Social Networking Sites and Employment Screening Continued
July 13, 2007
The debate about the use of social networking sites as an acceptable means for evaluating potential employees continues to grow. We remain opposed to this practice, but rather than write volumes on why we reject it, thought it made sense to provide a quick illustration.
Amy Polumbo was recently crowned Ms. New Jersey and seeks to become Miss America. As most young adults do, she posted non-pornographic pictures of herself with her friends on her private Facebook site. Yes, some were a bit risque, but overall they were benign pictures of a college aged woman having fun with her friends. Someone has gained access to these photos and threatened to blackmail her with them. Rather than give in, she decided to release them herself as you will see in her interview with Matt Lauer from the Today Show.
No, she wasn’t being considered for a job, but one person putting their own spin on these photos and attempting to portray Polumbo in a negative light threatened her ability to attain the position of Ms. America. It’s easy to draw a correlation to how such a thing can happen in the employment environment. It doesn’t even have to be a blackmail situation. All it takes is an Internet savvy individual browsing a social networking site and then whatever is found can be interpreted in many different ways.