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- Employers, Facebook and Privacy: There’s been a swirl of activity after an AP article last week discussed the growing trend of employers asking potential employees for their Facebook passwords or to log in during job interviews. An individual quoted in the article, who discontinued a job application process with one firm after being asked for his password, said, “I think asking for account login credentials is regressive,” he said. “If you need to put food on the table for your three kids, you can’t afford to stand up for your belief.” Other entities with clout agree. Facebook came out with a statement at the end of last week siding with job applicants and warning employers that they are in violation of Facebook’s Statement on Rights and Responsibilities (and potentially open themselves up to “unanticipated legal liability”) if asking applicants for this private information. “As a user, you shouldn’t be forced to share your private information and communications just to get a job,” Erin Egan, Chief Privacy Officer, Policy at Facebook said in the statement. Over the weekend, two U.S. senators asked Attorney General Eric Holder to look into the matter as well. On his blog, Jeremiah Owyang offers an alternate solution for companies: educate and train employees on social media use and issues instead.
- Altimeter Digital Influence Report: The Altimeter Group published its latest research report last week, this one on “The Rise of Digital Influence: A ‘how-to’ guide for businesses to spark desirable effects and outcomes through social media influence,” by lead author Brian Solis. An interesting report on defining, measuring and applying influence in social media.
- Twitter, Hashtags and Elections: Speaking of influence, a piece on Talking Points Memo discusses why hashtags on Twitter are a poor predictor of election results. As the Nieman Journalism Lab put it in republishing the piece, “prominence on Twitter doesn’t necessarily turn into prominence at the ballot box.”
- Red Cross Social Media Center for Disaster Response: This news is now a couple weeks old, but the American Red Cross opened a “digital operations center and digital volunteer program” earlier in March, with help and support from Dell. The program aims to “to coordinate response efforts during disasters.” It’s an evolving approach to using technology and volunteers together to improve disaster response capabilities.