br />Decide employment opportunities<br />Should be none !<br />
  8. 8. Purpose<br />Facebook<br />Employers<br />Social Networking<br />Freedom of Speech<br />Background Checks<br />Judgment<br />
  9. 9. How could this activity be challenged in court?<br /><ul><li>Privacy Settings</li></li></ul><li>How could this activity be challenged in court?<br />Can be challenged by invading ones privacy. <br />The user is able to control the visibility of all information they publish within Facebook.<br />Additionally, users should have the capacity to control information that is published about them from third-parties as a result of actions they took<br />Violates the First Amendment<br />“Protects the freedom of religion, speech, and the press, as well as the right to assemble.”<br />
  10. 10. Interesting Facts<br />Facebook ranked second out of 45 social networks when it came to privacy controls although their privacy policy at the time of the report didn’t rank as high. Another interesting component of the research paper is the suggestion of “privacy negotiations” which “views a user’s choice to use a social-networking service as a privacy trade-off, weighing the functional benefits they get from a social networking site against the privacy they have to give up in order to qualify for these benefits”. <br />Facebook appears to be developing a system in which privacy doesn’t need to be negotiated, it is simply an option for the user. Yes, any information you put into the network will be available for the company to analyze, however visibility of that data to others is completely under your control. The only exception is when the user doesn’t actually own the data being published yet has that information attributed to them (for example getting tagged in a photo).<br />
  11. 11. Constitutional Violation?<br /><ul><li> Article I of the Bill of Rights deals with the freedoms that are most directly associated with the concept of democracy
  12. 12. By asking for an individual’s facebook password, this right is being violated.</li></li></ul><li>Violation of Individual Freedoms<br />Article I<br />Freedom of speech/expression<br />“Protects the freedom of religion, speech, and the press, as well as the right to assemble.”<br />Judges have ruled that to attempt to regulate this right would be unconstitutional<br />World Summit on the Information Society 2003<br />“…everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; [which] includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media…”<br />
  13. 13. Violation of Individual Freedoms<br />Freedom of information<br />An extension of the freedom of speech<br />Specifically related to the internet<br />“Freedom of expression in any medium, be it orally, in writing, print, through the internet, or through art forms.”<br />Right to privacy<br />The right to privacy is a “recognized human right” and freedom of information acts as an extension of this right.<br />
  14. 14. IsItWorthIttoChallengeThisBehaviorbyEmployers?<br />“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”<br />
  15. 15. TheDebate<br />As Americans, by the first amendment, we have the freedom of speech and the right to assemble.<br />Facebook is simply a modern form of assembly and communication.<br />Should prospective employees risk missing out on a career opportunity or stand up for their rights?<br />
  16. 16. Compare<br />Stand up for rights <br />Job Opportunity<br />Giving out a username and password because an authority figure influences you to is a violation of Fair Information Practices and of your privacy.<br />Through ethical analysis, one can come to the conclusion that this is a very unethical practice.<br />If a company has unethical practices from the beginning it may not be the best company to work for.<br />You deserve respect from your employer. It does not matter that they are superior to you. Respect should be number one.<br />
  17. 17. So, IsItworthIt?<br />This ethical dilemma is very prevalent in today’s workplace. However, we have the right to stand up for the respect that we deserve.<br />Asking for a username and password and then hiring on the basis of what is found whether on the pages of friends on Facebook or even your own page is wrong. <br />Facebook is a social environment and should not be used in the same manner than a background check would be used.<br />It is worth it to challenge this ethical dilemma and stand up for our rights.<br />
  18. 18. Sources<br /><br /><br />World Summit on the Information Society<br />