Googling applicants not only sounds dirty, it IS dirty.

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Online reputation. Thanks to sites like Facebook and Twitter, the majority of us have one. Websites like Klout.com actually measure one’s online reputation. With the number of users in social networking growing daily (if not hourly), it has become common practice for employers to Google potential employees.

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I can see her privates right through my windows!
Ew, she likes Evanescence? I’m sorry but this position has been filled.

On the surface, one might say it makes sense. It’s a version of a background check, isn’t it? I’m not so sure at this point. Checking on previous employment and criminal background is one thing, but checking on social actions crosses a line, I believe. Hourly employees have a very distinct line between their working life and their personal life, and salary employees still have a very reasonable expectation of a personal life. If they are not on the clock or on business, why is it an employer’s business what a LAW ABIDING employee does? Why is it a potential employer’s business how an applicant spends their personal time?

It isn’t. Period. Hourly or salary, an employer doesn’t OWN an employee.

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So… this… this is company issue?

Some might argue this, as the current state of the economy makes causes employees to be so dependent on their employees that it feels like ownership. It still isn’t. If I want to go out and get retarded drunk, that’s between me and my liver. If I want to want to participate in ProChoice rally, again, that is my business. If I like to swear in my personal life, guess what? It is STILL my goddamn business. As long as I keep my activities legal and clean while at work and don’t portray myself as an ambassador to the company in my off time, it does not concern my employer.

Now, I am normally the first to call personal responsibility regarding what people put on the internet, a position I still maintain. However, what about content other people post? Is it fair that an employer can decide not to hire you based on a libelous post made on the internet by, for example, an emotionally unstable ex boyfriend?

I am kind of having this issue at the moment. I had an absolutely horrific experience with a narcissistic, emotionally abusive, compulsive lying boy. I used a website to warn other women about this dangerous man (by the way, all the things I posted are things I can prove, but this isn’t the point). When he found out about it, he turned the tool on me, and posted a very juvenile post against me, mostly calling me fat (oh, the razor sharp wit), and claiming multiple things that not only aren’t true, but I can PROVE that they aren’t true. But a potential employer Googling me isn’t going to verify what they read, are they? So, again, is it fair that this be considered if I am looking for a job?

[Now, I am not currently looking for a job, but I have a decent online presence. As I investigate my options to at least remove what he posted, there is a company that specifically works with the site I was posted on… which will cost me at least 500 dollars from the looks of it. Isn’t that an interesting way to generate revenue? It seems a little suspicious to me, but again, this isn’t the point.]

An employee or potential employee’s personal life and their professional life ARE two separate things. And I personally think the practice of Googling an applicant should be disallowed. It not only sounds dirty, but it I think it IS dirty.