Final Exam

I have really enjoyed being in this English class this semester. The theme of the class allowed us to have some very interesting class discussions and essays.  Prior to being in this class I had other classes that focused on writing, but they were never based on persuasive writing, so I believe I learned the most in this class. In other classes we never focused much on argumentative papers, so at first I felt this class would be very challenging for me. But, with the help of “They Say, I Say,” “The Norton Field Guide,” and all of the feedback I received on my papers it became easy.  Writing my midterm papers I had several goals I wanted to accomplish this semester. I feel that I was able to accomplish some of them and there were some goals I have not mastered, but I am still working towards them.

A couple weeks ago when we wrote the midterm essay I realized just how much writing would play a significant role in my life because of my career choice. I believed writing would only be a requirement in my academic career, but this class has proved me wrong. It will also be involved with my intended career. I am now a Psychology major, starting out this semester I was a Physical Science major. Writing is an important part of being a Psychology major, it becomes an even greater part of your academic career when you attend graduate school. Psychology will require a tremendous amount of writing because it is the studying human behavior. I will have to write case studies and complete research studies and papers while in college and even after I have a psychology degree I will have to complete a lot of writing. For example, with a Psychology degree I can be a school counselor. The goal of school psychology is to work with parents, teachers, and students to promote a healthy learning environment that focuses on the needs of children. Being able to collaborating with the parents, teachers, and students will require me to write assessments and be able to discuss my thoughts clearly to the people who will be reading the information.

Every topic we discussed in class this semester played a role in my life. Prior to being a part of this class I didn’t think much of the online world, I just knew it was expanding by the seconds. After having our class discussing I would always be excited about writing my formal assignments. I sometimes found it difficult to come up with my arguments for my assignments in the beginning because it was something I wasn’t accustomed to doing.  Now, looking back at all the assignments I have completed I will admit I placed the most effort on the first couple of assignments that were assigned to us. The first couple of assignments being formal assignment one and formal assignment two. I really enjoyed writing those papers and I would say that those two papers were my A+ or A- work. As the semester came closer to an end I honestly failed to place as much of an effort in my assignments as I did in the beginning of the semester. I slacked off in all my classes, not just this one. Formal assignments three and four I would say is some of the worst work I have done in this class this semester. Both assignments I feel could have been far better than they were and my grades on both assignments will probably prove this point.

This semester has taught me how to write great argumentative papers. I still have my difficulties writing my arguments, but I have improved tremendously over the semester. I found writing my first formal assignment to be difficult at first, but after receiving feedback and reading the information from “They Say, I Say” it became easy. On the first formal assignment feedback you expressed that my argument was good, but I did not consider the counterarguments people may have. This problem continued for me over the course of the semester. I was sometimes aware that I had not addressed any of the counter arguments, but I would never know how to go back and place them in my paper. Over the semester I have also learned how to better organize my papers. When writing my papers I would always center my paragraphs around my sources rather than my topic sentences and the points I was attempting to get across to my readers. This really became a problem for me while writing assignment four, but from your feedback and explanations I understood each paragraph should be based on the topic sentence.

Even though this semester has come to a close there is one goal that I must continue to work on. That goal is proofreading. I have always been horrible at proofreading, but this semester I have learned what my biggest grammatical error is, and that error is comma splices. From the very helpful feedback I have received over the course of the semester I am getting better with my grammar issues, but there is always room for improvement and I plan to accomplish my goal of proofreading hopefully this summer. I also plan to improve my writing, there is always room for improvement and I plan on being the best in all my endeavors.

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Does Social Media Belong in the Hiring Process?

In today’s society social media plays a role in just about everything. Social media has now been implemented in the hiring process. There are many employers who search social media before and after hiring an applicant. Research has revealed that there are numerous pros and cons that comes out of searching someone’s social media sites. But, when the cons outweigh the pros other alternatives should be considered. Should the policy of human resource managers searching social media be changed? Should employers be allowed to search applicants/employees social media? If yes, what are the benefits of employers search the social site? If no, how can the search off social media sites be detrimental to someone’s chances of finding employment?

In many states and countries, the laws of employers searching employee’s social media is not clear. As a result of these unclear laws there have been many people losing their employment because of information being posted on social media sites. Since the laws of employers searching social media is unclear employers are allowed to use the information found on the sites as reasons to terminate employees. For example, there have been several incidents where school teachers have been found with inappropriate content on their social media profiles. As a result of the inappropriate content the teachers were fired. Now everyone has their own opinion about who is right and who is wrong in these cases, but I feel both parties are wrong and both parties should have taken precautions to ensure these situations never happen. Social media sites can reveal information to employers that can cause them to become biased against applicants. Information that is illegal for employers to ask during an interview can be found on social media sites. For example employers are not allowed to ask are someone is married, if they are a citizen, what religion someone is practice, what is an individual’s race, and family status during an interview. All of these questions are protected under Civil Rights Acts and are illegal for an employer to ask during a job interview. But, most of this information is revealed on individuals social media sites, which are considered a public site. By employers becoming aware of this information from social media they are setting themselves up to be accused of acts of discrimination. After viewing an applicant’s social media profile it may be very difficult to say they were not discriminated against because of those characteristics.

