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Companies are increasingly turning to social media to screen potential employees

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This article, written by Anatoliy Gruzd, Ryerson University; Elizabeth Dubois, L’Université d’Ottawa/University of Ottawa, and Jenna Jacobson, Ryerson University, originally appeared on The Conversation and has been republished here with permission:

As businesses around the world slowly start to reopen after being forced to shut down operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the graduates of the class of 2020 are sharpening their presentation skills and updating their resumes to look for employment opportunities. But will their polished resumes make them more competitive relative to their peers?

The answer may surprise you. In today’s digitally mediated world, well-prepared resumes may not be enough to make you stand out among hundreds of candidates.

Due to the increasing use of social media around the globe (especially now during #socialdistancing), many recruiters and hiring managers find social media attractive as a readily available source of real-time data to find and vet candidates.

Social media is used by potential employers to check job applicants’ qualifications, assess their professionalism and trustworthiness, reveal negative attributes, determine whether they post any problematic content and even assess “fit.”

Screening applicants

We examined social media users’ attitudes towards employers using social media to screen job applicants, a process known as cybervetting. We conducted an online survey of 454 participants, primarily from the United States and India, with a followup study surveying 482 young adults in Canada.

In these studies, we compared people’s comfort level with cybervetting in relation to different types of information that could be gathered from publicly accessible social media platforms. These were readily available information in the form of raw data and metadata, meaning what they had posted, when and how; analytics information that would require processing, for example, results of sentiment analysis or topic modelling of an applicants’ posts; and information related to users’ online social network that is often used for social network analysis, for example who follows whom on social media.

Expectations of privacy

The results revealed the nuanced nature of social media users’ privacy expectations in the context of hiring practices. Individuals have context-specific and data-specific privacy expectations. People who are already concerned about social media platforms collecting their personal information and possibly sharing it without their consent are less comfortable with third parties using social media data to screen job applicants — even if it’s publicly available.

On the other hand, individuals who are more comfortable with this practice are also more concerned that social media platforms might be storing inaccurate information about them. This may be a sign of “digital resignation,” a phenomenon in which people are worried about privacy but recognize that companies still engage in this practice. Social media users may want to ensure that information collected about them from online sources is accurate, since erroneous representations may negatively impact their success on the job market.

Comfort levels

We also found that being a job-seeker does not necessarily make one more or less comfortable with cybervetting. And there is no significant relationship between one’s gender and the comfort level with this practice. Regardless of one’s employment status or gender, our findings point to the presence of expectations and concerns with social media screening.

Our results highlight the need for employers and recruiters who rely on social media to screen job applicants to be aware of the types of information that may be perceived to be more sensitive by applicants, such as social network-related information (like friends’ lists and connections among friends).

Our research stresses the importance of employers aligning their hiring practices with people’s expectations. If job applicants are aware of and not comfortable with cybervetting, companies may lose the opportunity to recruit high-quality applicants.

Alternatively, employees may lose trust in the company if they later learn about the company’s social media screening practices. Despite the lack of regulations about cybervetting in most countries, employers should proactively state if they engage in cybervetting, outline what social media will be examined and describe how the information will be used.

Ethical hiring practices matter, and this type of transparency is a first step towards giving the next generation of graduates and employees a fair chance of landing their dream job.

Anatoliy Gruzd, Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Social Media Data Stewardship, Ryerson University; Elizabeth Dubois, Assistant Professor, Communication, L’Université d’Ottawa/University of Ottawa, and Jenna Jacobson, Assistant Professor, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Source: – NewmarketToday.ca

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Three charged with intimidation for social media post – My North Bay Now

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A social media post has led to three people being charged by North Bay police for Intimidation of a Justice Participant.

Police began an investigation in August to look into the intimidation of someone involved in a court case. Police say that someone who provided information to an ongoing court case had been the subject of a social media post that garnered negative comments, creating a safety concern.

Constable John Schultz says that it was the negative comments on the social media post that warranted investigation.

“Part of what the individual had provided as information, [the accused] posted that information online. That in and of itself may or may not be an offence, but it’s the way they posted it and the fact that it created a lot of feedback that created a safety concern for this person,” Schultz said.

