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Social Media Identity Has The Potential To Affect An Individual’s Current And Future Employment.

973 words - 4 pages

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 ...view middle of the document...

Is the additional screening of a persons’ online identity really necessary? If a person is a negative impact for an organisation, or displays behaviour online that could potentially damage the image of the organisation. I would presume that these concerns would be more directed to employees’ that have more contact with the consumers and general public. E.g. Customer service roles, public figures, high end management and role models.
Many people believe that they are protected by the Privacy Act. The fact is that, they really aren’t. They’re only covered IF the organisation is based in Australia and not classified as a small business. “An organisation with an annual turnover of $3 million or less” (Australian Information Commissioner 2012) then the Privacy Act may apply. “The Privacy Act doesn’t cover individuals acting in a personal capacity” (Australian Information Commissioner 2012) ”individuals posting information on social networking sites would usually be exempt from the coverage of the Privacy Act, though their actions may be covered by other laws” (Australian Information Commissioner 2012)
Social media users place themselves in a vulnerable position if they publicly announce their personal information online. But when most people go on to post this kind of information; they don’t post believing they are opening vulnerability, but that they are “sharing” part of our identity to those who they believe are “online friends”. Most people don’t pre-assess the possibilities that our views and choices may be looked upon in a negative way. They never post thinking someone will be watching and searching with intentions to discriminate them because of their culture, sexual orientation, gender, values and beliefs. Businesses using social media to screen current and future employees must not use this information, to discriminate against in employment and services. Employers have a legal responsibility to take all reasonable steps to prevent discrimination and should have policies and programs in place to prevent discrimination in the workplace.
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