Individuals may argue that searching social media is not accurate interpretation of their lives, but social media is basically a glimpse of their lives. With photos and posts people are able to allow others to see parts of their lives. Viewers may not get a complete story, but the part you shared is an accurate account of whatever is happening in your life at the moment. Also privacy has been an issue with employers using social media as a tool to know more about employees. Social media networks are not made to secure jobs, so employers believe that people are honest when socializing on the sites. Recruiters search social networks to get a true view of an applicant. According to Slovensky and Ross hiring managers feel applicants will customize their resume for different jobs for leverage. Hiring managers feel it is important to check the information on social media to be sure it is accurate. Also hiring managers pay close attention to the comments left by friends and family on applicant’s profile. The recruiters feel some comments can be far more revealing than the information individuals have posted themselves.

 

Several research studies have been completed involving employers who use social media as a means to discover information about applicants. Schawbel discussed a survey completed by Jobvite that revealed 92 percent of employers in the U.S today are using or are planning to use social media to hire their employees. The search of social media is now believe to be an easy way to discover information about job candidates.  Employers participating in the survey believe all applicants should have a social media site of some sort, and if they feel the applicants were hiding information. About 66 percent of the people in this survey claimed to use social networks to verify qualifications and to check if the applicants had poor grammar skills. The top three social networks being searched by employers are LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Jobs in various industries are advertised on these sites and employer’s now believe social media to be a good way to recruit job candidates. Schawbel’s research only contains a few positive things employers receive from searching social media sites. Yes, checking for qualifications are a good thing, but many people don’t advertise their resumes on Twitter and Facebook. Also the survey mentioned employers checking for grammar skills on these social networks. The average character limit on certain social media sites like Twitter for instance, is 140. It is sometimes impossible for a person to have a grammatically correct post with that small character limit. People use social media like Twitter and Facebook to interact with their friends, so of course informal language will be used. If employers want to search social media sites they should only search the sites strictly made for professional purposes, such as LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is a site that was made strictly for professional use. Individuals create LinkedIn accounts to manage their professional identities and to network for jobs. There are millions of people who use this site with the hopes of landing a job. Companies like Microsoft and Acme have professional pages on LinkedIn designed for applicants. Employers at these companies are allowed to see the applicants LinkedIn profiles and see their qualifications and offer individuals jobs. A survey was conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project to determine just how many adults were using social media sites with the intention of gaining employment. The survey revealed that 72 percent of the individuals participating in the survey were adults with degrees. Majority of the people claimed to use LinkedIn as the main site to advertise their degrees and qualifications. Individuals involved in hiring process claims using social media sights during the recruitment process allows for an expanded candidate pool for jobs. Some recruiters in the survey admitted to preferring this method because it allowed them to see more individuals whereas they are limited to the number of face-to-face interviews they could complete. Employers believe using social media is cost effective, easier to identify candidates, reduces hiring time, and can potentially produce a better quality of applicants. Many companies have social media sites and are able to view potential applicants profile making it easier to network. An employer can know an applicant’s connections in the professional world and also other jobs a person may have had all from viewing their LinkedIn account. Most employers feel they can get a sense of an applicant’s personality and character from viewing their Facebook and Twitter profiles.

 

According to Jocelyn Richard, the search of social media can be used to discriminate against job applicants. The information from Richard’s article comes from a CareerBuilder survey completed by 2000 hiring managers. The survey revealed that 37 percent of hiring managers use social networking sites to research job applicants, with Facebook being the main site being searched. From the survey only 15 percent of companies had policies in place that prohibited managers from searching applicant’s social media. The survey revealed a very alarming fact: 12 percent of hiring managers admitted they search social networks just to find a reason not to hire an applicant. This is alarming because no one would expect an employer to search their profile only to find an excuse not to hire them. This fact may cause people to delete or deactivate their social media accounts when apply for a job. The survey revealed that more than half of the employers used the sites to determine if someone would fit in with the company’s culture. Another alarming fact discovered in the survey is that only 45 percent of the human resource managers used social media to verify applicant’s qualifications. 45 percent is not even half of the people who participated in the survey, this shows that the search of social media is not being used to benefit the applicant. Many people may say they are not using social media to discriminate against applicants, but that may not be true. Participants of the survey admitted to searching social media to determine if someone fits in with the company’s culture, this is a discriminatory act towards the applicants because you are judging them from their race/culture.

