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Social Networking: Something Wicked This Way Comes?


Meteo Xavier
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Because you volunteered the information on MySpace for everyone to see. The word PUBLIC is absolute. You can't exclude people from "public", that includes prospective employers. If you don't want people to know that information, then you shouldn't post it. On the other hand, if you DON'T give it out, an employer can't compel you to tell them certain facts. These are very different things.

if you cannot disprove this statement then I suggest you stop arguing with it

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If this employer is allowed to do his / her "research" on myspace, that defeats the purposes of these specific laws.

No, it doesn't. The purpose of those laws is to prevent an employer from compelling a prospective employee to disclose certain private information. If that employee volunteers said information, regardless of whether it is to the employer face-to-face, or in a public forum, then they forfeit the protection granted by that law.

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No, it doesn't. The purpose of those laws is to prevent an employer from compelling a prospective employee to disclose certain private information. If that employee volunteers said information, regardless of whether it is to the employer face-to-face, or in a public forum, then they forfeit the protection granted by that law.

So you're basically telling me that it's also legal for an employer to "research" a little more about my friends and ask them questions about me.

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Argumentum ad hominem.

Well, ad homiem arguments are fine if they attack a person's credibility, which bgc just did. He asked what are your credentials, your authority on the subject.. and you refused to answer, which doesn't help your credibility.... but then, there are some elements of personal attack. But I don't care; i'll still take bgc's core argument as stronger.

First of all, its only been said a couple times, first by me IIRC, that looking for dirt on people online is potentially illegal because it circumvents laws that forbid asking age, sexual preference, religion, family information, etc. If the employer is not allowed to ask those questions during the interview, why is he/she allowed to dig up dirt on you on Myspace where, more than likely, you have that printed?

Asking. You said it right there. You can keep that information to yourself in an interview, but if you make that info public, they're not asking it to your face. It's like you take a piece of paper, write your name on it, along with a bunch of facts about yourself, including stuff like age, sexual orientation, religion, etc. and tossed the paper on the floor, and someone else picks it up. Except Myspace/Facebook are a heck of a lot more credible because there's often a face to go with the name and descriptors - and because your myspace/facebook are more likely to be controlled by you.

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So you're basically telling me that it's also legal for an employer to "research" a little more about my friends and ask them questions about me.

I doubt that is legal, because there's a difference between asking 3rd parties for information that isn't available anywhere else and viewing information that is publicly available.

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Well, ad homiem arguments are fine if they attack a person's credibility, which bgc just did. He asked what are your credentials, your authority on the subject.. and you refused to answer, which doesn't help your credibility.... but then, there are some elements of personal attack. But I don't care; i'll still take bgc's core argument as stronger.

Asking. You said it right there. You can keep that information to yourself in an interview, but if you make that info public, they're not asking it to your face. It's like you took a piece of paper, wrote on it your name, and wrote about yourself on it, including stuff like age, sexual orientation, religion, etc. and tossed the paper on the floor, and someone else picks it up. Except Myspace/Facebook are a heck of a lot more credible because there's often a face to go with the name and descriptors....

No, Argumentum Ad Hominem is not fine. The problem is that this is a cheap fallacy. You try to discredit someone's arguments by attacking him / her personally, instead of focusing simply on what's being said. For the sake of the argument, if I'm a murderer but I say that "the sky is blue", does the fact of me being a murderer make the sky less blue? Does the argument: "you're a murder, so the sky can't be blue"! Hold to you?

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hey mythrill can you maybe not try to show off your 'knowledge' of argumentative fallacies and instead put some more effort into convincing us why you aren't an idiot

I'll forget the personal attack for now. Why do I have to convince you I'm not an idiot? Will what I say be any more of a truth if I'm not an idiot?

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What a tangent this thread has gone off on! And I have to say, it's pretty clear that everyone in this argument has missed the point. Can we at least agree that the subject currently at hand is gray area and that there will most certainly be changes in the years the come?

The reason employers aren't allowed to ask certain questions in a job interview is to protect potential employees from discrimination. It's unfair to a person to be denied a job because of their ethnicity or because they plan on having children. The point (that I claimed everyone missed) is that it is unethical for employers to hire-or-not based on this information. It is completely irrelevant how they acquire this information, be it from a job interview, a personal website or anything else. What really matters is whether or not they use this information to discrimate against prospective employees.

Now, as the majority of the judge's panel has already claimed, most employers are checking facebooks and myspaces to establish character, that's all. But, if these hypothetical employers find out from your website that you are of a different religious influence than they are and choose not to hire you because of that, that would be unethical and probably illegal.

Hopefully this sort of thing doesn't happen very often, but discimination is a real thing and it seems inevitable to me that the laws (assuming there are any) concerning employers googling their employees will eventually be revised concerning this.

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Of course he's not "saying" that directly. But if you're smart enough, you'll notice that what he said can lead to this conclusion. It's called "induction".

so let me get this straight

because zircon said that putting 'private' things in a public place makes them public

you think that he means that it's okay for employers to ask your friends questions about you

maybe I'm not a high functioning autistic or something but I really don't see the logic here

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No, Argumentum Ad Hominem is not fine. The problem is that this is a cheap fallacy. You try to discredit someone's arguments by attacking him / her personally, instead of focusing simply on what's being said. For the sake of the argument, if I'm a murderer but I say that "the sky is blue", does the fact of me being a murderer make the sky less blue? Does the argument: "you're a murder, so the sky can't be blue"! Hold to you?

