Utilitarianism In Social Media

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It is reasonable for an employer to use social networking websites to screen job applicants and to use what they find as the basis for not hiring them, as long as the applicant 's information is public. This idea is supported by the Utilitarianism theory of ethics. The Utilitarian seeks the greatest amount of good for the greatest number of people. They would argue that an individual 's rights, while important, are not as important as the consequences are to the entire business organization. A Utilitarian would conclude that screening is ethical when choosing whether to hire someone. Screening applicant’s social media websites enables managers to understand more about the potential applicants, prevents potential damage to the company’s image …show more content…
Employers are well aware that individuals who are involved with inappropriate actions or behavior on social media are a substantial risk. Employees with social media posts or favorites about drugs or alcohol, racist or sexist remarks, or inappropriate political, sexual, or personal information can severely harm a company’s image. Pictures and comments that contain drugs and alcohol may drive some clients and investors away. Also, employees that exhibit tendencies of racism or sexism will hurt the company. In addition, an employee 's derogatory comments will weaken relationships with coworkers and managers resulting in a poor corporate culture. Inappropriate political, sexual, or personal information that is posted on employees social networking websites is available to be viewed by anyone. One post can cause major publicity allowing for competing companies or potential clients to view this post and use it against the company creating losses in many of its departments. For instance, customers may accuse a company of having an extremist working for them causing other consumers to stop using that company which leads to investors pulling out. The Utilitarianism approach to ethics would argue that one employee ruining a company’s reputation could have negative consequences on stakeholders. It would morally be correct to put thousands of people’s well being …show more content…
Prospective employees who routinely post pictures or comments about being under the influence of drugs or alcohol may come to work impaired. This inappropriate behavior makes them less effective and efficient in their job. There may also be increased monetary costs related to their poor choices including: medical and insurance costs, work-sponsored treatment programs, and time off. This hurts the productivity of the company on all levels; the coworkers who have to pick up the additional workload or the human resource department and managers who have to deal with the problem. Reduction in productivity and additional expenses could not only hurt the financial situation for the employees of the company but also thousands of stockholders. The teleologic beliefs held by a Utilitarian would say that these possible financial consequences would override any moral dilemma about checking applicant’s social media websites. Companies who screen social media accounts hope to eliminate a future employee’s substandard performance and to reduce potential financial

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