As a result of the investigation, a 54-year-old woman from North Bay, a 42-year-old woman from East Ferris and a 42-year-old man from Powassan have all been charged with one count each of Intimidation of a Justice Participant.

Schultz says that the three people charged “worked together” on the social media post. He was unable to comment on what the court case is as it is still ongoing, and says that the social media post hasn’t impacted the case “at this point”.

Schultz says that Intimidation of a Justice Participant is not a commonly-used charge by North Bay police.

“The charge has been laid here in North Bay another time, but I’ve been involved in policing for 36 years and I’ve never laid it. It doesn’t happen too often,” he said.

The importance of the charge, however, is significant. Schultz says that the charge is in place to protect the court system.

“If you’re going to be involved in a court case, no matter who you are, you should not feel afraid because you’re involved in a court case,” he explained. “If you intimidate somebody to a point where they’re concerned, maybe they’ll recant on their statement.”

Scott Tod, Chief of the North Bay Police Service, also stresses the importance of the charge.

“Public confidence in our courts being ethical and trustworthy means police have the added responsibility of identifying and charging people who try to intimidate or threaten a person involved in our judicial process. North Bay Police Service, like all our provincial and national policing partners, will vigorously investigate these types of offences that protect the integrity of our judicial system,” Tod said in a statement.

The two women who were charged will appear in North Bay court on October 20, with the man set to appear on November 3.

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Mi'kmaw journalist assesses media coverage of fisheries dispute – CBC.ca

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Some media coverage of tension between Mi’kmaw and non-Indigenous fishermen, like what’s happening right now in Saulnierville, N.S., fails to tell the true story, says Trina Roache.

She’s a long-time journalist with APTN News who has covered the implications of the 1999 Marshall decision for years. The historic ruling recognized a First Nations’ right to earn a moderate living from fishing but the government has never defined what that means. 

Last year, Roache released a documentary on the 20th anniversary of the Marshall decision asking what had changed. 

Now, she’s covering the same tensions in Saulnierville where the Sipekne’katik First Nation launched their moderate livelihood fishery on Thursday. It’s being opposed by non-Indigenous fishermen who’ve cut traps and paraded their boats around the harbour in protest. 

Roache spoke with host CBC Mainstreet host Jeff Douglas about what the journalist can do to better report on Indigenous issues and why an understanding of the treaties is so important.  

Their conversation has been edited for clarity and length.

In general, are we driving you nuts?

A little bit, to be honest. A little bit. 

It’s a story I’ve spent a lot of time on, and then sometimes when I read the headlines and when I see the mainstream coverage, it’s frustrating because there’s an imbalance sometimes or a language that happens in the coverage that to me creates a narrative that the Mi’kmaw are doing something wrong, which isn’t the case. 

Can you give us an indication of some of that coverage or the imbalance? 

The Mi’kmaq, they have a right. The Supreme Court of Canada decided in the Marshall decision that they agree, yes, the Mi’kmaq have a treaty right to make a living from fishing and hunting and gathering. They came out with the term “moderate livelihood,” didn’t define it, so it’s a little confusing. But they upheld that treaty right. 

And so the problem is, is that when we call it an illegal fishery, that’s only because the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has not implemented their own law, like they haven’t addressed the Marshall decision to date. So there are no rules to govern a moderate livelihood fishery. And so in the eyes of DFO, it might be an illegal fishery, but in fact, the Mi’kmaq have a legal right, a constitutional right to go fish and make a living. 

APTN journalist Trina Roache spoke with host Jeff Douglas about what the mainstream media can do to better report on Indigenous issues at a time when many eyes are on Saulnierville, N.S. That’s where Sipekne’katik First Nation launched a self-regulated fishery this week. It’s been met with resistance and anger from commercial fishermen. 14:49

Chief Terry Paul also said that they have been waiting for essentially 21 years for DFO and for some sort of governance. 

The Mi’kmaq are doing that work themselves. And that’s what you’re seeing today down in Saulnierville, near Digby. The Sipekne’katik First Nation in particular is down there issuing these moderate livelihood licences. They’ve got a management plan, they’re celebrating the anniversary of the Marshall decision, you know, kicking off this moderate livelihood with ceremony, the Grand Council’s there. This is not an illegal fishery. They have every legal right to do what they’re doing.