The U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) addresses social media in today’s workplaces. The commission identified Facebook and LinkedIn as site that may assist in hiring proper candidates for jobs. But, the commission also feels that the information discovered on these sites can cause someone to become biased during the hiring process. If companies are going to complete social media background checks they should have a person who is not associated with the hiring process to conduct the background check. If the person is not associated within the hiring process they most likely will not become biased and judgmental. The EEOC went further to explain that only public information on an individual’s profile should be subject to being search. No employer should request private passwords for any accounts. As of now there are only four states that have laws against employers requesting private passwords.

According to Russell and Stutz, employers use social media in their selection and recruitment process. Employers claim to use social media to get insight on job candidates, but viewing these profiles can affect an employer’s decision making process. After viewing a potential employees social media and employer may become biased. The employers may make an individual’s home activities more important than their credentials and previous job experiences.  Data privacy laws and antidiscrimination laws all relate to employers use of social media. For an example, in the United States, as a part of data privacy laws job candidates need to provide the employers with a written authorization prior to having a background check. As stated before privacy legislations vary in every jurisdiction. For an example in France, user conditions of social networking sites contain restrictions on the use of information found on the site for recruitment and professional purposes. Employers in France or Germany can only use professional social networks such as LinkedIn, but they are not allowed to use general social media sites.

Rules and regulations about social media should be made clear to employees. Individuals should know that their accounts are being monitored and if inappropriate material is posted they may be subjected to being terminated. Social media can be a blessing and a curse for employers and job applicants, therefore it should not be used in the hiring process Russell and Stutz state “There is no uniform way to deal with social media, social media policies have to be tailored to fit the country, company culture, and the image of the company.”

Works Cited

Russell, Reinier, and Michèle Stutz. “Social Media: What Employers Need To Know.” Journal Of Internet Law 17.8 (2014): 3-6. Business Source Premier. Web. 3 Apr. 2014.

Richard, Jocelyn. “37 Percent Of Employers Use Facebook To Pre-Screen Applicants, New    Study Says.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 20 Apr. 2012. Web. 03 Apr. 2014.

Schawbel, Dan. “How Recruiters Use Social Networks to Make Hiring Decisions Now | TIME.com.” Business Money How Recruiters Use Social Networks to Make Hiring Decisions Now Comments. TIME, 09 July 2012. Web. 22 Apr. 2014.

United States. U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. “Social Media Is Part of Today’s Workplace but Its Use May Raise Employment Discrimination Concerns.” U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 12 March 2014. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.

HireRight. “Why Is Social Media So Critical to Your Recruitment Efforts?”Employment Background Check Blog HireRight. HireRight, 21 Oct. 2013. Web. 05 May 2014.

Slovensky, Ross, and William H. Ross. “Should Human Resource Managers use Social Media to Screen Job Applicants? Managerial and Legal Issues in the USA.” Info : the Journal of Policy, Regulation and Strategy for Telecommunications, Information and Media 14.1 (2012): 55-69. ProQuest. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.

 

Should Social Media be a part of the Hiring Process?

In today’s society social media plays a role in just about everything. Social media has now been implemented in the hiring process. There are many employers who search social media before and after hiring an applicant. Before an applicant is hired they have no choice whether or not their social media is searched. Employers don’t ask permission to search these sites. Should the policy of human resource managers searching social media be changed? Should employers be allowed to search applicants/employees social media? If yes, what are the benefits of employers search the social site? If no, how can the search off social media sites be detrimental to someone’s chances of finding employment?

In many states and countries the laws of employers searching employee’s social media is not clear. As a result of these unclear laws there has been many people losing employment because of information being posted on their social media sites. Social media sites can reveal information to employers that can cause them to discriminate against applicants. Information that is illegal for employers to ask during an interview can be found on social media sites. For example e employers are not allowed to asked are you married, are you a citizen, what religion do you practice, what is you race, and you family status during an interview. All of these questions are protected under Civil Rights Acts and are illegal for an employer to ask during a job interview. But, most of this information is revealed on individuals social media sites, which are considered a public site.

According to Jocelyn Richard, the search of social media can be used to discriminate against job applicants. The information from Richard’s article comes from a CareerBuilder survey completed by 2000 hiring managers. The survey revealed that 37 percent of hiring managers use social networking sites to research job applicants, with Facebook being the main site being searched. From the survey only 15 percent of companies had policies in place that prohibited managers from searching applicant’s social media. The survey revealed a very alarming fact; 12 percent of hiring managers admitted they search social networks just to find a reason not to hire an applicant. The survey revealed that more than half of the employers used the sites to determine if someone would fit in with the company’s culture. Another alarming fact discovered in the survey is that only 45 percent of the human resource managers used social media to verify applicant’s qualifications. 45 percent is not even half of the people who participated in the survey, this shows that the search of social media is not being used to benefit the applicant. Many people may say they are not using social media to discriminate against applicants, but that may not be true. Participants of the survey admitted to searching social media to determine if someone fits in with the company’s culture, this is a discriminatory act towards the applicants because you are judging them from their race/culture.

