You Are What You Post

Facebook knows everything about you… The movies you have watched, the schools and employers you have worked with and the party you got blind drunk at on the weekend…


It knows that I'm a Uni student... And that I like shopping.

It knows that I’m a Uni student… And that I like shopping.

As discussed in my PREVIOUS POST, social media is increasingly invading our lives, and our online profiles are increasingly defining us as individuals. But should they?

A survey undertaken by Rippler in 2011 showed that 90% of recruiters looked at a candidates social media profile, and 69% of recruiters rejected an application based on a candidate’s social media profile.

And really, there are arguments for both sides. At one end, social media is fair game in recruitment, particularly if the employee in question is going to be a representative figure for the company, say in a public relations or marketing context. Additionally, for some lucky individuals their Facebook profile may serve as an extended resume – where more of the individuals interests and knowledge are available, increasing their employability.

However, online profiles are not designed to be online resumes. Many individuals like to keep their work and personal lives separate, therefore what they post online does not reflect their work ethic in any way.

As a result of the increasing ‘social-media scan’ there has been debate over whether it is ethical to wipe one’s social media history. Should we be able to delete parts of our online footprint?

In a recent European court case, a Spanish lawyer wanted google to remove the search results that came up when they googled his name. Mr Costeja had his house repossessed in 1998 due to bankruptcy, and after winning the court case, Google is now removing all traces of his history from their search engine.

Mario Costeja successfully removed his Google history. (Image taken from the Guardian)

Mario Costeja successfully removed his Google history. (Image taken from the Guardian)

But how far can this go? In a hypothetical world where individuals could email google and simply request an incriminating website or image to be removed, the internet would become a censored and untrue version of itself. Businesses would request the removal of negative reviews, celebrities would request the removal of gossip magazine links and sex tapes, and both you and I would have a squeaky clean online presence, free of all drunk statuses and selfies posted in 2009.

What would you remove?




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