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SUSPICIOUS MINDS: Could not being on Facebook cost you your next job?


That recruiters review a candidate’s online presence is common knowledge but could not having a Facebook account work against you?

August 13, 2012 4:00 by

An article on a German website has been making the rounds on the internet. The article identifies a link between not having a Facebook account and being a mass murder. To prove her point, the author quotes the example of Norwegian mass-murder Anders Brevik and Aurora shooter James Holmes who both did not use Facebook, but instead used MySpace and adultfriendfinder accordingly.

Now, linking the two similarities between the mass-murders might be a bit of a stretch, but the article has sparked an interesting conversation about what not having a Facebook profile says about you. The general consensus is quite divided: while some people see a lack of a social media presence as a personal choice motivated by a heightened love for one’s privacy, others construe it to be indicative of a deceitful nature. If you aren’t on Facebook is it because you are trying to hide something of your past or is it because you do not wish to recognize your associations?

Similar concerns have been raised within the sphere of recruitment. What does it mean if the person you are interviewing does not have a Facebook account? In fact Kashmir Hill blogged about her experiences on the topic: “anecdotally, I’ve heard both job seekers and employers wonder aloud about what it means if a job candidate doesn’t have a Facebook account. Does it mean they deactivated it because it was full of red flags? Are they hiding something?”

Now Kipp finds the argument discriminatory but we can also see the logic behind the suggestion that not being on Facebook is a little suspicious. Times are a-changing, and as Facebook’s omnipresent all-encompassing status grows, coming across someone who lives in our social-networking-obsessed society and still actively chooses not to have a Facebook profile does give pause to thought. Facebook demands a level of transparency and openness which might be the fraudulent person’s worst enemy.  Then again if someone tells you he does not have a Facebook profile he could just be one of the last normal people remaining.

What do you think? Would you be immediately suspicious of someone who shuns social media? Or conversely have you ever been discriminated against in the workplace or otherwise because you chose not to use social media? Let us know in the comments section down below.

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  1. chaz on August 14, 2012 6:23 am

    The cynic in me says this is just Facebook PR hyperbole to get as many people on Facebook as possible.

    The realist in me, says this is beyond belief. So each time there are mass murders the authorities should concentrate looking at the 6Billion who dont have a Fadebook account yet?

    As regards employment, this is an ideal way to manufacture who you want to be. So your prospective employer sees an account that meets their requirements. What ever happened to qualifications and experience?

  2. PPM on August 14, 2012 11:52 am

    I agree with Chaz.
    My son has, for many years, had one account with all his presentable friends and his family and another account reserved just for his close friends (presentable or otherwise).
    His facebook life goes on in his – invitation only – account while his family one looks perfectly normal with a mass of “likes” of the usual banal junk that a big family of posters will generate – but very little posted by him.
    Enough to fool 99% of company snoops (and probably a lot of social media “experts”) but it doesn’t really tell you about him.

  3. Mary Duck on August 14, 2012 4:42 pm

    facebook is CIA project – nothing more, nothing less. it is foolish to think that not having a fb account indicates your hiding something. This is just another form of bigotry – black/white, rich/poor, religious and every other form of bigotry. Do no tbelieve anythign the media says because it is controlled by vested interest. The intelligence community is all around us; we are saturated by it. They know exactly how to manipulate human behaviour and this story suggesting we all need fb accounts to be “above reproach” is another example of the mass-maniuplation by the intelligence community. The media is seen as a platform to get manipulative messages out to everry corner of the globe. IGNORE THESE LIES.

  4. Rob on November 8, 2012 1:11 am

    Bigotry, that’s the word I was looking for, thanks Mary!
    I cannot BELIEVE how much my choice to deactivate Facebook has caused such a ruckus. People are shocked, and a few times out-right rude about the fact that I don’t have an account. Even though I am more than happy to provide alternate means of contact, supply photos of myself, whatever; the fact that I’m not in the Book apparently “raises red flags”. Where has our world come to? We can no longer believe the powers “supposedly” taking care of us, we continue to destroy the planet in full knowledge of our actions, and now a normal and genuine nice guy is subjected to discriminatory judgements because he doesn’t utilize a website that he personally sees as being flawed and inessential. I grew up being force fed the beliefs and supremacies of living in “democracy” and “free market”, as to why I should be proud of living in such an accepting and “free” society as North America. I feel like each passing day is another reminder as to how these beliefs are false. Facebook is just a real-life “Matrix” to pacify the masses; if only more people could realize how sick and scary it really is! Until then, I’m just the crazy, murderous Communist that can’t integrate into “normal society” I guess…


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