Friday, April 13, 2012

Facebook: Friend or Foe?

I would bet that everyone in our class knows what Facebook is, I’m sure a handful of people don’t actually own one, but other then that I think it’s safe to say that the rest of our class is trapped in the social network web know as Facebook. We all know how fun Facebook can be at times, or how it can be used as a good tool to keep in touch with friends away at college, and family who live far away.  However could it be possible that Facebook actually does more harm then good?  With everyone graduating soon and looking for jobs, Facebook is an instrument that a lot of employers use to check on you, and make sure that you are the kind of person that they want to hire. With the use of Facebook employers can learn a lot about you, from what you are doing through all your pictures, or a lot about your personal and social life through the info about you on Facebook or posts that your friends leave on your wall. But it isn’t only employers that are using this, in an article that I recently read on yahoo titled, “Who’s Watching You On Facebook?”. According to this article Debt collector agencies, and lawyers also use Facebook.

Debt Collectors will use Facebook to track down their target by directly contacting that person, or contacting known family members and friends that they have on Facebook. According to the article “One debt collection agent, Michelle Dunn, confirms that this is a strategy used by debt collection agencies today. (she said) "If you look like a really good-looking girl, a lot of people would accept a friendship even if they don't really know the person,". Which is true I have a lot of friends who will accept anyone who asks to be friends with them on Facebook even if they have no idea who the person is, which I think is completely stupid. You are just opening up your Facebook to be seen by more and more people and you have no idea who that person is. Lawyers use this tool in order to get whatever evidence they can against their challenger. A story given in the article said that a women living in Staten Island was in a bad car accident and attempted to sue her husband for alimony payments of $850 a month because of the accident which he was somehow involved in. She said that she could not leave her home and could not get a job from the injuries she suffered from the accident, so the defense lawyer did a little Facebook snooping. Through this the lawyer found pictures of he working as a belly dancer and the alimony payments were lost.

The most shocking story that I read in the whole article was that an employer in Maryland required a man to give them his Facebook password and login so they could periodically check his Facebook at any time, the man filed a complaint to the American Civil Liberties Union and they updated the policy in place, saying that employers cannot do this BUT job applicants can still be asked to log into their Facebook page as an interviewer watches everything they do over their shoulder.  Based on everything that I have just said I would like to ask all of you if you think that all of this is ok? Do you thing that this is a violation of our right to privacy or is this just something that should be expected when we post everything about us online? I personally agree with some of it and disagree with other parts but I would like to know where other classmates fall on this issue.

Work Cited:
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  1. I think that it is an enormous violation of our privacy but I do support it to a certain extent. There are only two reasons why I support this; one: employers should be able to see what you are saying to other people and what people are saying to you. This can help in the hiring process to see what type of person you are and what type of friends you have. Two: if people are stupid enough to leave "incriminating" photos and posts on their Facebook, then they are stupid enough to get caught and lose their job for it.

  2. I agree that it invades our privacy, but if you don't want anyone to see it, why post it? Its easy to conceal your stuff by changing your privacy settings, but people just don't care these days. I see some people posting pictures of them smoking weed and what not. I think its plain stupid and obviously they don't think that maybe there employer could be looking at their actions.

  3. One of my teachers at my Junior college was an FBI agent and she told us to clean up our facebook because they will check it when doing a background check. As for the privacy settings she told us that it doesn't matter because there are ways around it.

  4. I like everyone else it seems have a facebook and i am a frequent user of it. Honestly, many people put things on facebook that doesnt seem like it could be a problem but turns out that it catches up with them. I knew they were doing this for jobs but it really shocked me when debt collectors were using it and disguising as pretty women. Haha people will request me and be from like NY or something and will be a pretty girl and right away you know somethings fishy. I never thought it could be someone trying to track me like that. I dont think that it should be right that they can do this but then again theres nothing in place that can stop them. Facebook is still a relatively new thing and concept so there isnt laws in place to cover a lot of things that can happen. You can bet that as time goes on things will start happening and law making bodies will react to it but right now just be aware of what you put online because it is all saved for people to see.