The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Policing your online content

There’s no such thing as privacy on the Internet

This summer I accepted an internship at a think-tank in Dallas.

Halfway into the summer, the CFO of the organization sent out a mass e-mail to all employees. It read, “If you have personal e-mail, Facebook, LinkedIn or any other social or public media… and they refer in any way to [the company], they must conform to our image and the information presented must be accurate. Photos, graphics and any other content must be professional and present [the company] and its work in a positive light.”

I was shocked. How could my job regulate what I post on my Facebook?

After thinking about it for a while, I realized that the request was completely understandable. We don’t realize that our Facebook pages are visible to everyone, regardless of whether or not we set our profiles to private. Your mother, your boss and your school teachers can see anything and everything they want, given a bit of free time and some perseverance.

With the upsurge in Web sites like and, which can find all personal information you have posted anywhere on the Internet by a search of your name, privacy on the Internet is almost non-existent. All e-mails, instant messages and Facebook messages are also saved somewhere as well, and can be accessed.

Your resume goes far beyond the piece of paper you hand to your boss. It extends to anything and everything that she can find about you by typing your name into a search bar.

Your Facebook profile, YouTube videos and blog posts are an accurate reflection of who you are and how you behave, so it makes sense that your potential employer would want to see it. And since the Internet is public domain, they have every right to view it.

Even with the computer-friendly mindset of our generation, there is still a disconnect between Facebook and the real world. We don’t realize that Facebook is not actually private and we continue to post anything and everything on it. Photos with beer bottles and red Solo cups littering the background, suggestive photos in our shortest skirts and pictures that reveal our most private moments have become common.

But the negative effects of posting such ridiculous things reach far beyond the business world. How many of you have witnessed a wall-to-wall between your Facebook friends that you would rather have not seen at all? Personal conversations, angry wall posts and intensely emotional statuses plague Facebook. We have started using it as a diary rather than what it was meant for: connecting with friends.

We would never say half the things in a face-to-face conversation that we choose to say on Facebook, and we would never run around shouting our Facebook statuses on street corners, but we don’t realize that posting such things on Facebook has the same effect, if not larger.

Your Facebook is accessible to thousands, regardless of what you set your privacy settings to. Posting a Facebook status or commenting on someone’s page is the real word equivalent of standing in front of a football stadium of people and shouting it into a megaphone.

But why aren’t their laws to protect us from such violations of privacy? Well, because it’s not a violation of privacy. The Internet is publicly accessible.

Photos posted on Facebook have been used against people in court cases as evidence, used to justify sudden terminations and used to decide whether or not to hire new employees. The Supreme Court of Canada has concluded that there is absolutely no expectation of privacy on the Internet, and the United States’ Supreme Court is not far behind.

If you hope to get a job, retain professionalism within your current job, or even just please your parents, you should probably comb through your Facebook and delete anything that seems suspect.

While this might not be fun, it could mean the difference between being employed or unemployed. I think it’s worth it.  

Jessica Huseman is a sophomore CCPA and political science double major. She can be reached for comment at [email protected].

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