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I know that people don't want privacy

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Dcc001, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. Dcc001

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    I think that people should definitely apply the "what would my boss say?" rule to anything they post on the internet. There is, in fact, not much true anonymity to speak of and anything you say can come back to you - sometimes years later.

    I can't access Vanity Fair's website right now, but if you search for the name "Philip Markoff" on it, you'll find a great article they wrote. Essentially, a guy set up anonymous Craigslist and hotmail accounts, arranged to meet women for sex then killed them and stole their cash. The article explains how advanced technology has become in tracking supposed "anonymous" posts, and I believe the chief investigator said that e-traffic is much more traceable than any phone or written traffic right now.

    Personally, I always post with the "what would my future boss say" question in mind. Whether on TiB, Facebook, or any other media I think it's wise to play it safe. It may be fun now to get some laughs for posting a story about you getting drunk, stealing your buddy's car and crashing it then not getting caught, but what if five years from now you were in line to get your ideal job - the one you slaved through four years of university for - and in the last interview they presented you with your comments and asked you to explain them? Or, what if you have children and one of them finds a picture of you topless in a few years? If you think it can't happen, you're mistaken.

    Privacy laws should be respected and enforced, but I think if you post anything to any media that's even semi-public, you should use a great deal of caution.
     
  2. Bourbondownthehouse

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    Personally I think that many people post utterly retarted things on facebook. That being said I don't think what a person does outside the office is any of the bosses business, as long as the activity is within the bounds of the law.
     
  3. Guy Fawkes

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    While some of what Zuckerberg says is true the indication that society is moving away from privacy as a social norm is ridiculous.

    For starters when Facebook changed their TOS and made profiles viewable to EVERYONE not just your friends or chosen users nearly every single person I knew was linking the directions to revert your profile back to the original permissions you set it up with. I know I did.

    Secondly if privacy wasn't important online you would start to see privacy becoming a second concern in real life as well. People wouldn't be buying houses, electing instead to move into communes where the cost of living was cheaper but your life was more open and you didn't have as much privacy. I don't see this happening.

    For me there's a privacy line that isn't being crossed by the majority of society, including facebookers. Just because someone change's their "relationship status" on Facebook and lets the world know about a typically private event it doesn't mean they want all the people who now know this to have additional access to their life and their privacy.

    As far as Facebook policy personnel being more in-tune with social concerns... I buy that. They get to see the census data about specific things with the click of a mouse. Is the PETA support group growing faster this week than last? Is support of the "Stop the war" group increasing and with what age groups is it doing so? With the click of the mouse these social concerns are being recorded.
     
  4. VanillaGorilla

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    I don't have a social networking page anywhere. It seems to be much more of a hassle than it's worth and I don't have this burning desire to look up a bunch of people who I didn't care to keep up with just five years ago in the time before social networking. Further, it's just not worth the risk.

    I work in an environment where white men from the baby boom still reign supreme. For every one who has a Facebook page, there are a half dozen who do not. I know for a fact that they check potential employees' facebook and myspace pages and it wouldn't surprise me to hear of them using deep web searches to find everything they can about an employee. This alone is enough to keep me away from them.

    Finally, I don't think I'm important enough to think that anyone would give a damn about what I'm doing on a day-to-day basis.
     
  5. Kampf Trinker

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    That's probably a good idea, but I just can't stand to be that paranoid. I have trouble believing my boss would come on to the TIB in the first place, and then have any idea what 'kampf trinker' even means, let alone connect it with me. Bosses can be nosy though so maybe I'm being naive.

    I'm not too worried about facebook since I hardly use it anymore. If I need to say something to a friend I'll just text or call them. For people that live too far away - I'm just too lazy to keep in contact with all of them. Sure, we might meet up once a year, and I still check my facebook once a week to reply if they write me, but I think people need to be more willing to let past friends go. It's a waste of a time to keep tabs on what everyone who's not even in your life anymore is doing.
     
  6. The Village Idiot

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    I think the whole facebook/twitter thing is really a red herring here. Someone above posted that your private life is out of bounds for bosses unless there's illegal activity. I would go a step further.

    While I agree that if you post stuff to your facebook, don't be surprised that employers look it up. However, that being said, I have no idea why we accept this concept that it's acceptable for employers to fire you based on your private life, outside certain areas. For instance, if your job requires driving, and you get a DUI and can't drive anymore, well, it seems to me that you would be firing yourself in that instance.

    But what about the guy who e-commutes? Or walks to work where travel isn't required? Why should this guy get fired for it? Unless it affects the work he does, it doesn't seem to be an issue. Yet we all willingly seem to accept this idea. Now, most of the employers do have a right to determine whom they employ, and I can't disagree with that, but I think we, as employees, give way too much leeway for e-stalking by employers.

    It really sucks in the current job market, because there's little mobility, so I guess in the interim, we just have to deal with it the best that we can. So, for now, I wouldn't counsel anyone to post anything private on the internet, because it may well come back to haunt you.

