Social Media

Are There Ethical Implications of Employers Using Social Networking Websites to Check on Applicants?

There are no ethical implications involved with employers using Social Networking websites to research their applicants. The Internet is a powerful medium for communication, and contains much of the same rules that real-life communication does. People are responsible for what they communicate in real life, and the Internet is no exception to this rule. There are no ethical implications of people using a public tool to gain access to public information. Public information by definition is accessible to anyone. However, there is an easy solution for resolving the potential dilemma of employers finding unflattering information about their applicants online.

Social Networking websites are an excellent way for individuals to keep in contact with friends and share updates about their lives. However, people sometimes forget that much of what they sent out into the World Wide Web is accessible to anyone with the intention to seek it. This may result in unfortunate instances where employers find embarrassing, or non-professional information about their employees and applicants. However, there are ways to ensure that such a problem does not occur in the first place. The purpose of someone putting information up on the web is for others to see. It is extremely easy to control who gains access to the information posted. Most social networking sites have privacy controls that allow only the uploader’s friends to gain access to the content. This way, employees can protect their privacy, while still sharing content over the Internet. The Internet is a public place, and people on the Internet need to protect their dignity and privacy just as they would if they were in public in real life. Employers have a perfect right to access information that is publicly available on the Internet, and should definitely hold employers responsible for what they put online, because it demonstrates a lack of personal responsibility and common sense. There are no ethical implications of employers utilizing accessible information.

With the aid of tools like, it is now possible for people to see the profiles of social media users even if they are on a private mode. This service helps professionals and business owners across the globe.

I do, however, sympathize with those who have been turned down for jobs due to their online records. However, it is their own personal responsibility to take care of the information they convey to others. A way to correct this error would be to simply change the privacy settings on their social networking pages. This way, they can control who views their information.

Employers are free to look up their applicants on the web, and applicants are free to make their information accessible only to a select few. While it can be argued that the online information of an applicant has no correlation to their performance or skills, the common sense to lock sensitive information can speak volumes about competence.

Linda Alvarado loves writing about technology and science updates. She also loves to keep her mind and body fresh by doing intense workouts and meditation sessions.