Beyond The Law

Mark Zuckerberg once stated that “privacy was no longer a social norm” because he believed that individuals were increasingly comfortable with sharing information online (Johnson, 2010). Indeed, as we see the rise of newer social media applications, it may sound no more than a positive change but it does come with implications. The benefits of the virtual space come with a cost.

(CIPHR (Computers In Personnel Ltd), 2013)

If we zoom in to a more relatable context, the use of social media in HR practices is a debatable question. In terms of hiring, 52% of the organizations review candidates’ social media profiles before making any selection (Kumar, 2015). The use of social media screening across candidates’ online profiles may prove to be a more accurate assessment as it will better indicate his personality through his online behavior. Hereby, an organization will often employ the method to secure the most suitable candidate so as to incur minimal turnover costs.

However, an organization often overlooks at the crux of social media use. Most individuals use it as form of expression and communication and it is inevitable to be able to control everything across his online profile. Once undesirable images or comment is found, HR recruiters’ may alienate him and choose others of a better online profile (Zarif, 2015). He may lose out even though he possesses similar capabilities and qualifications. Like I have mentioned in “The more the merrier?“, the many facets of an individual may not be traced entirely online and therefore social media screening is a question of reliability and validity. The candidate can be unaware that his online profile affects his interview outcome, which brings up the issue of ethical practice of the organization. Is the organization depriving the merit opportunitiy of an individual in the best interests of itself?


(Petrone, 2014)

Some organizations also employ social media monitoring in order to protect the organization’s reputation. The debate of the amount of control an organization can exert in an individual’s private online behaviour is disputable as one may view it as an intrusion of privacy regardless of the intentions. Although access to an employees’ tweets can also possibly aid the organization in understanding its employees better, we see cases of employees being dismissed due to their nasty comments  made on social media accounts (Ronson, 2015). The question of ethics is raised once again when organization seems to deny the freedom an individual can do in the interests of the organization.


CIPHR (Computers In Personnel Ltd), (2013). nfographic: Social Media is Changing RecruitmentAvailable at: [Accessed 9 Nov. 2015].

Johnson, B. (2010). Privacy no longer a social norm, says Facebook founder. [online] The Guardian. Available at: [Accessed 9 Nov. 2015].

Kumar, S. (2015). Why Monitoring Employees’ Social Media Is a Bad Idea. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Nov. 2015].

Petrone, P. (2014). 4 Ways To Effectively Use Social Media To Screen Candidates. [image] Available at: [Accessed 9 Nov. 2015].

Ronson, J. (2015). How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Nov. 2015].

Ted, (2015). Why Privacy MattersAvailable at: [Accessed 9 Nov. 2015].

Zarif, A. (2015). Going Beyond the Law: Hiring Ethics in Social Media. [online] LinkedIn. Available at: [Accessed 9 Nov. 2015].


6 thoughts on “Beyond The Law”

  1. Hi Yi Shin,

    Commendable effort on the insightful post.

    Firstly, I respect your stand that “One may view it as an intrusion of privacy.” Not that I disagree with your viewpoint, however I regard that there is no privacy for anyone in this virtual space.
    Any publication of information on the social media platform means that people are willing to share this information with others due to the connectivity of the virtual world.

    You could refer to this article for further references which I had included the link underneath.

    Moreover, you mentioned “it is inevitable to be able to control everything across his online profile.” I would differ from your viewpoint as individuals should be responsible for their own actions as social media is only a messenger which I had mentioned in my blog.

    I would like to cite Justine Sacco as an example. There are industry such as communication whereby the formation of undesirable images would result in zero survival chance and growth in the industry.

    Shouldn’t individuals have the adequate amount of digital literacy to evaluate the consequences before posting information on the internet?

    Lastly, feel free to discuss and I look forward to your constructive opinions!

    Wei Jie

    (202 Words)

    Why There is No Such Thing As “Privacy” On Social Networks | IFB. (2012, December 27). Retrieved November 9, 2015, from


  2. Hi Yi Shin,

    I love how you saw ethical issues from the business point of view and I believe the point you were trying to drive at was to not judge a person too quickly.

    I agree with you to a certain extend as I feel that however we protray ourselves online may not be how we are when it comes to our working capabilities. We are much more than just tweets and facebook posts we spend time writing for leisure. The saying goes “don’t mix work with pleassure” and maybe this is where we can put it to use. What I think is that, social media can be a form of aid to employers when it comes to recuiting, but they should not solely place their impression on what the see online. Employees should be given a chance to show off what they can offer to the company and what type of skills they have aquired from experiences.

    However, there has to be a limit on the type of things we send out to the cyber world and us as future employees have to know where to draw the line. We talk about freedom of speech, yes, but we have to keep in mind that no company would want to risk having someone who is irresponsible on the internet to be representing them.

    What do you think? ☺



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