The New York Times has rescinded a job offer to a journalist because of reactions to some of her tweets. Criticism about Quinn Norton came after people discovered her relationship with a neo-Nazi called "Weev." Norton referred to him as a friend. The Times also reported new information about Norton: "It also turned up years-old tweets by Ms. Norton in which she used slurs against gay people and another in which she retweeted a racial slur."
We know that most recruiters use social media to vet candidates. The practice is controversial: some believe it's an invasion of privacy, while others believe it's potentially discriminatory. In this case, information was discovered about Norton after an offer was extended, which led to the awkward situation of pulling the offer. Other companies will do a thorough review of candidates before an offer is made.
According to Jobvite's 2017 Recruiter Nation report, recruiters disapprove of candidates' "political rants" online. This situation may fit that category.
- What's your view of companies "Googling" candidates? What are the arguments for and against this practice?
- Did the Times make the right decision? Why or why not? Read more about Norton's views here.
- How does Norton's potential job with the New York Times affect the outcome? Would a different media company have made a different decision? In other words, how is this an issue of integrity?
- Norton chose not to disclose her social media history. Would her vulnerability have helped or hurt her candidacy at the Times?