Is Facebook Costing Young People Jobs?

Crowdsourcing, or getting Internet users to collaborate on a project, is usually a good thing. Except when it gives companies a free product instead of creating a paying job.

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We’ve all heard about bad privacy settings costing people job offers – recruiters don’t approve of your drunken Facebook photos. But Forbes names another interesting reason social media could cost people jobs: crowdsourcing…

It’s hard to ignore the fact that crowdsourcing may have the unintended consequence of eliminating professional positions that are typically filled by entry-level, Millennial-aged workers. Or to borrow a popular cliché: why buy the cow (graphic designer) when you can get the milk (logo) for free?

While it’s a challenge to directly link crowdsourcing to current unemployment figures, it joins the shift to freelance and outsourced professionals as legitimate reasons for job displacement. Plus, it’s easy to infer how crowdsourcing is disrupting creative fields, including advertising, design, and data research.

Companies can now just announce a contest on their Facebook page and get devoted fans (or prize-seekers) to do their dirty work for free or cheap. One example the article mentions is a Chevy Super Bowl commercial contest where 80 users designed ads costing less than $50,000 – “by contrast, if Chevy went with a traditional creative agency, each ad would cost between $500,000 to $1 million.”

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