    And I don't have a facebook/twitter account for that reason.
     
  7. Aetius

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    Spot on.

    Why do employers think they have any right to pry into my non work life? I've often heard replies about how it's legal and if it's out there it's my responsibility, and while the pragmatic side of me does take precautions based on this prevailing view, few people acknowledge that in several states it is equally legal for me to rifle through someone's trash in search of information (once it's discarded it's "out there" just as much as a facebook profile). I've yet to meet a single person that would consider it socially acceptable for me to rifle through trash in an effort to gather information. It's especially egregious when employers actively work to get around privacy settings. Just because a privacy setting isn't foolproof doesn't mean it doesn't constitute a very direct "this information is not for public consumption," statement by the profile owner.

    Companies need to mind their own fucking business, which coincidentally, is their business.
     
  8. kuhjäger

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    A guy at my work was written up when he called in sick, but a supervisor looked at his FB profile and saw that he had uploaded a bunch of pictures from an event. They used this as proof to write him up to try and fire him, when he pointed out that in the pictures he seemed to have short hair rather than the ponytail he has now, as the pictures were from an event two years ago.

    Focus
    Despite posting here, I am a very private person. I do have a cell phone, but I don't carry it around really unless I know someone is going to contact me, or know I will need to contact someone.

    I don't like the idea that people can get to me whenever they want. I once walked out of a Target when trying to buy wine as they insisted on scanning my ID to "make sure it was valid", which probably means the data mine it, and get my address.

    I rarely have packages sent to my house because I don't like anyone to have that information on file. All my billing info is a PO box.

    Data is one of the most valuable resources for a business now, and people make a mint off of giving out your info.

    The only thing I do have is a Facebook, which I do question everyday now.

    I joined Facebook in 2004 when it was only college students, and only people at your school could see your information, and the fact that anyone can find the info bothers me, and I have been trimming down what I have on there.

    But I can't deny it is a great way to keep in contact with people, and find out what they are up to, though I am going to change it over to my initials only now to keep people from being able to find me without a lot of effort.
     
  9. lust4life

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    I don't twitter, have a facebook or myspace page. If I haven't kept in touch with someone, there's a reason: I don't want to! Those that I do stay in touch with have my email address and cellphone number. I just don't feel the need to update the world on what I had for dinner last night. No one cares, nor should they.

    That being said, we had pork piccata with spaetzel last night. I don't think I spelled that right, but it was still delicious.
     
  10. mmm.mmm.good

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    The comparison you make is a little too simplified. Posting something on facebook is akin to bringing your trash to work and emptying it out on your bosses desk and letting him see your used condoms, syringes, and empty beer cans. The information is put by THE POSTER in a form that is easily accessible. The bottom line is that you don't have to work for anyone and comply to his standards, and if you don't like having to positively portray yourself - and by extension your employer - then you quit.
     
  11. The Village Idiot

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    Your tax records are easily available. So is your credit report. Online grades? Yup. Public records, including arrests? Yes. If 'ease of access' is the standard, we're living in a digital age, and an employer with some know-how, or hiring someone, can easily find out lots of things about you that have nothing to do with facebook. Just by posting an account on facebook, you most certainly are not bringing it to work (unless you access it from there) for your boss's review.

    Can he find it easily? Sure, but lots of stuff about you can be found easily, doesn't necessarily make it right.

    Again, I certainly wouldn't put that sort of information on the net myself, but I highly doubt the intent of people doing so is so their boss can review it. Is it a possibility? Sure, but you're way off with your analogy. If your boss went to your house and went through your garbage, then we might be talking the same thing. Maybe.
     
  12. zyron

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    A few years ago I signed up for a Myspace page and just used my first name. The only thing I put was the town and state I live in. I filled nothing else in and no picture because I didn't have the time at the moment. I signed in a couple days later and got a message, "Zyron is that you, from UConn?" This is from someone who I would have been happy never hearing from again. I never logged on again and have made no other accounts including Facebook. If some random acquaintance I have not seen in years finds me in a couple days with just a first name and town, I know bosses will be examining these sites.

    If you search for my name you will find one match. An online people search site that will get you my address and phone number.
     
  13. c_norris

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    In regards to work snooping, privacy controls are your friend. Just set all access options to "just friends" or the equivalent and remove all online ties from your workplace-being friends with your boss (not necessarily coworkers), being a "fan" of your workplace, etc. Communicate with coworkers via private message rather than wall comments.

    I'm not saying it's an end-all be-all solution. But take some initiative to protect your data yourself...
     
  14. Beefy Phil

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    There are fairly recent college newspaper articles I wrote that would prevent me from being hired way the hell before anything I've ever posted on my Facebook page. If ever there were bridges to burn, I torched them long ago.

    One day, you're figuring out a way to weave 27 "motherfucker"s into a cogent argument. The next, you're begging for work on a falafel truck. So it goes.
     
