I recently saw a posting on Facebook about how employers are starting to as prospective employees for their Facebook and social media login information.
Fortunately, my company had no such request. In fact, I am Facebook friends with some of my co-workers and one of the owners of our company. It’s a small company, but a fairly close-knit one. I don’t make a point of posting anything that is something that I wouldn’t want my employer to know.
Then again, I don’t use illegal drugs, I don’t party half-naked, and while I do enjoy drinking with friends, it doesn’t get out of hand.
My gut feeling about this request by employers is that it’s an invasion of privacy. Just because we now have social media outlets to post inappropriate party photos, it doesn’t mean it’s a right for your company to have access to them (or for a potential employer to see how often you partake in the wacky tabacky).
Ten years ago, before Facebook, Twitter, or even MySpace, people still did the same things. They just didn’t have phones with photo capabilities, or if they did, they didn’t have a place to share those photos with the entire world. What you did in your free time was not accessible on the internet. Just because we now have the means by which to sneak a peek into anyone’s personal lives doesn’t mean we should do so. Worried about illegal drug use? Make a potential employee submit to a drug test.
I can understand concerns about employees coming to work late after a night of partying. But you run that same risk with hiring a new mom, a student, or an insomniac – you know, other people who may be up late even though they’d rather not be.
So, I don’t know. My opinion is that it’s an invasion of privacy. Of course I also believe you shouldn’t post anything on Facebook that you wouldn’t want someone finding out about. What are your thoughts on this? Do you think a potential employer has the right to ask for your social media login information?