Business use of social media has been on the rise ever since marketers and recruiters realised just how useful it could be for them (Copp, 2016). There are a number of reasons why businesses choose to utilise social media, as demonstrated below.
However, there are increasing problems arising from business use of social media. These include, the struggle to maintain integrity, controlling employee and customer posts about your company and the one I will focus on this week: ethical problems surrounding recruitment practices. In Topic 3, I began to investigate the rate at which social media is becoming a part of recruitment practices, as shown in the recap below.
I argue that sometimes recruiters can be unethical when utilising social media. Put simply, ethics are a set of moral principles; to be unethical is to typically do what is seen as the wrong thing to do (Bbc.co.uk, 2014). However, many have already discussed the difficulty in establishing social media ethics (Podger, 2009).
The most significant ethical issue with social recruiting is the privacy imposition it involves. In previous blog comments I have discussed how the increase in recruiters and employers looking at social media profiles imposes on one’s freedom of speech. This is something that Glenn Greenwald discusses in his TED Talk. (TED, 2014). He argues that by knowing our privacy is being invaded, people automatically become more compliant and conformist. In previous topics we have discussed whether multiple identities are better than one. When baring in mind the increasing number of recruiters and employers looking at social media profiles, it is important more than ever that employees ensure their personal profiles are on high security settings. The issue that stems from this, is that if an employee or candidate posts something that their company disagrees with, this could lead to serious consequences. For example, Justine Sacco was fired from the IAC after she published a racist tweet (Ronson, 2015). The video below outlines the ethical issues that arise from employers looking at social media profiles in more depth.
An increase in social media use has also led to an increase in online identity theft cases like the Leah Palmer/Ruth Palmer case. If an employee has unknowingly had their pictures used elsewhere online alongside undesirable content, is it possible that an employer could confuse the two and punish the employee for risking the company’s online integrity?
Word Count: 395
Bbc.co.uk. (2014). Introduction to Ethics. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/introduction/intro_1.shtml [Accessed 26 Mar. 2017].
Copp, E. (2016). 10 Benefits of Social Media for Business. [Blog] Hootsuite. Available at: https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-for-business/ [Accessed 26 Mar. 2017].
Hessah, A. (2015). Employers Monitoring Your Social Media. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQWx1P3_E9o [Accessed 26 Mar. 2017].
Institute of Business Ethics, (2011). The Ethical Challenges of Social Media. Business Ethics Briefing. [online] Available at: https://www.ibe.org.uk/userassets/briefings/ibe_briefing_22_the_ethical_challenges_of_social_media.pdf [Accessed 26 Mar. 2017].
Jobvite, (2014). Social Recruiting Survey. [online] Available at: https://www.jobvite.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Jobvite_SocialRecruiting_Survey2014.pdf [Accessed 26 Mar. 2017].
Kleinman, Z. (2015). Who’s that girl? The curious case of Leah Palmer. [online] BBC News. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-31710738 [Accessed 26 Mar. 2017].
Podger, P. (2009). The limits of control: with journalists and their employers increasingly active on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, news organizations are struggling to respond to a host of new ethics challenges. American Journalism Review, [online] 31(4), p.32. Available at: http://go.galegroup.com/ps/anonymous?p=AONE&sw=w&issn=10678654&v=2.1&it=r&id=GALE%7CA208288476&sid=googleScholar&linkaccess=fulltext&authCount=1&isAnonymousEntry=true [Accessed 26 Mar. 2017].
Ronson, J. (2015). How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life. The New York Times Magazine. [online] Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/15/magazine/how-one-stupid-tweet-ruined-justine-saccos-life.html?module=ArrowsNav&contentCollection=Magazine&action=keypress®ion=FixedLeft&pgtype=article&_r=3 [Accessed 26 Mar. 2017].
TED, (2014). Glenn Greenwald: Why Privacy Matters. [image] Available at: http://www.ted.com/talks/glenn_greenwald_why_privacy_matters/transcript?language=en#t-599263 [Accessed 26 Mar. 2017].