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Virginia Trooper Applicants Must Allow Social Media Review

March 23, 2012  | 

Screenshot: Twitter
Screenshot: Twitter

The Virginia State Police now require potential troopers to provide their social media accounts for review during an extensive background screening process, reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Candidates must provide a list of social sites they use, including private profiles. They must also sit down with a background investigator to review them together.

The ACLU of Virginia has decried the process as "deplorable" and akin to "asking to see someone's diary."

The practice of potential employers asking for usernames and passwords has led to proposed legislation in Illinois and Maryland that would bar public agencies from asking for access to employees' social networks.

Comments (8)

Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

Tom @ 3/23/2012 9:28 AM

Virginia might want to rethink that..

Dan Birdsley @ 3/27/2012 7:34 AM

It is still posted on-line, for crying out loud. I don't believe these candidates would allow their friends to read their diary!

maleman39 @ 3/27/2012 8:54 AM

Right on! Police officer is probably the most sensitive position in our society, calling for someone who is mentally stable, responsible, and has sound judgement, common sense, and sound moral values. Many people apply for the job because of the personal power it will give them over others and opportunities for graft and corruption. The public does not want that kind of mentality pointing a gun at them. The police selection boards have every right to carefully check out every aspect of an applicant's background, including their social interaction.

Rich @ 3/27/2012 9:11 AM

This is a great idea. You see police officers every day getting themselves in trouble for posting things on social media sites. This allows an agency to make sure the incoming candidate is acting appropriately on all sites prior to becoming a police officer. We expect our officers to be held to standard above the rest of society. If you don't want to comply with the background standards don't apply to be an officer. Simple as that.

Bob @ 3/31/2012 3:16 PM

Tom - No one is asking for passwords, only to review their public postings. To be clear, there are no such things as "private postings" on social media sites. They are not diaries, they are on the Internet for heaven's sake. While no one should have to provide passwords, their public persona is open to scrutiny. I you don't want something public, then don't post it anywhere on the Internet!

Debi @ 4/1/2012 8:36 AM

I agree that nothing is private on the Internet. If you need to blow of steam. This is not the place.

Capt41 @ 4/4/2012 8:30 AM

Think. Personally identifiable information is potentially protected domain. EEOC is going to have a field day with this stuff.

Random @ 4/8/2012 4:25 AM

I like privacy, but the internet does not have it. A check of my social life would be eye watering boring. I only use Facebook to keep track of the fail videos going around. I use them for scenario practice. Also, what if they have no posts on the "internets”?

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