Fired over Facebook: Caroline Weber presents social media research

caroline weberCaroline Weber was in Dr. McDowell’s Media Legalities class with a 20 page assignment ahead of her. Searching for a topic that excited her, she found one that is hotly contended in every workplace across the country – social media. Caroline’s work in McDowell’s class, entitled “Social Media Speech’s Effect on Employment” earned her an A and entrance to the 2015 Undergraduate Ethics Symposium at DePauw University from April 9-11.

The symposium, “Value and Virtual Spaces” is a deeper look at ethical decision-making both in the private and public sphere. Caroline’s research delves into the ethics of social media and the workplace, a gray area.

In 2006, NBC reported that more than 77% of employers were using the internet to find out more about a job applicant and 35% had dismissed candidates based on what they found. This is the type of discrimination that Caroline is trying to bring to the light. “There was a man who was fired because he “liked” a comment on someone else’s post,” Caroline¬†shared.

In a world where nearly everyone has a social media presence, Caroline is bringing light to discrimination in the hiring and firing process in the private and public sectors.

“Employers want outgoing employees, but discriminate against them for having an outgoing life,” Caroline said.

In hundreds of applications, 30 students from across the country were selected. Caroline will be attending the conference in Indiana and thanks Dr. McDowell for his encouragement to submit her paper.