Employer Access To Your Facebook Profile - Social Media Pearls

Employer Access To Your Facebook Profile


I continue to hear stories about employers demanding access to employee  Facebook profiles -who then have to “suffer” the consequence. More recently I saw this cartoon and thought I would post it on my Facebook page to see what the general thinking was on the topic. By all means, check it out.  Generally speaking, the comments are very much aligned to my own.

Your Facebook profile allows you to set your privacy setting, so anything that is not set for public viewing, is NOT for employer consumption and you should NOT be bullied to giving access either.  You still have the right to select who you friend on Facebook. Period. If you are asked, politely but firmly decline the request.

Now the question of whether you friend your manager on Facebook on not is a hot topic.  Again, I don’t think you should feel you have to. Another respectful decline would be my recommendation. If you find yourself with a number of requests from the professional side of your life, you may want to consider a Facebook page for this purpose. This would be for your professional postings and findings. Your Facebook  profile  on the other hand is personal  and it should be totally up to you who you let in. It is equivalent to  who you decide to let into your house. I guess the first question you should really ask yourself is: What is the purpose of your Facebook profile? I do use my profile as an avenue for people to get to know me as a person and so my friend net is quite wide. However I still select and approve who enters my profile whereas my Facebook page is totally for public consumption.

Now having said that, I do want to provide a level of caution because the Facebook house is rented. You do not own it. As a result, there needs to be a level of social responsibility on your part,  of what you post on your profile or any social site for that matter. Although you have privacy settings, you really do not have a lot of control what your friends will share and post. Posting on a public social network is really publishing information for mass consumption.  You should ask yourself, would you stand by your comments and photos regardless of who the audience is. If the answer is NO  then do not post it. 

 What are your thoughts on the topic? What has been your experience?





 Cartoon is published by permission of Cartoonist

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12 Responses to “Employer Access To Your Facebook Profile”

  1. Potential or current employers who ask for anything more than your already public information are asking you to do something stupid and irresponsible. If they want to be my friend on Facebook, fine. On the one hand, it does seem invasive and unnecessary but on the other hand, I don’t post anything I would not want an employer to read.

    Asking for your password crosses a very different line. There is content in my private messages, for example, that is private and deeply personal and nobody else’s business. An employer would be well-justified in firing me if I gave some outsider a user name and password for the company’s network. If I were silly enough to give the company my Facebook user name and password, why do they think I would not be equally reckless with access to their systems?

    • shirley williams Reply April 8, 2012 at 9:40 pm

      Doug, thank you for visiting and taking the time to share! I couldn`t agree with you more. We are totally aligned.

  2. Well, I don’t have a facebook account but I guess the same applies to all social sites. I only write about things I know that I will stand by otherwise there is no point. I do try my best to not just add friends or join sites just for the sake of it, but I do have a look at either their blog or at least a couple of their posts. I know that it’s impossible to monitor everything all the time, so you can only do your best.

    I do get concerned about trolls, or others trying to put you in a bad light, but I guess that is also part and parcel of using social sites, which you have to get use to. Comment moderation can always be used.

    I enjoyed reading your post.

    • shirley williams Reply April 9, 2012 at 2:17 pm

      Thank you for visiting and sharing your perspective. I love it when that happens. I am totally aligned with your thinking. Because of the nature of what I do, I have joined some niche sites to better understand its functionality and membership. I know I can read about it but somehow entering and getting some experience puts me in a position to provide advice.

      Thank you for your feedback and stopping by!

  3. You’ve got to be kidding me. That will be day that I give ANYONE access to anything of mine. What the hell. I a human being with rights. Why would an employer need such access. They should only care that I show up to work and perform and above an beyond while I am there. What I do the rest of my 16 hrs (they do not pay me for) isy business. My life is pretty boring and I am a law abiding citizen but even so that’s my business not theirs.

  4. A relationship between an employer and employee is a business contract. This also means that as employee you should refrain from accessing social media sites using business devices unless it is in your job description. Thousands of business hours are abused by employees going on social media sites using company devices running the risk of installing all sorts of nastiness to the point where they can give away valuable corporate information unintentionally. I understand this is a connected world we are living in, one of my challenges to staff is to close outlook and the browsers for an hour and pick up the phone or actually meet face to face with someone. I have people sitting in the same cubicle email or text each other using Facebook or BBM. When I show them the corporate communication policy signed by all employees using electronic devices it states that the corporation is allowed to capture their data packets with or without consent. I do not discourage connectivity but do explain to use your own device on our public guest network that we do not monitor, we just limit the bandwidth.
    We will never ask an employee to share or demand to befriend them to check their online profile; I see that almost as stalking or peaking through their windows in their homes.

    • Hi Al!
      Thanks for passing by and sharing!
      Love the discussion.

      I see social media tools as a new communication tool that is multi- faceted with extra-ordinary reach. Agreed, any contractual signed agreements must be adhered.
      However, I have had stories and perspectives shared where employers have demanded access to an employee’s profile. If the profile is password protected and personal, I totally disagree with that. However, any data that is in the public space is totally up for grabs.

      I think the use of the social tools, like the phone, requires balance, maturity and professionalism. I think we should use all the communication tools available to us- using the one that is appropriate for the occasion and intent. I would agree that we should not dismiss the power of face to face. The technological tools should complement this. Your point is well taken with regards to ensuring we still embrace face to face communication.

      Thanks for visiting and sharing. I so enjoy the debate 🙂

    • kristin Crockrell Reply April 24, 2013 at 11:06 pm

      I understand and respect my employer’s right to control and view the social media that is public. However, when entering someone’s personal messages which may be communicated while at home or elsewhere is a bit much. To me that is a line in the sand and not to be taken lightly.


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