A disturbing poll appeared on The Sun Sentinel's website this morning, just after 5:00 a.m. It asked: "Would you give Facebook password to get a job?" Don't mind the dodgy construction -- if you're confused, the question is not "Would you give a password to Facebook in order to work there?" but rather "Would you divulge your Facebook password to a prospective employer in order to land a job?" The poll has so far received 351 responses, mine among them.
The Sentinel wants to know because the town of Bozeman, MO, has apparently begun requiring just this information from those applying for work with the city. Predictably, the demand has caused an outcry on the internets, which might make one wonder if Bozeman's city elders have any idea what Facebook is for, anyway. Do they believe a password is required in order to view your profile page? Wouldn't a simple "friending" of the human resource department be sufficient? Alas, no: Those crazy Bozemanians want the authority to impersonate you online; to read your private messages and take your chat requests. You can read all about it here.
But what's singularly odd about the Sun Sentinel poll is not the Bozemanian outrage it addresses, but rather the weird timing of its publication. Click on the above link: You'll see that the Facebook issue was last a going concern in Bozeman two years ago.
I'm not sure what's a more depressing indicator: That the Sentinel is so news-starved that it's gotta repackage a minor Montana news item from 2009 to keep its webpages freshly updated, or that Floridians are so job-starved that twenty respondents to the poll said it would be okay for an employer to demand your Facebook password. Really, guys? You want your boss reading love letters from your spouse? Sick, sick, sick.