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Nowadays it may be difficult to imagine the world without social networks, these platforms have become key spaces for people. The clearest proof of this is in the amount of time allocated to them daily, for example, in the case of Mexico, data from the We Are Social and Hootsuite Digital in 2019 report, reveal that we spend about 3 hours with 12 minutes a day, thereby achieving the seventh country that spends more time in these spaces.
And if that is not enough, the firm Omnicore highlights that internet users have an average of 7 social media accounts.
Are we exposed in social networks?
The uses that can be given to social networks can be very varied, there are those who prefer to leverage them as tools to enhance their personal brands, others that use them to spread their work, others to communicate with family and friends, and some ms to share opinions on all kinds of topics. And due to their nature, they have become a space in which we are all more visible, so much so that there is a probability that the publications you have made will be seen by someone with whom we will work in the future or with whom we are currently working.
However, being more visible thanks to these social spaces has become a problem for some people and for some brands or companies, as we have reported at the time, various professionals have been denounced for expressing political opinions and as a result They have had to take responsibility for their actions. To mention some examples is the case of BMW:
At BMW we do not tolerate discriminatory behaviors. We have investigated this case of public gender offense. The relevant distributor has been notified, who takes the measures they deserve for not representing the values of our brands.
– BMW Mexico (@BMWMex) August 19, 2019
And more recently is the case of the so-called #LadyTerrorista or #LadyBomba, which led Interjet to have to express himself in this regard and that Ximena Garca, the author of the controversial publication on Facebook, had to offer a public apology.
#Relevant Ximena Garca offers a public apology to the President @Lopezobrador_, @Interjet to the people who offended and #Mxico, for his post on Facebook that went viral … after being temporarily suspended by the airline pic.twitter.com/VBIA7c73dq
– Azucena Uresti (@azucenau) September 18, 2019
Only this pair of cases, of possibly hundreds that have already registered, can lead to the question of whether brands or companies should be more aware of the social profiles of their collaborators. Should it be like that? What implications could this have?
Should employees be monitored on social networks?
In a way this is already a reality, since social networks are already widely used spaces, companies have long leveraged them for various tasks, for example, for recruitment. CareerBuilder data indicates that at least 52 percent of the companies verify the social profiles of the candidates before hiring them. The figure represents an increase of almost 10 percent over the previous year and reveals the importance that social networks have gained for human resources managers.
In the words of those who defend that the social networks of the employees are monitored, this action makes sense if it seeks to protect the reputation of the companies, none wants to be linked to people who publish offensive things or are exhibited committing any illegal act because it can Directly affect the brands (even if it is a joke) to show again the case of Interjet and people who threatened not to travel again with that airline.
However, and interestingly, TIME magazine points out that monitoring social networks can be an ineffective task. The foregoing, as its text reveals, is because teasing surveillance can be something of the simplest. The moment the employee or candidate knows that he is being monitored, it is likely that he will restrict access to his profile or even create an alternative profile from which to show an image that the company wants to see. With these actions it may not be worthwhile for companies to invest time and money in monitoring their employees or candidates.
Another point against which the magazine stands out is the bias that may exist in people's thinking. Considering this aspect is important because many use social networks to express opinions or discuss various topics, of which some may agree on opinions, but there is a risk that they disagree and penalize others, for For example, if the personal vision of the employee or candidate on a political, religious or race issue is not the same as that of the employer.
As TIME well mentions, companies tend to be neutral on these issues or ideally they should be, however, the person in charge of monitoring can have a judgment that is subjective and thereby can discriminate against people based on their opinions. And it must be understood that everyone has the right to express and share their opinions with family, friends and acquaintances without influencing the fact that someone in the place where they work disagrees, many companies have the policy of not discriminating on the grounds of race, religion, political preferences, gender, etc. and this can be broken if bias intervenes in the way of thinking when monitoring social networks.
It is not bad that companies want or expect proper behavior from their employees in spaces such as social networks, after all they are representatives of them, however, the way in which this is addressed has to be taken care of, no employee wants to have your company "breathing on your shoulder" even outside the workspace, there must be trust from both sides. Employees must be able to trust that their companies are integral and the latter must trust that employees will behave responsibly, because as we mentioned above, we are all more visible thanks to social platforms and even a joke or mockery can become a major reputational crisis for both the brand and the professional who shares it in their personal profile.