Wizard's First Rule: People are stupid. They will believe a lie either because they want it to be true or because they're afraid it's true.
-Terry Goodkind
Lord Galen
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January 1, 2012

Dear Galen

I've been job hunting a lot lately and on one interview I went to, the guy asked me for my Facebook! I didn't know what to do, so I just gave it to him. What the hell? I thought employers couldn't ask you for things like that? I asked my parents and they said employers can ask you anything they want.

What should I do if this comes up again and were my parents right?


Dear Face,

This is a problem that's becoming more and more prevalent these days. I know several people who have a 2nd Facebook account *just* for business purposes. The problem with that, of course, is that in order to make it look legit, you need to have friends on it. And to get friends, you have to send friend requests to the people who are already on your REAL Facebook page. A smart boss will look at your friends' friend lists and try to find you. He could find your real page in 2 or 3 clicks (it's not that fucking hard) and THEN your ass is busted for giving him a fake page. So, while this is an OK option, it's far from ideal and could just cause you more problems. Still, it's a common tactic among those entering the workforce, so I'm not gonna say it's totally off the table as an option. You could always try it.

In the same vein, you could also just lie and say you don't HAVE a Facebook. That presents the same problem, however. Your boss can always just search for you and find out that you lied.

On the other hand, let's look at just how fucking wrong your parents are. An employer (or potentional employer) is most definately NOT allowed to ask you certain questions. You can't be asked things like your family or marital status, your sexual orientation, your religious beleifs, or your political leanings. It is ILLEGAL for you to be asked these questions by an employer!

Looking at my Facebook "Info" page right now, I see a few things that, by law, your employer shouldn't be asking to see. Things like:

• Relationship Status
• Religious Views
• Political Views

Any ONE of those things makes your Facebook off limits to anyone interviewing you for a job! Not to mention the myriad of favorite books, movies, bands, etc. that could testify to your personal beliefs about things; things that are NONE of your boss' fucking business!

This is really an attempt to circumvent the law. There is no law specifically stating that an employer can't ask for your social networking information. And, let's be real here, the Internet is NOT private and you should have no expectation of privacy while on it. That being said, your employer knows damn well the kind of information he'll find on your Facebook. Make no mistake, an employer who asks you for this information is circumventing a law that's meant to protect you from employers who might discriminate against you for the things you do, say, or think in your personal life.

Let me be clear about this: Nothing in your personal life is any concern of your boss - NOTHING.

The same applies to your boss sending you a friend request. He's your boss, not your "friend." Deny that shit!

Now, on the practical question of what you should have done and what you should do in the future. I'll give you a word for word of exactly how this conversation would go if it were me being interviewed.

Employer: Ok, so I'd like to see your Facebook now. Could you pull it up for me?
Galen: Um... My Facebook? Isn't that a little personal for a job interview?
Employer: No, I don't think so. It lets me see what kind of person I might be hiring.
Galen: Maybe so, but since my religion, marital status, political views, and things like that are all on my Facebook and since it's illegal for you to ask me for that information.... let's just move on.

Honestly, that would probably blow the interview for you. But you have to ask yourself if you really WANT to work for someone who's trying to break the law (to your detriment) and violate your privacy rights the very first time you meet him. For me, that would be a bad omen about just what kind of working environment this person creates and it's the kind that I wouldn't want to expose myself to.

Many would say "but if you have nothing to hide...." and I'd reply that they're fucking morons. That isn't the point! Facebook is like your diary, only a diary that gets shared with everyone you choose to share it with. The whole point of the friend request setup is defeated by being asked to give a total stranger all that information. You don't need to have something to hide to treasure your own privacy. People who think that way are idiots.

The choice is yours to make, but I'd think very carefully about all I've said before you go running around showing your FB page to every Billy Bubba Bo Bob who fucking asks for it, especially when you're made to feel like refusing tha request could cost you the job you want. That's pretty much extortion right there and any person doing it can go suck a freshly-picked sun-dried moose cock!

All My Loathing,
Lord Galen

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