Due to the rise in usage of Social Media among internet users, (Jeffbullas,2014), there are many positive changes and also have its implications. This brings us back to the issue of social media ethics.

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Increasing trend of organisation using social media:screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-9-54-27-am


With the availability of social media, companies have been using it heavily for different purposes, thus I consider companies’ HR practice on social media an uprising and significant ethical challenge.

Social Media Recruiting

As mentioned in Topic 3, 93% of recruiters review a candidate’s social profile before making a hiring decision, (Jobvite) and 64% make use of two or more social networks as their assessment practices during recruitment. [1] Employers uses social media to have a comprehensive snapshot of candidates (Sajjad Masud,2012)

Even though this trend helps us to know the importance of our online presence, it also raises ethical challenges for employers around employees’ rights to privacy and fairness. Is it ethical to judge someone’s ability for the job position based on the personal life information in his/her social media profile?

An organisation often overlook at the crux of social media use, whereby most people use social media as a form of expression and communication, where it is inevitable to control everything across their online profile.




So,  does our ‘privacy rights’ as a social media user challenge an ethical issue towards social media recruiting?

Here are some Ethical Consideration regarding social media recruiting (slideshow by me) :

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To counter this issue, whether social media recruiting is done directly by the organization or being outsourced, the company should have a clear and open policy regarding the pre-determination criteria for selection. [2]

Controlling Employee’s use of Social Media / Workplace Cyber-bullying

Social media blurs the boundaries between personal and work-life [2] – When a personal opinion expressed through social media refer to a company, it raises an ethical challenge! This unclear control the company has over comments communicated in this way rises a challenge of what action the company should take. Additionally, workplace cyber-bullying is an issue that companies face and challenge them in identifying acceptable levels of monitoring employees’ personal use of social media, without limiting their freedom of expression.



Another issue that may crop up is the misuse of companies’ social media accounts by employees.



An example of an unethical case of a company using social media:


Source: Read more cases here

In conclusion, to address the ethical challenges that social media presents towards companies’ HR practices, companies should fully assess the risk and challenge before using social media. A social media policy that aligns with companies’ ethics policies should be implemented to provide guidance on employees’ use of social media on behalf of the company and personal use. [2]

(Word count : 386 words)


[1] Bullas, J. (2014) 22 social media facts and statistics you should know in 2014 – Jeffbullas’s Blog. Available at: (Accessed: 11 November 2016).

[2] Institute of Business Ethics (2011) The Ethical Challenges of Social Media. Available at: (Accessed: 11 November 2016).

Kelion, L. (2013) UK jumps up internet scoreboard as digital divide grows. Available at: (Accessed: 11 November 2016).

Cohn, C. and Connection, C. (2010) Social media ethics and etiquette. Available at: (Accessed: 11 November 2016).

Jobvite (2014) Social Recruiting survey. Available at: (Accessed: 11 November 2016).

Legal and Ethical Considerations for Social Media Hiring Practices in the Workplace (2015) Available at: (Accessed: 11 November 2016).

Greenwald, G. (2014) Why privacy matters. Available at: (Accessed: 11 November 2016).

Kumar, S. (2015) Why monitoring employees’ social media is a bad idea. Available at: (Accessed: 11 November 2016).

Calderon, A. (2016) 19 companies that made huge social media fails. Available at: (Accessed: 11 November 2016).

Editorial (2016) Twitter abuse: Easy on the messenger. Available at: (Accessed: 11 November 2016).

Kleinman, Z. (2015) Who’s that girl? The curious case of Leah Palmer. Available at: (Accessed: 11 November 2016)

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