  15. Primer

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    I try and keep my anonymity as well as I possibly can. I do have a facebook account but it's generally used for sending friends a PM (which is generally easier than sending an email as I just have to look up their FB page) or if an event is being planned. Facebook is used more as an organizer than anything else in that regard. It's got a few pictures and a bunch that friends have tagged me in but past that it's not a great way to find out who I am.

    Focus: If you think you're anonymous on the internet, you're sorely mistaken. I once got caught by an ex with some posts I made on an old forum I used to frequent. We were going through a rough patch and had a scare of sorts and I needed to vent somewhere. Well, she found those posts through a link I had sent her and shit hit the fan. We didn't break up but it was an uncomfortable couple weeks - it was also a good wake up from the little bubble I was living in. I also realized from that point that anything you do on the internet is quite easily traceable. Has anyone ever watch 4chan organize together and find out information on people, like hot naked chicks or disgusting old men preying on young women? It's fucking scary how quickly, easily and accurately they can pull up all your information. Your real name, your birthday, your address or even your fucking credit card information.

    And the vast majority of those people are under twenty one years old.

    Being completely anonymous on the internet is akin to being a ninja in feudal Japan, it takes dedication, practice and a lot of talent.
     
  16. MoreCowbell

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    Maybe it's just me, but I find nothing controversial with what he's said. He's completely correct.

    The title and tone of that article are ridiculous; in the quotes provided, he said nothing of the sort.
     
  17. cargasm66

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    I've always been careful about what I put on the interwebs, but now I get to see the flip-side of "don't post anything you don't want your bosses to see." Some of my employees have added me, but apparently forget that I can see what they're up to. So it pisses me off when I see a status of "Greek row's not gonna know what hit it! Gettin' CRUNK 2nite! LOL!!ONE!" and then get a 5AM call of "Ohh, I'm so sick, I can't make it into work today." No, fuck that. I'm not gonna tell you I never partied on a work night, but I got my ass up, drank a gatorade, and sloughed it through the work day. Have some maturity about what you post. I don't give a shit about anything else, but when I see stuff on FB that *does* affect their work, I will step in.
     
  18. MoreCowbell

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    This is such a ridiculous exaggeration.

    Say someone gets a DUI. What does this say about a) his or her attitudes towards risk, b) his or her ability to act responsibly, and c) his or her ethics?

    All three of those are highly relevant for most, if not all, jobs.

    Now, I get that you were probably intentionally choosing an extreme case, but you way overshot the mark there.




    I've been in charge of evaluating potential hires before (not Fortune 500, but not Walmart either). I used Google and Facebook to look up for every applicant. However, it was a bit different since it was an Internet startup w/ a 25-year-old CEO. I was actually looking for interesting things about them online; I was hoping they'd have a Twitter account, blog, etc. Signs of a personality.

    That said, if their Facebook default was them doing a keg stand? Their resume was going in the trash heap. Not because I gave a shit about the keg stand or thought it was particularly relevant, but because it displayed egregiously bad decision-making ability. If they were stupid enough for that, they were too stupid to work for us.
     
  19. scootah

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    Zuckerberg is pond scum. Honestly, if you look into his history, he's about as capable of giving a rational evaluation of the cultural state of the digital market as he is of giving a lecture on professional ethics. His sole clame to the spot light is that he was a code monkey who took payment for a project that he didn't complete and then stole the IP to launch his own product in the same market space.

    Privacy is alive and well for anyone with a brain. There's a few of you who have access to my facebook - which is under my real name. You'll note that there's not a goddamn thing on there that connects to anything I put on the internet that I wouldn't want my boss knowing before an interview.

    I maintain a public facing personal profile. There's a few thousand links that come up when you google my real name and most of them are about shit I do for work or shit that my employer will consider a positive. If you google 'Scootah' and some geographical or topical clarity terms - well shit, there aren't many jobs I'd get. Fundamentally, it's just common sense in this day and age to keep your private views separated from your real name if you have any private views that are at all interesting and you're not in a career path that depends on making those views publicly known.
     
  20. Denver

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    Generally I'm pretty conservative with what I put on my Facebook profile, and excepting getting around the privacy barriers, what the public sees is pretty minimal (name, university, etc.) Even if you can actually see everything on it, I haven't put up anything in particular that I would need to hide from a potential employer, and frankly if you're dumb enough to put your status as "o shit, just got my third DUI lol" then you deserve what's coming to you. If you are concerned about your privacy on the interwebs, then don't put potentially damaging things out there in the first place.

    That having been said, my only concern is what my friends write on my wall, and what the outside observer will think of it. For a real world example, someone posting an answer to those stupid SocialInterview things, asking "What is Denver a natural at?" begets the response of "Putting D's in his mouth. He has no gag reflex anymore." Any of the people who have said they look at potential employees' profiles think I should delete that shit?

    (Not that there's anything wrong with that...)