Schawbel discussed a survey completed by Jobvite that revealed 92 percent of employers in the U.S today are using or are planning to use social media to hire their employees. The search of social media is now believe to be an easy way to discover information about job candidates.  Employers participating in the survey believe all applicants should have a social media site of some sort, and if they feel the applicants were hiding information. About 66 percent of the people in this survey claimed to use social networks to verify qualifications and to check if the applicants had poor grammar skills. The top three social networks being searched by employers are LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Jobs in various industries are advertised on these sites an employer’s now believe social media to be a good way to recruit job candidates.

 

According to Russell and Stutz, employers use social media in their selection and recruitment process. Employers claim to use social media to get insight on job candidates, but viewing these profiles can affect an employer’s decision making process. After viewing a potential employees social media and employer may become biased. The employers may make an individual’s home activities more important than their credentials and previous job experiences.  Data privacy laws and antidiscrimination laws all relate to employers use of social media. For an example, in the United States, as a part of data privacy laws job candidates need to provide the employers with a written authorization prior to having a background check. As stated before privacy legislations vary in every jurisdiction. For an example in France, user conditions of social networking sites contain restrictions on the use of information found on the site for recruitment and professional purposes. Employers in France or Germany can only use professional social networks such as LinkedIn, but they are not allowed to use general social media sites.

Rules and regulations about social media should be made clear to employees. Individuals should know that their accounts are being monitored and if inappropriate material is posted they may be subjected to being terminated. Russell and Stutz state “There is no uniform way to deal with social media, social media policies have to be tailored to fit the country, company culture, and the image of the company.”

Works Cited

Russell, Reinier, and Michèle Stutz. “Social Media: What Employers Need To Know.” Journal Of Internet Law 17.8 (2014): 3-6. Business Source Premier. Web. 3 Apr. 2014.

Richard, Jocelyn. “37 Percent Of Employers Use Facebook To Pre-Screen Applicants, New    Study Says.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 20 Apr. 2012. Web. 03 Apr. 2014.

Schawbel, Dan. “How Recruiters Use Social Networks to Make Hiring Decisions Now | TIME.com.” Business Money How Recruiters Use Social Networks to Make Hiring Decisions Now Comments. TIME, 09 July 2012. Web. 22 Apr. 2014.

Annotated Bibliography

Russell, Reinier, and Michèle Stutz. “Social Media: What Employers Need To Know.” Journal Of Internet Law 17.8 (2014): 3-6. Business Source Premier. Web. 3 Apr. 2014.

Summary

Russell and Stutz discuss the role of social media in employer and employee relationships. In the article they discuss data privacy laws, antidiscrimination laws, background checks of employees, monitoring employee’s use of social media, and the dismissal of an employee because of social media is also discussed in the article. In today’s society the use of social media has increased, information that was once private is now public. The information on social media is not only seen by friends, it is also seen by employers and colleagues. Social media has advantages and disadvantages, it can have a position effect on a company and employees, or it can draw negative attention to the company. Employment privacy legislations are different in about every jurisdiction, but the legislations are an important role in employer an employee relationships. There can be problems in any stages of employment even if you haven’t been hired or interviewed.

According to Russell and Stutz, employers use social media in their selection and recruitment process. Employers claim to use social media to get insight on job candidates, but viewing these profiles can affect an employer’s decision making process. After viewing a potential employees social media and employer may become biased. The employers may make an individual’s home activities more important than their credential and previous job experiences.  Data privacy laws and antidiscrimination laws all relate to employers use of social media. For an example, in the United States, as a part of data privacy laws job candidates need to provide the employers with a written authorization prior to having a background check. As stated before privacy legislations vary in every jurisdiction. For an example in France, user conditions of social networking sites contain restrictions on the use of information found on the site for recruitment and professional purposes. Employers in France or Germany can only use professional social networks such as LinkedIn, but they are not allowed to use general social media sites.

Rules and regulations about social media should be made clear to employees. Individuals should know that their accounts are being monitored and if inappropriate material is posted they may be subjected to being terminated. Russell and Stutz state “There is no uniform way to deal with social media, social media policies have to be tailored to fit the country, company culture, and the image of the company.”

Evaluation

Russell and Stutz article provides a debatable argument about employer’s use of social media. It allows individuals to be aware of the positive and negative effects social media can have on an applicant actually getting a job. The article discusses how employers may discriminate from viewing social media and it also discussed how social media can be beneficial to the applicant and employer.

 

Richard, Jocelyn. “37 Percent Of Employers Use Facebook To Pre-Screen Applicants, New    Study Says.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 20 Apr. 2012. Web. 03 Apr. 2014.

