Social Media Identity Has the Potential to Affect an Individual’s Current and Future Employment

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With the current times of internet and social media usage, an individual’s identity has the potential to affect their current and future employment. Employers are increasingly using social media sites to screen potential and current employees to identify any activities or publications that may concern the organisations best interest. Many questions arise about the potential affects these actions can have on employment for individuals and are they morally, ethically and legally acceptable.
The publication “The future of Identity” [p4] (Bostrom and Sandberg 2011, p.4) states that; having an identity is an essential part of the human psychological and social wellbeing. Threats to the identity of a person are serious and will often spark strong reactions. The growth of interest will induce a surplus of problems, therefore encouraging the use of multiple identities. Linking the multiple identities of an individual to their legal identity, sparking “…Breaches to privacy, risks of identity theft, damage to reputation and reprisals” - (Bostrom and Sandberg 2011).
A debate conducted by Bloomberg Business Week discussed the Pros and Cons of employers accessing profiles on social networking sites – Timothy B. Lee states “…employers have a legitimate interest in ensuring potential workers won’t embarrass the company” (Lee and Fish 2008). With the easy to access information on the web, it is increasingly easier to link people to their actions, cultural beliefs, marital status and employment status and employer. It is not difficult to understand how an employer can be concerned, as they now must consider what their employees are doing during business hours and what they are doing outside of business hours, more importantly, how these actions ...

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...ations-and-other-technologies/do-i-have-rights-under-the-privacy-act-when-i-use-social-networking-sites (accessed May 10, 2014).
Bostrom, Nick, and Anders Sandberg. The Future of Identity 2011. United Kingdom: UK's Government Office for Science, 2011.
Human Rights Commission, Australian. “Australian Human Rights Commission - Know Your Rights: Racial Discrimination and Vilification.” Australian Human Rights Commission. 2012. https://www.humanrights.gov.au/publications/know-your-rights-racial-discrimination-and-vilification.
Lee, Timothy B., and Greg Fish. Bloomberg Business Week - Employers, Get outta my Facebook. 20 March 2008. http://www.businessweek.com/debateroom/archives/2010/12/employers_get_outta_my_facebook.html.
Qualman, Erik. Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business . 2nd Edition . New Jersey,: John Wiley & Sons Inc., 2013.

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