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Facebook Stalking

posted Nov 6, 2010, 9:57 AM by Mark Lewis
Everybody does it, but is there some ethical boundary?  Some businesses invite their patrons and potential customers to "stalk" them on Facebook.  Many employers will now include a sweep of a candidate's Facebook page as a background check of sorts.  Singles will view the pictures of potential dating partners before agreeing to dinner and a movie.  This raises a number of questions:

  • Is there any ethical boundary to cross with Facebook stalking?
  • Is there a different standard for individuals and businesses?
  • Should Facebook "background checks" be off-limits for potential employers?
  • Should Facebook users edit their profile and privacy settings according to their friends or their boss?  
  • Are there unwritten rules for delineating where Linked In should be used instead of Facebook?
  • Should rules be written?  Could they ever be enforceable?  
According to, 44% of employers use Facebook to examine profiles of potential candidates and 39% have looked up profiles of current employees.  

There is even a Facebook group entitled, "Employers Using Facebook as a Background Check is Wrong!"