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Essay The Facebook Profile: A Right or a Violation?

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Social networking sites such as Twitter or Facebook have created a new ethical dilemma for many businesses. Corporations, small businesses, and even universities are struggling create policies to manage their employees social networking behaviors. Social networking access, particularly for recruiters, can provide personal information about potential employees, which would otherwise not be available. A business must follow statutes and guidelines when disclosing information to the public. Individuals on social networking sites have no such constraints. Employees can and do make comments about their employers online. Employers can and do watch what employees post online. Any individual can send or post potentially damaging information about another person and in seconds it can be accessed by thousands of other people. Businesses need to protect their reputation while respecting the rights of individual employees to post on social networking sites.
Consider the employer’s point of view. If a person represents himself as working for the company, and then makes a personal post on a highly controversial topic, this could potentially lose clients for the company and/or damage their public opinion rating. Alternatively, if this person frequently posts about non-work-time escapades of an illicit or immoral nature, his association with the company could damage the company’s good standing in the community. Worse, a post by an employee could actually get the company into legal problems by violating solicitation or advertising rules. An employer wants to minimize any damaging publicity, which could include posts by employees on social networking sites.
A single example of social networking use in business shows just how problem...


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...t result in unethical business behavior. Social networking sites such as Twitter or Facebook have created a new ethical dilemma for many businesses.



Works Cited

Ballenstadt, B. (2010, December 13). Wired workplace. Retrieved March 19, 2011, from nextgov.com: http://wiredworkplace.nextgov.com/2010/12/twitter_trends_1.php
Clean up your Facebook act. (2010, August 3). Retrieved March 18, 2011, from Job Interview-solutions.com: http://www.jobinterview-solutions.com/blog/clean-up-your-facebook-act/
Ferrell, O. C. (2011). Business Ethics: Ethical decision making and cases (8th ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.
Hyatt, J. (2010, November 19). The ethics of social media – Part I: Adjusting to a 24/7 world. Retrieved March 19, 2011, from Business Ethics: http://business-ethics.com/2010/11/19/the-ethics-of-social-media-part-ii-playing-by-new-rules/



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