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Social Networking Snitches

I recently heard on the news that some employers were asking job seekers to provide their Facebook ID and password so the company could see what they were posting.  To me that’s outrageous.  I don’t have anything to hide from my own posts, but who knows what some of my friends might put on my wall.

A new phenomenon (or maybe not so new) is the social network “snitch”.  This is a person with whom you are connected that takes your posts and sends them to your company, especially if you post something negative or derogatory.  In an article online at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the author discusses this issue in “HR Struggling with Facebook Snitches“.  The focus of the article is to help the HR people figure out what to do when a snitch presents something from a fellow employee.

Philadelphia attorney Eric Meyer is quoted as saying he was shocked by the number of HR professionals who have already had to deal with this issue.  For the HR person, there are legal issues that come into play here as some of the comments may be protected by the National Labor Relations Act when employees are acting in concert.

This is certainly an issue that HR should address with some practical thinking and policies.  If the comment is not serious and doesn’t put somebody in harm’s way, then most of these should be ignored, says Joey Price, an HR consultant.  Still, a recent survey indicated that 60% of the companies did not have in place a social media policy.  If you have a policy, make sure you take into account the “snitch” issue.

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