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Finnish unethical Facebook violations
by Thanos Kalamidas
2014-01-19 13:27:29
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A couple of years ago a recruiting and PR “guru”, in Finland; somebody known only to his Facebook friends and that’s my excuse why I don’t remember his name, in an interview for a Finnish newspaper said that a basic element for his recruits was Facebook. And sadly nobody in Finland told him that he was the essence of stupidity; on the contrary he found a ground to expand a new hiring trend that has gone all the way to the Finnish education institutes like universities.  

Facebook, twitter, blogs and the rest of the social media have created a new situation that instead of excusing their identity as a social and communication tool have become invaders to our personal lives. And that has happened not because they were designed to do so but because we let them become that.

Sadly there are private companies nowadays that demand from their employees to have full access to their social media so they can check …what? A private conversation or a private exchange of photos?

hel01_400Now schizophrenically when Facebook started it was very basic in its layout and use so it was lacking elements like privacy protection, something the European Parliament noticed pretty fast. Using a series of serious threats and occasionally fining the company with gruelling fines Facebook (and the other social media) had to gradually change and they are still changing mainly aiming to insure the protection of personal information according the laws that govern in the European Union and the Human Rights European Charta.

Actually privacy became a key word for all these social media because despite the fact that they were made to connect people they still carried the element of choice on who will see what and when. And that was a choice made by the user and nobody else. A sign of democracy.

However the fact that there are companies that have the policy to violate these principals and furthermore that there are institutions, especially educational invitations like universities that violate privacy goes beyond legality, goes to unethical. And ethics are more important than laws that can serve interests and agendas depending on who’s applying them.

It is especially harmful when the ones who act unethically are education institutions like in this case the Finnish Univercities. Universities should be places of freedom that nurse young people into democracy and settler freedom of speech and freedom of expression not places that check their behaviour in Facebook from their partying photos. In the contrary that supposedly champions transparency and democracy this is a sign of fascism, prejudice and discrimination.

Fascism because only a fascist regime interferes with strictly personal information using it to judge your general behaviour, prejudice because only a fascist regime marks you for life for something you did in your personal life and in your strictly personal time for life and discrimination because only a fascist regime separates the people unequally depending on their performance, expression and freedom on private time.

But the worst is still not there. The worst is that hypocritically an education institute – I repeat again, in the country that supposedly champions transparency and democracy – forces future generations and tomorrow’s power players to become hypocrites presenting a fake self just to serve a fascist attitude that might give them a chance in a hypocritecal future. Imagine the results. Imagine that these people are the rulers of tomorrow!

So what’s next? Are they going to put cameras inside the Helsinki University students’ rooms so they will not miss even a second of their ….freedom? And I repeat again, this is the country that has PR all around the world that they champion transparency and democracy!


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