Forget the First Amedment: Silence is Golden with WikiLeaks

We would all love to believe as Americans that we have the freedoms to say whatever we want wherever we want.  After all, that is exactly what our founders felt was the most important freedom, and why it stands at the top of the list in the Bill of Rights.

But going into the job market sometimes forces us to compromise some freedoms, and especially those that contradict the institution or company to that we are employed.  With the high use of social media like Facebook and Twitter, employees need to be careful we exactly what they say in those status updates or 140 character snippets.

Companies are sensitive to those able to tarnish their reputation online.  Through online searches, they also have the capability of looking into your online profile even before you were hired.  This is a scary thought to many students that do not think of the potential repercussions for their word.

These key concepts of censorship have recently made headlines with the WikiLeak controversy.  A Huffington Post blog by Rob Fishman announced the State Department’s warning to Columbia University students.  They warned students seeking employee to NOT discuss WikiLeaks on their Facebook or Twitter accounts, as it could severely damage their chances of being employed.  This is especially important for those looking into government work.  It gives the impression that students cannot be trusted with important confidential information.  In this case, it seems as though the small risk is not worth it.

So, forget free speech in order to get hired?  This may make you first amendment advocates cringe, but it is important to remember what exactly employers are looking for in a candidate.  While we want to be able to post anything freely, it should not shock anyone that there is always censorship in a company or industry.  It is just the way of the world.

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