Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 95, Issue 4, pp 507–525 | Cite as

Employer’s Use of Social Networking Sites: A Socially Irresponsible Practice

  • Leigh A. ClarkEmail author
  • Sherry J. Roberts


The Internet has drastically changed how people interact, communicate, conduct business, seek jobs, find partners, and shop. Millions of people are using social networking sites to connect with others, and employers are using these sites as a source of background information on job applicants. Employers report making decisions not to hire people based on the information posted on social networking sites. Few employers have policies in place to govern when and how these online character checks should be used and how to ensure that the information viewed is accurate. In this article, we explore how these inexpensive, informal online character checks are harmful to society. Guidance is provided to employers on when and how to use these sites in a socially responsible manner.


background check character check social networking social responsibility 



Social networking site


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Middle Tennessee State UniversityMurfreesboroU.S.A.

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