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rrplay
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2011-06-25T08:52:13Z

Came across this bit of interesting reading as a sort of supplement to an earlier thread regarding internet trolls,some abusive behavior & 'questionable on-line.activity. Was wondering what members thought about as to whether a person's on-ine behavior should be accountable in a college admissions interview or job interview.

 

http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/231186/your_social_networks_could_jeopardize_your_next_interview.html#tk.hp_new

 

Your Social Networks Could Jeopardize Your Next Interview
By Tony Bradley, PCWorld

"Your social networks are fair game. The Federal Trade Commission has given a startup called Social Intelligence the green light to conduct background checks on you based on your social network activity under the guidelines of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Think twice about posting that embarrassing photo on Facebook, and watch what you tweet, because it may make the difference in your next job or college admissions interview.

Companies and colleges know that you have an online persona, and they are going to try to learn about the real you by investigating that online persona before making hiring or admissions decisions. Organizations are already digging in to your social networks, but they may cross ethical boundaries, and they may uncover damning information they weren't even looking for. If you think that the service offered by Social Intelligence seems invasive, or that the company is crossing the line in stalking your online antics, consider the alternative.

A service like that offered by Social Intelligence is a win-win. For organizations, it relieves the burden by letting them contract with experts who know where to look and how to gather data from social networks. For individuals, it ensures that those searches are conducted within legal boundaries that prevent discrimination.

 

Be careful what you post online--it could come back to haunt you.

Social Intelligence doesn't simply dig up all the dirt it can find on you and turn it over to the customer--it operates within a fairly narrow scope. I spoke with Social Intelligence co-founder and CEO Max Drucker who explained that Social Intelligence researches the social network activity of an individual through the lens of designated red flags that customers specify--things like illicit drug use, racism, or illegal activity. Only social network activity directly related to those red flags is reported to the customer.

Some media reports have demonized Social Intelligence as the bad guy. Reports that the company is maintaining a sort of social network 'permanent record' where your online misdeeds could linger and follow you around for seven years like a missed car payment on your credit report are misleading. It is true that Social Intelligence will archive data for seven years, but that is a paper trail requirement of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the archived information will not be used or have any impact on subsequent reports.

Still think it seems unfair to dig into your personal life online and use it against you? Well, A) This is 2011, get over it. You should assume that anything you post online, send in an email, tweet, text message, or otherwise digitally communicate will eventually be seen by anyone and everyone. But, 😎 Social Intelligence is only reporting based on the social network activity that is publicly available. You have the power to lock down your online life to minimize the information available to the general public.

Social Intelligence is currently focused only on helping HR hiring decisions, but the service is equally applicable to the college admissions process and determining the caliber of students before accepting them. If Social Intelligence doesn't offer the service to colleges, some copycat company will. Drucker told me that it is a concept that is under consideration.

In a nutshell, don't do or post about things that you wouldn't want to come up in an interview. Make sure you use the privacy controls and security features available to lock down the things you do post online to make sure they aren't available to the public. And--when push comes to shove--be thankful for services like Social Intelligence that ensure your potential employer or faculty don't just go dig up their own dirt on you. Some skeletons should stay in the closet."

 

*** What do you guys think ?


EDIT NOTE:This post thread was intended to be a supplement to a precious post here aka ":Internet Troll thread"

http://hothardware.com/cs/forums/p/56026/401162.aspx#401162

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notryan
2011-06-25T13:55:33Z

Well, I'll start off by saying that I'm smart enough not to put anything "compromising" on the internet and I lock down my profiles on social networking sites, when I use them. I also don't treat the internet as a place to simply "run up, scream vulgarities at people, and run away," as it were.

 

That said, I think that it is inappropriate for employers, college admissions offices, or otherwise to use information that people post in a personal or social context, in faith that it will not be used against them, against them. A person's behavior outside of a job or school does not necessarily have an impact on their performance, and an interviewer should be able to tell through a resume/CV and an interview whether or not the interviewee will be a good fit for a position, and how well they will (potentially) do. Things like photos and status updates can be taken out of context but may suddenly be a deciding factor in whether or not a person gets a position. If a student has straight A's in high school, participates in sports and clubs, and does well on the SATs, a picture of them at a party where they're unwinding should not be reason to deny them entrance to a school. On the same reasoning, a person that trolls online (not bullying or defamation of a person, which I believe to be serious issues) should not have their trolling used against them if it is how they choose to have a good time (if you can call it that). Interviewing institutions are already allowed to check for criminal records and talk to past employers and personal references, and I think that should be enough.

 

Sooner or later we'll be seeing stories about employees or students being dismissed because of things like political opinions, relationships, religious affiliations (or lack thereof), etc. using the same reasoning that is used now for digging up information prior to an interview: that they would not be a good fit for a position, that there would be concerns about their work ethic, or that their lifestyles do not fit the morals of whichever institution they wish to be a part of (looking at you, In-And-Out Burger).