The Mi’kmaq are not protesting. So, again, we have to be very careful of the words we use when we’re describing what’s happening. But the protest part is that the non-Mi’kmaw fishermen down there are out on the water in their boats and trying to sort of stymie the Mi’kmaq, and not allow them to drop their traps or maybe cut their traps and not allow them to sort of carry out this moderate livelihood fishery. So that’s the protest part. 

Trina Roache reports for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, or APTN. (Trina Roache)

In addition to language use, like substituting the word protest instead of celebration or ceremony, illegal fishery, is there just a lack of understanding surrounding treaty issues? 

We have a really important job in providing that balanced view. You sort of have the tenets of journalism, right? We all want to do fair, balanced, accurate, objective reporting. And as an Indigenous journalist, well, that’s what I do, too. And so sometimes what can happen, though, I think, is that we sort of assume that somehow mainstream journalism, predominantly white journalism, that is just sort of unbiased … Because I’ve been asked, well, how do you keep your journalism from turning into advocacy? And I’m like, that’s a terrible question, because you’re making an assumption somehow that because I’m Mi’kmaw reporting on Mi’kmaw issues that I can’t be fair and accurate and balanced. 

And instead, when CBC or other media are calling this fishery an illegal fishery or keep referring to it within the report as this illegal fishery, to me that’s bias, right? That betrays an inherent bias in the reporting and not including enough Mi’kmaw voices. If you’re going to do a story about the Mi’kmaw, you have to make sure you’re talking to the Mi’kmaw. And you have to make sure that if you’re going to do a story about this, I hope you’ve read the treaties … So even if you’re not going to do Indigenous stories, as a journalist in Canada or wherever, you should know the history of the land that you’re standing on.

To be dismissive or refer to it as an illegal fishery is really covering over all this backstory and history and this treaty relationship that’s very important and really matters today. The treaties might have been signed before but they still count today, and if we’re going to report on these stories then we really need to understand what it means. 

The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Chiefs declared a state of emergency on Friday in response to “violence occurring over Mi’kmaq fisheries across the province.” (Steve Lawrence/CBC)

Going back to your point about where people get their information from, particularly on Indigenous issues, it’s from us and so we are then mis-educating, inadvertently?

It’s true because we do play an important role in just public information … I was thinking of this earlier because the battle cry of the non-Mi’kmaw fishermen or fish harvesters back in 2000 after the Marshall decision came down was they’re going to ruin the lobster stocks. I mean, I remember hearing that again and again on the wharves from fishermen up near Burnt Church: the Mi’kmaq are going to ruin the lobster stocks. 

And you still hear that today … and so as a journalist, sometimes, like, you have to question and educate yourself and question DFO so that the listener has a full picture and education because it’s misinformation. They haven’t ruined the lobster stocks in 21 years. What the Mi’kmaw do is a drop in the bucket compared to the commercial fishery … There’s only conflict when there’s money at stake, right? This is a multi-billion dollar industry, and so there’s a lot at stake. When inherent rights butt up against Canadian interests, that’s when it’s a problem. 

Everyone can be nice and talk about reconciliation and all that nice stuff, but it’s when we butt up against the larger interests that you start to see the media sort of breakdown in how it’s reporting on these issues.

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Three charged with witness intimidation over social media – BayToday.ca

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North Bay Police have charged two women and a man after an investigation found that a witness involved in a criminal case was being intimidated over social media.

Police began an investigation in August and say “an individual who had provided information during an investigation before the courts had been the subject of a post shared on a social media site attracting several comments from people that created a safety concern.”

The investigation resulted in the arrest of three people in early September.

North Bay Police have arrested and charged Cindy Morin,  54, of North Bay, Lisa Cormier, 42, of East Ferris, and Raymond Prudhomme, 42, of Powassan with “Intimidation of a Justice Participant.”

All three were released from custody. Morin and Cormier will appear in the North Bay Courthouse on October 20.

Prudhomme will appear in the North Bay Courthouse on November 3.

Chief Scott Tod said “Public confidence in our courts being ethical and trustworthy means police have the added responsibility of identifying and charging people who try to intimidate or threaten a person involved in our judicial process. North Bay Police Service, like all our provincial and national policing partners, will vigorously investigate these types of offences that protect the integrity of our judicial system.”

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