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Should Employers Be Allowed To View Applicants Social Network Pages? (POLL)

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

It’s fast becoming a hot button issue: numerous employers across the country are asking perspective applicants for the password to their Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts.

They claim it’s another tool that allows them to check potential employees to see if they have criminal histories, possible gang affiliations, or if they bash their current or former boss. However, Facebook itself has issued fresh warnings to employers NOT to make this demand on perspective workers. Facebook officials have said that if a business does not hire someone based on Facebook profiles and comments, if they later find that person is a member of a protected group (either ethnically, socially or otherwise) the company can be sued for discrimination.

Some business, public and private, have engaged in the practice. After some legal challenges by the ACLU, many of these companies or employers have softened their stance to asking the applicant to log in to their Facebook page during the interview, and not give their password to the employer. Companies defend the practice saying if they hire someone, they expect them to be supportive of the firm’s ideas and vision. If someone has an issue with their boss, they should not take it to social media.

Twenty — even 10 — years ago we did not face this issue. But with social media exploding, information, and technology, privacy is now scarce and a person’s life can be literally shared in cyberspace.

What do YOU think? Take our poll on the subject.

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