Old People and New Communication

Why can no one see how absolutely insane these demands are? Places of employment and schools now are requesting for the passwords to social website accounts of their would-be employees or current students.

In the latest such case, a cheerleader was disciplined for comments made in a private message on Facebook. That message was not even directed at an official of the school, but another member of the squad who had been engaging in harassing behavior. The other students deleted their accounts and did not provide a password when asked.

Specifically to this case, this is all quite absurd. It was a private message. To wit, the message was intended for no one else but the recipient. It was akin to intercepting an email, tapping a phone call, or opening someone’s mail. Just because they asked does not take away from the fact that no one should have to follow up with such a request.

Here is a question. Do the employers / school districts realize what they are asking for? And not only that, but what do they feel like accomplishing other than coercion?

My point is that this is a slippery slope. If people feel too frightened to express their thoughts in a certain medium, they’ll switch. They will start writing letters if they feel it necessary. And the real question is this: How far are we going to let these encroachments go until we realize that we’ve unleashed Big Brother?

WhoisIOZ is right. Land of the free, indeed.


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