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Social networking becomes less private for all citizens

Before social media came along, our employers didn’t come into our houses to read our letters.  They didn’t read our mail.  They didn’t come in and view all our photos from our vacation. Yet a startling trend among employers and colleges shows that they are doing exactly this, only instead of at our homes they are doing it on Facebook.   

Schools and potential employers are demanding access to private social media of students and applicants.  This is a huge violation of the First Amendment, according to D.C. based lawyer Bradley Shear.  He started raising awareness on this activity and has garnered the attention of lawmakers on the hill.
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According to an MSNBC article, Shear’s actions have prompted two bills that will keep colleges and employers out of the social media monitoring business. The goal is aimed at stopping schools and potential employers from this practice. The ACLU wholeheartily backs Shear’s efforts.
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“Maybe it’s OK if you live in a totalitarian regime, but we still have a Constitution to protect us. It’s not a far leap from reading people’s Facebook posts to reading their email. … As a society, where are we going to draw the line?” Shear said.
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When I came to orientation at VSU, the orientation staff mentioned that VSU takes social media complaints seriously and would act accordingly if a student was found to have posted something that could be considered a threat to another student.     The Office of Student Affairs confirmed that it does take threats seriously, but unlike other schools, it doestn’t have the staff to monitor social media. 

One of my co-workers mentioned that her former place of employment dedicated a person to monitoring employees’ social media.  When my neighbor confirmed that at his former job, as a corrections officer, they did the same thing, I realized that these are not isolated incidents.�
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It all boils down to freedom of speech and privacy.  Students and professionals alike should have the expectation of personal privacy that Americans have always enjoyed. What bothers me is that numerous students are preparing to graduate soon and once they do their eyes will be on job searches.  It’s bad enough that the economy isn’t the greatest, but students shouldn’t have to worry that something on their Facebook page could kick you out of the running.
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I don’t know about you, but I am cleaning up my Facebook page.  My apologies to those of you that may be cut in the process, but I am looking for a job soon.

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