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Online postings can imperil job opportunities


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#1
sari

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This story highlights what I believe is a terrible downfall of the Internet, and the inability of some people to recognize that the rights to freedom of speech don't extend to trampling on the rights of others.

http://www.washingto...7030602705.html

She graduated Phi Beta Kappa, has published in top legal journals and completed internships at leading institutions in her field. So when the Yale law student interviewed with 16 firms for a job this summer, she was concerned that she had only four call-backs. She was stunned when she had zero offers.

Though it is difficult to prove a direct link, the woman thinks she is a victim of a new form of reputation-maligning: online postings with offensive content and personal attacks that can be stored forever and are easily accessible through a Google search.

The woman and two others interviewed by The Washington Post learned from friends that they were the subject of derogatory chats on a widely read message board on AutoAdmit, run by a third-year law student at the University of Pennsylvania and a 23-year-old insurance agent. The women spoke on the condition of anonymity because they feared retribution online.


The article goes on to say the following about the message board:

...there are also hundreds of chats posted by anonymous users that feature derisive statements about women, gays, blacks, Asians and Jews. In scores of messages, the users disparage individuals by name or other personally identifying information. Some of the messages included false claims about sexual activity and diseases. To the targets' dismay, the comments bubble up through the Internet into the public domain via Google's powerful search engine.


The owners of the board refuse to remove any of the offending comments, in part because they believe that it's a violation of free speech to censor the postings in any way. What about the rights of the people who have had their reputations damaged or destroyed by these postings, many of which appear to be baseless or entirely false? And do employers bear some responsibility for giving credit to posts such as these? If people who post slanderous statements are given credit for what they post, doesn't it just encourage them to continue?
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#2
dsenette

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What about the rights of the people who have had their reputations damaged or destroyed by these postings, many of which appear to be baseless or entirely false? And do employers bear some responsibility for giving credit to posts such as these? If people who post slanderous statements are given credit for what they post, doesn't it just encourage them to continue?

i think the forums/boards were well within their rights to leave the posts...especially since they probably couldn't verify the veracity of the claims themselves...they could be true or not..

but employers should not be basing their hiring plans on google searches....if i USED to be antisemetic...but i've since realized the errors of my ways and changed my life around completely...should my past comments on the internet be taken into account in a job interview? no...stupid policy...about the same as basing your business model on wikipedia
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#3
bartosz

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Surely that's libellous? But then, if that were the case the law graduate would've been able to deal with it.

In my experience the only occasions I've heard of where having a presence online can be damaging, is on personal profile websites like facebook. Especially if your prospective (or current for that matter) employer is your university - here's a hint, don't put up drunken photos for your facebook profile! (not that I ever would do such a thing... gotta cover up my tracks :whistling: )
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