Counterpoint: Is Social Media Surveillance Necessary or Invasive?

Sevilla Tovar, News Editor

   Smartly managing social media has been preached to the youngest generation for the majority of their lives. In this current age of technologization, everything online has potential consequences, and being responsible about what’s posted is of utmost importance. But, to those who are hateful online, the repercussions can change the course of their lives. Social media can, and should, influence future possibilities in the lives of the newest generation.

   One of the most well-known reasons why social media should be monitored is in the case of college admissions. The societal image of a particular college is made up of the students who are enrolled there, so there’s an obvious possibility of admissions officers checking to see if students’ accounts align with the school’s values. A post from ISchoolConnect, a platform used to assist students in applying for colleges, said, “​​More and more institutions base their student’s selection criteria not only on what they say in their application forms, interviews, or their personal records but also on what they find about that applicant on social media. To have a more accurate and realistic profile of that person, they browse networks like Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and Facebook” ( 

   Social media is the online presentation of oneself, so creating malicious messages or supporting discriminatory posts damages the likelihood of getting into colleges. According to Associated Press News, “Kyle Kashuv, 18, posted on Twitter that Harvard had revoked his admission over anti-Semitic language and repeated use of a slur referring to black people” ( Had Kashuv been allowed to attend the school, there’s no doubt he would have continued to spread hate among the student population. On another occasion, the same Ivy League school canceled admissions to ten freshmen on a similar basis. The Harvard Crimson, Harvard’s school newspaper, reported that the school rescinded the admission offers after discovering the students had traded offensive images and messages on a private Facebook group. The posts were often sexually explicit and mocked Mexicans, the Holocaust, sexual assault and child abuse ( By using their digital footprints against them, students supporting intolerance have lost the opportunity of a lifetime.

   Another important sector that keeps an eye on social media are those in charge of hiring people for various careers. According to a job recruiting website, “A study found that 67 percent of employers screen job candidates through social networks, and what they find could give you a leg up, but could also disqualify you from your dream job. The same study found 54 percent of companies have actually disqualified job candidates after viewing an applicant’s social media” ( That means what the 54 percent saw online ended up disqualifying possible employees from obtaining a position. Another study, cited in a PR Newswire article, said, “About 90 percent of employers look at potential employees’ social media profiles, and 79 percent have rejected a candidate based on what they found” ( Now more than ever, the way a person behaves online will affect future decisions about them, and rightfully so.

   Some believe that using social media as a tool to determine eligibility for anything is an invasion of privacy, and they do have good points. In theory, businesses and schools have no business in the personal lives of potential students or employees. However, this just can’t be the case in real life. The world is, unfortunately, not an universally kind place, and there are people with copious amounts of hate that exist. Eavesdropping into people’s social media for the safety of other employees or students is a much wiser alternative than welcoming them blindly. If information incriminating enough that it could cause a person to lose the opportunity to attend their dream school or obtain job is a public search away, then it’s clear it should be investigated.

   Through social media, people have been able to connect with one another on an unprecedented level. Despite all of the positive aspects associated with the communication platforms, it’s clear that social media can be used against their users. Don’t take that the wrong way, this is a good thing; due to the nature of the platforms, prejudiced groups have been noticed and disadvantaged accordingly. Sophomore Arissa Usmani said, “I definitely think what you post on social media can affect your future both positively and negatively. It allows colleges and future job opportunities to get a glimpse of who you are and an insight into your personality. It’s a smart idea to leave a positive digital footprint, because it can be passively or actively collected by interested parties.” If maintained correctly, one’s social media can only bring positive reactions. But if not, hateful posts can and should be used against individuals in their future endeavors.