 

This company, Social Intelligence, is not doing anything new, and I personally do not see them as "the bad guy" - they are just a middle party to do the work that employers have been doing for a long time already.

 

The problems arise, for example, when employers use after-hours status updates from employees that complain about their employer or job as reason to fire them (something that has happened many times already, and in most cases been fought against and won). In a case that happened at my college, a senior party, full of legal-age students, was broken up by the RAs for having too many people in one place (yes, that is a rule at the school I went to). Nobody was written up at the time, as the RAs had deemed the situation harmless. Later, one RA that was not there at the time went on Facebook, saw pictures of the party, and used the pictures as reason to write up students, in this case, ONLY the students who were tagged in the photos. This was right before graduation, to top it off.

Allowing these kinds of actions by institutions will only lead to more problems, and honestly, they're shooting themselves in the foot with it, as they usually wind up being taken to court and losing.

Inspector
2011-06-25T14:32:25Z

I only have a  facebook profile with most of my stuff on it. Everything is private so unless they hack me, they won't get much from me.

PFeenstra
2011-06-25T15:46:46Z

It's pretty ridiculous, whatever happened to minding your own business? What people do outside of their jobs in their private lives is exactly that, private. I know a girl who actually lost her job based on what she had posted on a forum in a rant section, basically she complained about her job a bit, they found it and she was terminated. Obviously you're better off keeping things secure and private, it's just sad that it has come down to that. 

In the not-so distant future I'm personally planning on getting a fast, secure VPN account, deleting my facebook etc. I have recently taken to deleting my google account and many others. Really I don't have anything to worry about personally, but the invasions of privacy will only get worse. Kind of glad my webcam has a lense cap thingy haha. 

omegadraco
2011-06-25T16:42:58Z

Yep working for a school system they recently decided to add a social networking governance policy. It prohibits staff members from contacting students and other staff members online as well as mentioning the companies name or our opinions of the company online without permission from the public relations department. Anything said online is can be considered a fire-able offense.

omegadoom13
2011-06-25T17:59:12Z

 

Nice supplement to my earlier thread rrplay!  Thanks!  

Employers and schools should be aware that this could be a double edge sword, grading employees and applicants based on their social networking activities.  

I was tagged in a several group photos from high school as part of a group of students who were illegally using the school's phone system for personal calls.... I was NOT part of this group and before I could do anything about it, those photos spread among friends of friends of friends.  

It was too late.  If said companies researching people's social activities aren't diligent in separating fact from fiction, truth from lies, jokes from harassment, then "innocent" people will suffer the consequences.  

 

 

 

PFeenstra
2011-06-25T18:21:13Z

Another good thing to do is now and then search for yourself and your e-mails on google or other search engines, it's always good to see if you can find yourself online and what information is available. Then prevent it from happening.

AKwyn
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2011-06-25T19:22:58Z

Inspector wrote:

I only have a  facebook profile with most of my stuff on it. Everything is private so unless they hack me, they won't get much from me.

Opposite here. I may have made a few embarrassing posts but other then that I'm not in any embarrassing photos or something.  I have barely anything in my Facebook profile and due to privacy concerns I upload the juicy stuff off site so that Facebook can't take a peep.

rrplay
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2011-06-25T19:55:53Z

omegadoom13 wrote:

Nice supplement to my earlier thread rrplay!  Thanks!  

Employers and schools should be aware that this could be a double edge sword, ....

Thank You omgedoom13 that is exactly what the intent of this thread was meant to be & edited the lead post to reflect that.

The comments have been most insightful & just wanted to mention that an interview either for a job or college entry is a two-way street with both sides actually scrutinizing the other.Some job interviews I had included the common drug-test,background check ,some intensive background,,and DNA tests..That was never a problem or real concern for me & neither is a social network check.If that would ever be a problem for someone with my online activity .I would rather not be involved with them, professionally anyways.

So I can certainly understand the school policy that omegadoom mentioned as well >>because it's a school..

A business does not actually have to cater to it's employes...and if a business co's. policy is such,& not suitable for someone ..seek employment elsewhere.

Same thing with schools ,..choose a different school. 

>>>OK maybe some skool  related infraction stuff may land you in 'double-secret probation'  [seriously]

..anyhoo ..anyone ever feel at times with all the sensitivity and heightened politically correct stuff  [what the heck is that ! regarding privacy ??] find themselves occasionally walking on egg shells?

maybe I'll ask a bud of min on FB and listen to him let 'er rip   dang ! & he can  bring it !  esp after a few drinks with his rants ! >> they go on for days ..still has his job too !

too bad he hates a lot of this tech stuff & would definitely be censored here ... oh well

omegadraco
2011-06-26T16:41:35Z

A couple funnies to go with this article :)

These are both not safe for work and have some profanity in them so watch at your own risk.

Social Network of Idiots

http://www.youtube.com/user/jimathers#p/search/5/qTpP770n8aQ

Social Network of Idiots II

http://www.youtube.com/user/jimathers#p/search/0/78JNVMujZVE