01 December 2009

Woman loses health benefits over Facebook posts.

A woman in Montreal recently lost her health benefits because of what she posted on her Facebook account according to a recent Associated Press article. Nathalie Blanchard's insurer, Manulife, suspended her sick leave benefits because their own internal investigators uncovered information on Blanchard's Facebook site which showed her apparently having too much fun. Apparently because it appeared that Blanchard's fun meter was pegged out, she was obviously not suffering from depression and, therefore, not eligible for any further sick leave benefits.

This article raises a number of points. First, it further confirms my contention that Facebook is evil and will eventually lead to the collapse of the human race. Second, it confirms what I have read in other articles which is that insurers, law enforcement and government are all trawling social networking sites looking for intelligence. For whatever reason, many people feel a strange urge when the log into Facebook to immediately barf their innermost secrets onto the screen for the world to see. More troubling is how an insurance investigator can make such a subjective call simply based on the photograph of this woman and, for all intensive purposes, diagnose her as being free of depression and therefore eligible for work.

I have suffered from depression for many years and I can show you literally hundreds of pictures of me that appear to show an outwardly happy camper. That is what is so frustrating about depression and trying to explain it to those that have never suffered from it. Appearances can be deceiving to say the least. Beyond that, imagine what other subjective decisions can be made about you from somebody looking at the pictures that you have posted. Too fat ? Must never exercise, raise the health insurance premium. Smoking ? Whoa, better cancel that life insurance policy. Children are all muddy from playing outside..or are they being neglected ? Better call the local police.

We are all on a very slippery slope when life affecting decisions are being made by faceless bureaucrats who are lurking on the Internet. Paging Mr. Orwell...

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