Summary

A survey was completed by CareerBuilder finding that 37 percent of hiring managers use social media site to research their job applicants. The survey also revealed that 65 percent of all employers use Facebook as the main source to research job applicants. The survey was conducted by Harris Interactive, over 2,000 human resource managers were included in the survey. The majority of the managers participating in the survey claimed they used social networks to see if applicants presented themselves in a professional manner. The survey revealed that hiring managers are being biased and discriminating when searching social media. The survey revealed that more than half of the employers used the sites to determine if someone would fit in with the company’s culture. Another alarming fact discovered in the survey is that on 45 percent of the human resource managers used social media to verify applicant’s qualifications.  Richards went even further detailing the informations found in the CareerBuilder survey to find that 12 percent of all the hiring managers admitted that they went on applicants social media sites only to find a reason not to hire them.

With many companies increasing their use of screening applicants through social media there has been and increasing number of outraged citizens who are protesting against these practices. Erin Egan, Facebook chief privacy officer released a statement saying “We don’t think employers should be asking prospective employees to provide their passwords because we don’t think it’s the right thing to do.” Face book doesn’t agree with any of these practices, the company feels it is illegal and unethical.

Evaluation

This source relates to my topic because it explains how employers use social media. The source reveals how human resource managers will use social media in a discriminatory manner against applicants.

Connected, but alone?

Are we connected, but alone? That’s a good questions that I have never considered. In today’s society technology is a major part of our lives, everyone is emailing, texting, and on social media majority of the time. According to Sherry Turkle our online lives and how we use our devices are redefining human connection and communication. Sherry Turkle has studied mobile communication and discovered that our devices effect what we do and they also effect the person we are and the person we become. Our devices play a major role in our everyday lives, it’s basically as if we cannot live without them. Turkle made a great point in saying we are setting ourselves up for trouble with our devices. She states “people want to be with each other, but also elsewhere — connected to all the different places they want to be.” As individuals we find ourselves texting and emailing where ever we are, in class, on the job, while we’re driving, and etc. Sending emails and having conversations through text messages makes having a conversation much easier than having a conversation in person. Turkle says it is because we are able to clean our conversations up with technology; technology allows us to edit and think about what our responses will be rather than just speaking what comes first to mind.

Technology gives people a sense of comfort. It allows people to believe that they are not alone when in reality they are very much alone. An individual could have thousands of friends on social media, but they could be the loneliest person on Earth. Interactions over social networks will never make up the feeling of having a real human with you for comfort and support. Technology in a way has a negative effect on our social skills. Yes, technology allows us to be social, but that is only over the internet. Technology hinders individuals from being able to hold a conversation with a real person. If someone only sends emails and texts having a face-to-face conversation would be really awkward.

I find Sherry Turkle’s argument to be very convincing. Everything she said related to me because I am an avid user of technology, especially my cell phone. I find myself saying “I rather text than talk” on multiple occasions and before reading this article I believed there was nothing wrong with using my cellular device all the time because it’s how I stay connected to school and work. From all of the evidence contained in Turkle’s article I now believe that technology is a problem not just for me, but for everyone. We have found easier ways to remain connected to others, but we also have isolated ourselves. I admit that I have isolated myself from others, I’d rather be alone than to be around a bunch of people. Now I am not saying technology caused me to become a loner, but I do believe it played some part of me being this way.

 

Work Cited

Turkle, Sherry. “Sherry Turkle:Connected, but Alone?” Sherry Turkle: Connected, but Alone? N.p., Feb. 2012. Web. 23 Mar. 2014.

Midterm Essay

Writing has never been my favorite thing to do. Honestly, English as a subject is just not my favorite. In my previous English classes, whether in high school or college implemented writing in every assignment we completed. I have never thought of myself as a great writer, I think of my writing as being average. My writing could be tremendously better than it is, but my background with writing is terrible. In high school I never put much effort into my writing assignments or any of my English assignments. Never putting much thought or effort into my work caused me to receive mostly B’s on my assignment. Giving little effort to my assignments in high schools made the task of writing even more difficult when I entered college. Last semester made me realize how important writing actually is. Writing plays a role in just about everything, especially certain careers, and it requires effort to write a decent paper.

I believed writing would only be a requirement in my academic career, but it will also be involved with my intended career. As of now I am a physical science major, but I am planning to change my major to Psychology. Writing is an important part of being a Psychology major, it becomes an even greater part of your academic career when you attend graduate school. Psychology will require a tremendous amount of writing because it is basically studying human behavior. I will have to write case studies and complete research studies while in college and even after I have a psychology degree I will have to complete a lot of writing. After I obtain my degree if I decide to be a Career Counselor I will be responsible for keeping a record and information on the individuals I’ve counseled. Having this career goal that involves a large amount of writing makes me aware of the growth I need to make in my writing.