I was in the process of pulling a definition of the ad hominem fallacy out of a textbook... but it's not worth it. Now that I think about it, it doesn't matter what bgc said. You did not, when asked, defend your credibility... so, why should we take your points as valid?

To refer to your analogy... if you were to argue that murdering is a pleasant experience, talking about the sensations and feelings associated with it, and someone subsequently asked you, "Are you a murderer? How do you know this information?" and you said, "I'm not going to answer that," and you fail to cite credible sources, you hurt your own argument.

But, if these hypothetical employers find out from your website that you are of a different religious influence than they are and choose not to hire you because of that, that would be unethical and probably illegal.

I do agree with you.. but ultimately, if nobody ever finds out about it (since finding out information about someone can be done anonymously, and nobody knows for sure what specific information was found out about you), how can you call an employer on it?

er wait, lol, I think I'm arguing the wrong side on this issue.

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Well, ad homiem arguments are fine if they attack a person's credibility, which bgc just did. He asked what are your credentials, your authority on the subject.. and you refused to answer, which doesn't help your credibility.... but then, there are some elements of personal attack. But I don't care; i'll still take bgc's core argument as stronger.

Exactly. You [Myth] clearly have no idea what you are saying, and you dodged my suspicion as to why, so why should I pretend that there is any sensible legitimacy to anything you're saying?

I typically don't like the way bleck conducts himself in any discussion, but at least he is aware when someone has a preposterously poorly constructed opionion, which you have exhibited thus far.

As for the "some elements of personal attack", consider it slight exasperation for having to deal with someone who's logic is about as floppy as John Bobbit when he looks at Lorena.

Gyarr, here I am wasting more time in this vortex of a discussion.

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What a tangent this thread has gone off on! And I have to say, it's pretty clear that everyone in this argument has missed the point. Can we at least agree that the subject currently at hand is gray area and that there will most certainly be changes in the years the come?

The reason employers aren't allowed to ask certain questions in a job interview is to protect potential employees from discrimination. It's unfair to a person to be denied a job because of their ethnicity or because they plan on having children. The point (that I claimed everyone missed) is that it is unethical for employers to hire-or-not based on this information. It is completely irrelevant how they acquire this information, be it from a job interview, a personal website or anything else. What really matters is whether or not they use this information to discrimate against prospective employees.

Now, as the majority of the judge's panel has already claimed, most employers are checking facebooks and myspaces to establish character, that's all. But, if these hypothetical employers find out from your website that you are of a different religious influence than they are and choose not to hire you because of that, that would be unethical and probably illegal.

Hopefully this sort of thing doesn't happen very often, but discimination is a real thing and it seems inevitable to me that the laws (assuming there are any) concerning employers googling their employees will eventually be revised concerning this.

You pretty much summed up what I and Meteo were saying. One more thing to be asked here is: is this employer really deciding on character? How can we say for sure? We can't, really. This employer could decide on ethinicity, but say he/she dismissed you based on your character.

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This employer could decide on ethinicity, but say he/she dismissed you based on your character.

if an employer doesn't hire black guys and you are a black guy then I am pretty sure even if you don't have any pictures of yourself on the internet he is going to find out eventually

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Exactly. You [Myth] clearly have no idea what you are saying, and you dodged my suspicion as to why, so why should I pretend that there is any sensible legitimacy to anything you're saying?

I typically don't like the way bleck conducts himself in any discussion, but at least he is aware when someone has a preposterously poorly constructed opionion, which you have exhibited thus far.

As for the some elements of personal attack, consider it slight exasperation for having to deal with someone who's logic is about as floppy as John Bobbit when he looks at Lorena.

Gyarr, here I am wasting more time in this vortex of a discussion.

You're saying this pretty much because you don't like my opinion, not because of the merits of itself. So far I've brought to attention possible employer abuse, and questioned if these actions are truly ethic.

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You're saying this pretty much because you don't like my opinion, not because of the merits of itself.

no your opinion is pretty dumb to be honest

you've not really done anything to defend it and from the way you keep quoting other people saying THIS IS WHAT I AM SAYING you don't really seem to have any idea what your opinion really is

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I was in the process of pulling a definition of the ad hominem fallacy out of a textbook... but it's not worth it. Now that I think about it, it doesn't matter what bgc said. You did not, when asked, defend your credibility... so, why should we take your points as valid?

To refer to your analogy... if you were to argue that murdering is a pleasant experience, talking about the sensations and feelings associated with it, and someone subsequently asked you, "Are you a murderer? How do you know this information?" and you said, "I'm not going to answer that," and you fail to cite credible sources, you hurt your own argument.

I do agree with you.. but ultimately, if nobody ever finds out about it (since finding out information about someone can be done anonymously, and nobody knows for sure what specific information was found out about you), how can you call an employer on it?

er wait, lol, I think I'm arguing the wrong side on this issue.

He asked me how old I was and if I had a job. Does it mean that my points are more valid if I have a job? Will it make me any more "credible"? Honestly, you're almost making me into a defendant when this is clearly not the point of the whole topic.

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no your opinion is pretty dumb to be honest

you've not really done anything to defend it and from the way you keep quoting other people saying THIS IS WHAT I AM SAYING you don't really seem to have any idea what your opinion really is

If you're trying to acuse my credibility, you should at least try to write well-formed sentences.

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