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Forced Friends: Want a Job? Give Up Your Facebook Password

It turns out that online privacy is yet another casualty of the recession.


Concerns about the safety of Facebook profiles are valid, especially as the company grows and people share more information on the site. Facebook has had frightening breaches of user trust in the past, and some questions about where its loyalties lie—with consumers or with corporations—remain unanswered. Nobody can predict whether Facebook will end up taking advantage of the information provided by the millions of people who log into it every hour. But while Facebook itself waffles between creepy and benevolent, it turns out some people are using the site to get downright evil when it comes to online privacy.

An in-depth report from MSNBC reveals numerous documented instances of American colleges and employers demanding that students, employees, and applicants open up their Facebook profiles for review. Tecca.com reported last year on a police department in North Carolina that asked people applying for a clerical job, "Do you have any web page accounts such as Facebook, Myspace, etc.? If so, list your username and password." The Maryland Department of Corrections also asked applicants to hand over their passwords, until an ACLU complaint killed that practice. Still, some applicants report being asked in interviews to log into their Facebook profiles and allow the interviewer to look over their shoulder while they click around their photos and wall posts.


It doesn't end with the job market. College students—athletes in particular—are also subject to this invasive line of inquiry. In the new player handbook for athletes at the University of North Carolina, a passage reads, "Each team must identify at least one coach or administrator who is responsible for having access to and regularly monitoring the content of team members' social networking sites and postings. The athletics department also reserves the right to have other staff members monitor athletes' posts." Elsewhere, students have been told they have to friend their coaches, thus giving the coaches total access to their accounts.

To be sure, there are ways to lock down your Facebook account, even from "friends," but should anyone be forced to to resort to such lengths?

In an effort to catch law up with society, two Maryland state legislators are sponsoring a bill that would prevent schools and potential employers from seizing access to people's social networking sites. In the meantime, it's important to take note of at least one major factor driving these insane invasions of privacy: the terrible economy.

It's simple: In a world in which options are plentiful, people don't subject themselves to totalitarianism in order to secure employment. They go to a job interview, and when the interviewer starts demanding to rifle through their personal digital lives, they get up and leave, confident they can go somewhere else for work. The reason anyone is allowing potential employers to treat them like this is because a job is hard to come by these days, and so you do whatever you can to get employed—even if that means having your right to privacy trampled. Illegal immigrants have suffered with this "steady employment vs. avoiding abuse" dilemma for years. Now it's come to the Maryland Department of Corrections. When economic stability erodes, so does the list of things people won't do to get that stability back.

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via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

Former Secretary of State, first lady, and winner of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, sat own for an epic, two-and-a--half hour interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Wednesday.

She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

In the far-reaching conversation, Clinton and the self-proclaimed "King of All Media" and, without a doubt, the best interviewer in America discussed everything from Donald Trump's inauguration to her sexuality.

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Politics
Pixabay

Offering parental leave for new fathers could help close the gender gap, removing the unfair "motherhood penalty" women receive for taking time off after giving birth. However, a new study finds that parental leave also has a pay gap. Men are less likely to take time off, however, when they do, they're more likely to get paid for it.

A survey of 2,966 men and women conducted by New America found that men are more likely to receive paid parental leave. Over half (52%) of fathers had fully paid parental leave, and 14% of fathers had partially paid parental leave. In comparison, 33% of mothers had fully paid parental leave and 19% had partially paid parental leave.

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Bans on plastic bags and straws can only go so far. Using disposable products, like grabbing a plastic fork when you're on the go, can be incredibly convenient. But these items also contribute to our growing plastic problem.

Fortunately, you can cut down on the amount of waste you produce by cutting down on disposable products. And even more fortunately, there are sustainable (and cute) replacements that won't damage the environment.

Coconut bowls


Cocostation

Who says sustainable can't also be stylish? These cute coconut bowls were handmade using reclaimed coconuts, making each piece one of a kind. Not only are they organic and biodegradable, but they're also durable, in case your dinner parties tend to get out of hand. The matching ebony wood spoons were polished with the same coconut oil as the bowls.

Cocostation Set of 2 Vietnamese Coconut Bowls and Spoons, $14.99; at Amazon

Solar powered phone charger

Dizaul

Why spend time looking around for an outlet when you can just harness the power of the sun? This solar powered phone charger will make sure your phone never dies as long as you can bask in the sun's rays. As an added bonus, this charger was made using eco-friendly silicone rubber. It's win-win all around.

Dizaul Solar Charger, 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank, $19.95; at Amazon, $19.95; at Amazon

Herb garden kit

Planter Pro

Put some green in your life with this herb planter. The kit comes with everything you need to get a garden growing, including a moisture meter that helps you determine if your herbs are getting the right amount of food to flourish. All the seeds included are certified to be non-GMO and non-hybrids, meaning you can have fresh, organic herbs right at your fingertips.

Planter Pro's Herb Garden Cedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazonedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazon

Reusable Keurig cups

K & J

Keurig cups are convenient, but they also create a ton of plastic waste. These Keurig-compatible plastic cups are an easy way to cut down on the amount of trash you create without cutting down on your caffeine. Additionally, you won't have to keep on buying K Cups, which means you'll be saving money and the environment.

K&J Reusable Filter Cups, $8.95 for a set of 4,; at Amazon

Low-flow shower head

Speakman

Low-flow water fixtures can cut down your water consumption, which saves you money while also saving one of the Earth's resources. This shower head was designed with a lighter flow in mind, which means you'll be able to cut down on water usage without feeling like you're cutting down on your shower.

Speakman Low Flow Shower Head, $14.58; at Amazon

Bamboo safety razor

Zomchi

Instead of throwing away a disposable razor every time you shave, invest in an eco-friendly, reusable one. This unisex shaver isn't just sustainable, it's also sharp-looking, which means it would make a great gift for the holidays.

Zomchi Safety Razor, $16.99; at Amazon

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