Since the beginning of this semester I do feel that I have grown in my writing. I’ve found the strategies discussed in “They Say, I Say” to be very useful. The strategies in the book became most useful when summarizing quotes for an argument in my formal assignments or reading responses. From the readings in “They Say, I Say” I understood how to summarize what others have said about a subject, but at the same time set up my own argument. Also the feedback I have received from my writing assignments has been very helpful. I am not the best proof reader and I have always had a problem with grammar rules, so your feedback on these issues always assists me to improve my writing assignments. Getting the feedback on my assignments has inspired me to set goals for the remainder of this semester and the semesters to follow.

One goal I have for this semester is to improve building my arguments in the formal assignments. Building the argument for my formal assignments can be a difficult task for me, especially with formal assignment two. It was brought to my attention in feedback you gave me on a rough draft that I had a good argument and supporting evidence about my topic, but I did not consider any counter arguments. Being able to address counterarguments I think will make my actual argument and paper stronger because readers will be aware that I considered the opposing argument.  Another goal I have set for this semester is improving my grammar skills. I have never been good with proof reading papers and knowing the millions of rules there are in grammar. The biggest problem in my writing so far has been the very numerous comma splices my papers contain. I hope this semester I can at least figure out how to avoid comma splices, but that may be a goal I have for the remainder of my academic career.

Is there Internet Privacy in the Workplace?

Social media did kill privacy, but if individuals wanted their lives to remain private they would not advertise them on social media sites. There are millions of individual who participate in social media, but no one forced any of us to do it. It was our choice as individuals to share our personal lives with the public world, so we should be accountable for our online posts and be able to accept the consequences. If someone chooses to take a job that has policies about social media, they are expected to follow the rules, or accept the consequences, even if that means being fired. Erin Moriarty’s article “Did the Internet Kill Privacy” explains how a teacher, Ashley Payne, had to resign from her teaching position because of social media posts.  In order for companies to be successful they need to know who they are hiring and who they have working for them, so monitoring an employee’s social media is not wrong. If Ms. Payne were aware of Ross Slovensky and William Ross’s article “Should human resource managers use social media to screen applicants,” she may have handled her social media account differently than she did.

According to Moriarty, Ashley Payne, a school teacher, was involved in a situation that is an example of employers reprimanding employees’ for social media. Payne uploaded photos to her Facebook account from her European vacation. There was a photo from the vacation showing Payne with alcoholic beverages. Being a Facebook user, Payne believed that her page and photos would be private and limited to only the people she allowed to follow her, but she was wrong. Yes, she did the correct things to ensure her page was private from strangers, but I don’t believe she took into consideration the fact that the people she allowed to follow her could make her information public. A simple screenshot of Payne’s Facebook page or just one of her followers saving her picture and uploading it to another site allows everyone to see her photos. Payne like most people probably assumed that situation would never happen, but it did. The photo from her vacation was brought to the attention of her employer, and the photo was deemed inappropriate and she was asked to either resign from teaching or be suspended. Payne was subjected to these consequences because of school board policies of which she had been made aware.

Payne’s situation is not uncommon. In today’s society, many employers are using social media as a resource to learn more about their employees and job candidates. The traditional method employers used to screen applicants was through cover letters, resumes, and other forms. However, resumes are used to highlight the more favorable characteristics in applicants as a way to impress employers. So, employers use social media to get what they believe is an honest view of job applicants.

Individuals may argue that searching social media is not accurate interpretation of their lives, but social media is basically a glimpse of their lives. With photos and posts people are able to allow others to see parts of their lives. Viewers may not get a complete story, but the part you shared is an accurate account of whatever is happening in your life at the moment. Also privacy has been an issue with employers using social media as a tool to know more about employees. If someone wants something to remain private, they would not post it on a social media site. Even though privacy setting may be used information can still be seen and shared. Any person with a job should consider who their friends are on social networks and know that their posts may be shared with others by their friends.

According to Ross and Slovensky, the amount of employers who use social media to screen job applicants has risen from 22 percent in 2008 to 45 percent in 2010. Research reveals that most employers screen applicants on Facebook since it is the most popular social media site today. Activity on social media can affect your chances of being hired. About 35 percent of employers in the United States have reported that during an interviewing process they have discovered information on social media that made them deny the applicant the job. There are very few states that prohibit employers from firing or disciplining their employees based on information on social media. Employers are not breaking any federal law when monitoring an employee’s social media.

