After reading the chapter ‘Facebook Nation’ by Lori Andrews, I was left feeling vulnerable and insecure. In the piece, Andrews exploits the negative aspects of different social networking sites, yet mainly focuses on Facebook and the ramifications that come with being an active user. Andrews writes, “Unlike Vegas, what happens in Facebook doesn’t stay in Facebook” (430). She is referring to the fact that an individual’s private information can easily be made into public domain without their consent. Now, hiring companies and college admissions boards can gain complete access to applicants’ personal information before making any decisions. So essentially an individual is being judged for material submitted on personal profiles. Is it ethically appropriate to be evaluated for information that was not presented in an interview or application?
Andrews also introduces the background-checking service called Social Intelligence Corp., which accumulates files from Facebook and “keeps each person’s files for seven years” (431). This means that if someone publishes “college-like” photos on Facebook, future employers can gain access to them and not hire him or her because of them. After reading this, a person’s automatic solution might be to delete the photos or posts that are deemed inappropriate, but this devious company has already saved that information and will have it archived for seven years. When Facebook was first created, people were drawn to the site because it offered them a space to express and evolve with family and friends. But now, social networks, like Facebook, limit both opportunity and behaviors for individuals.
I also found a comic about Facebook that I wanted to share: