Should Children Be Banned From Childlike Behavior?

Yesterday the Times Online has an interesting article about a coalition of children’s charities “urging ministers to make it illegal for companies to trawl Facebook and other social networking websites for information on prospective recruits.” One of the campaign leaders suggested that teenagers should not have digital records of their you used against them when applying for jobs.

Has it become a fact of life that the difference between successful candidate and unsuccessful candidate for employment is their ability to manage their online identity? For many web professionals, we have accepted it as a standard of practice to monitor what you post online. The smart ones are able to manage all of their postings to create this pseudo-reality which is their digital identity.

Granular privacy controls such as the ones that Facebook now offers makes it easier for users to manage their digital identities but for those that weren’t privy to such luxurious privacy features in the past, their online reputation may already be tarnished. This brings into question what is right and for those that did make child-like mistakes (which we all have made … ocasionally even as adults), should they be punished for making those mistakes at a young age?

I have to agree with this article in that we should embrace child-like behavior and not punish individuals for doing crazy things when they are young. This is a part of experimentation and every child should have the chance to experiment. Maybe we all become hypocrites with age and decide to punish the youth because we wish we hadn’t made the mistakes that we did. I don’t know what’s right but I know that nobody is perfect.

Do you think prospective employees should be punished for pictures of them doing stupid things when they were teenagers?