Research in Slovensky and Ross’s article goes even further to reveal that employers still monitor employee’s social media even after they have been hired. Social media networks are not made to secure jobs, so employers believe that people are honest when socializing on the site. American organizations involved with public safety have been scrutinized when their employees have been found in illegal situations. Public school teachers lately have been found in situations jeopardizing their jobs because of their social media posts. Ashley Payne having photos with alcoholic beverages on her profile could have brought her school under scrutiny if it was revealed to the media and not the principal. Payne’s employer was obligated to subject her to consequences because of the job policies. If Ms. Payne was aware of the information discussed in Slovensy and Ross’s article she would have been aware that her social media was being monitored by her employers and would not have posted the photos that jeopardized her employment. Ashley Payne and other individuals believe because she was not involved in any criminal behavior she should not have been forced to resign. But, in the photos Ms. Payne was engaged in questionable practices that could have embarrassed her school and the entire school.

 

Works Cited

“Fact Sheet 7: Workplace Privacy and Employee Monitoring.” Workplace Privacy and Employee Monitoring. N.p., Mar. 1993. Web. 27 Feb. 2014.

Moriarty, Erin. “Did the Internet Kill Privacy?” CBSNews. CBS Interactive, 06 Feb. 2011. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.

Slovensky, Ross, and William H. Ross. “Should Human Resource Managers use Social Media to Screen Job Applicants? Managerial and Legal Issues in the USA.” Info : the Journal of Policy, Regulation and Strategy for Telecommunications, Information and Media 14.1 (2012): 55-69. ProQuest. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.

Did Internet Kill Privacy?

The internet did kill privacy for some individuals, but it was their choice to display themselves on social media. No one placed a gun to anyone’s head and said “hey, you need to join a social media site and share your life with the world.” Most people in today’s society are active users of social media, but that was a decision we as individual made, no one forced us to be involved with social media. There can be some negative consequence that come with using social media, Ashley Payne, a school teacher, was involved in a situation that is an example of this. Payne uploaded photos to her Facebook account from her European vacation. There was a vacation photo showing Payne with alcoholic beverages. Payne being a Facebook user believed that her page and photos would be private and limited to only the people she allowed to follow her, but she was wrong. Yes, she did the correct things ensure her page was private from strangers, but I don’t believe she took into consideration the fact that the people she allowed to follow her could make her information public. A simple screenshot of Payne’s Facebook page or just one of her followers saving her picture and uploading it to another site allows everyone to see her photos. Payne like most people probably assumed that situation would never happen, but it did. The photo from her vacation was brought to the attention of her employer and the photo was deemed inappropriate and she was asked to either resign from teaching or be suspended.

There was also another incident were a teacher was fired from her job for not releasing her Facebook password to the school. Kimberly Ester, a teacher’s aide in Michigan, lost her job over a photo she posted to her Facebook page. Ester posted a picture of a co-workers’ shoes and pants bunched around their ankles on her page and the photo was reported to the school by a parent who is Facebook friend with her. Ester was basically fired because she would not give the school her password.

In these two cases I do believe the school boards were wrong in how they handled the situations. I do believe that as teachers Payne and Ester should have been more aware of who they allowed to follow them on social media and they should have been conscious of what they uploaded. Since it was parents who complained about the photos the schools could have spoken with them, informing them that their posts were being watched, but being fired was too much of a punishment for a post. But, then again I feel that someone’s Facebook page should not be subjected to their employers, because social media is where people go to express themselves and communicate. The society we live in today has changed though, there are school and jobs who Google you before an interview to see what kind of person you are and what activities you are involved in. So, social media is a blessing and a curse. People need to be aware that what they place on the internet is there forever and is public domain. If you want something to be private do not place it on the internet.

Self Assessment

I found writing this paper to be very interesting. I have always been aware of Wikipedia and the fact it is a user-generated encyclopedia. Being able to agree with the information Lance Ulanoff discussed in is article was the easiest part of my process while writing this paper. After all of my revision to the paper there isn’t much that I would have done differently. More details and research could have been added to the paper, but I think I was able to get my point across with the research the paper contains. The focus of my paper is basically that Wikipedia is an untrustworthy website. The website being user-generated, opinionated, and users being anonymous making them unaccountable for their posts makes the online encyclopedia untrustworthy. I think that I was effective at getting my point of view across with the research and evidence the articles contained about the website being untrustworthy. The major weakness in my paper I believe to be my grammar. Other than that I believe the draft is clear and effective at showing my view on Wikipedia as and untrustworthy website.

Question

Did you find the paper to be confusing or unclear after reading and do you feel there was enough supporting evidence about Wikipedia being untrustworthy?

Can you trust Wikipedia?

Can researchers trust Wikipedia? Can researchers trust that all the information on this site is accurate? Is Wikipedia as accurate as the online Britannica encyclopedia? I have never thought of any of these questions when surfing the web for information. Some individuals are aware that Wikipedia was a user-generated site, and because of this they never really used the site when researching. Wikipedia being a user-generated site means that it is run by its users. The users of the website are able to edit the information found on the site, writing their opinions, and writing the information in their tones of voices and opinions instead of an objective encyclopedia way. Wikipedia is not a trusted website to use for research. The site being user generated makes it untrustworthy, also because the site has information written in thousands of different perspectives readers may misinterpret the material. Even though Wikipedia is an untrustworthy encyclopedia, it can be useful if individuals know how to use the information they discover on the site.

The users of Wikipedia have far too much power. If someone is a registered user of Wikipedia they can edit any article, writing inaccurate information on the site. An example of this was brought to my attention in Lance Ulanoff’s article “Wikipedia: You Still Can’t Trust it.” Ulanoff explains a controversy Wikipedia was involved in because of something one of its users posted on the site. The controversy was about a fake biography of John Seigenthaler written by a user of Wikipedia. If you don’t know who John Seigenthaler is, he is a journalist, writer, and a political figure. The biography post was a joke about Seigenthaler and the John F. Kennedy assassination; the situation was not a joking matter. This situation shows that Wikipedia is not a site that you can trust. If a user can post an entry without having citations and at least citing the sources as to where they found the information there is no reason to believe any of it to be accurate. This situation also shows that Wikipedia does not do a decent job of monitoring the things that its users post to the online encyclopedia. The Seigenthaler incident did allow Wikipedia to see some flaws in some of their policies and make some changes. In “Wikipedia Tightens Rules for Posting,” Antone Gonsalves explains how Wikipedia changed their rules after the Seigenthaler controversial article. Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia’s founder, changed the encyclopedia’s policies to no longer accepting new submissions from anonymous contributors; a user now has to register with Wikipedia before they can contribute any information to an article (Antone Gonsalves). However, this new procedure Wikipedia has set in place does not identify the user, it only identifies a user ID; a person cannot be identified and reprimanded for the policy violation, basically Wikipedia’s users have no accountability. Comparing Wikipedia to the encyclopedia Britannica researchers will discover the name of an author and the credentials, whereas if researchers are using Wikipedia they will only have a username as the author of an article. Wikipedia should at the least review a user’s post before it is uploaded to the site. Reviewing a user’s post will allow Wikipedia to be aware of the information being uploaded to the site and there would be a smaller chance of inaccurate information being uploaded.

The next issue with Wikipedia is the fact that each post is written in a different perspective. Wikipedia has millions of users who edit the online encyclopedia daily. With millions of users comes millions of different writing styles, tones, ideas, and perspectives. In an ordinary encyclopedia like Britannica people will only find one perspective throughout the entire encyclopedia. Having one perspective throughout any encyclopedia is best because having multiple perspectives can be confusing. Most encyclopedias can seem boring because the information is written to be comprehended by readers and not contain any opinions. But opinions are not appropriate in any encyclopedia because encyclopedias are not supposed to be biased in anyway; encyclopedias are only to be informative. With Wikipedia you will come across entries that are written in multiple perspectives because the entries are written by multiple people. Lance Ulanoff explains an example of the multiple perspectives in his article. The example was an article written about Microsoft on Wikipedia; the article was written in a perspective that made the company seem sinister. If someone is researching Microsoft and comes across this article they may get a misinterpreted understanding of the article and believe Microsoft is a sinister company. If there is only have one perspective and no opinion at all, the entry will not seem like a story being told, but as information being given.

Information on Wikipedia can sometimes be accurate, but researchers should always double check the information you discover on the site. Actually people should double check information they discover on any site or encyclopedia because they can all contain errors. Daniel Terdiman’s article “Study: Wikipedia as accurate as Britannica” explains a study comparing articles from Wikipedia and Britannica to find which contained the most errors. The study concluded with both of the sites containing errors: Wikipedia contained 162 and Britannica contained 123. When using Wikipedia individuals should always keep in mind that the site is edited by its users. So, say for instance someone is researching information and they discover an entry on Wikipedia and want to use this information for your findings. I would advise them to read the entry on Wikipedia and get an understanding of what the article is saying, and then check other sites that are credible to be sure the information you found on Wikipedia is accurate.

Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia containing a lot of flaws. Wikipedia may be an untrustworthy site, but it is a site that you can get information from for free. Unlike some online encyclopedias Wikipedia is a free site; researchers do not have to pay to view any articles. Wikipedia has not been around for a long time so I do believe the site has room for improvement, but until the site is improved readers should not trust information they discover on the site.

Works Cited

Gonsalves, Antone. “InformationWeek News Connects The Business Technology        Community.” InformationWeek. N.p., 05 Dec. 2005. Web. 18 Feb. 2014.

Terdiman, Daniel. “Study: Wikipedia as Accurate as Britannica – CNET News.” CNET    News. CBS Interactive, 15 Dec. 2005. Web. 18 Feb. 2014.

Ulanoff, Lance. “Wikipedia: You Still Can’t Trust It.” PCMAG. N.p., 14 Jan. 2011. Web. 18    Feb. 2014.