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Are Social Media Background Checks Invasive?

Living 2011/07/13 23:45:56
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Criminal background checks and drug testing are commonplace, but with the rise of the Internet and social networking sites like Facebook comes a more picky form of background check.

A few staff members at Gizmodo gave the process a spin by allowing a company called Social Intelligence to run a comb through their online lives, and one of them failed the test.

I flunked hard. When that happens, Social Intelligence creates a report, which it would then send to an employer. And if you don't get a job because of your social media report, you can request a copy. Mine's filled with delightful details, like "subject admits to use of cocaine as well as LSD," and "subject references use of Ketamine."

Don't worry, though. He kept his job.

On the other hand, Gizmodo notes that social media background checks will not report those embarrassing pictures from last Friday's beer pong tournament. (Unless you were sporting a Hitler mustache or something.)

Lucky you!

Read More: http://gizmodo.com/5818774/this-is-a-social-media-...

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Top Opinion

  • Mister X 2011/07/14 00:46:00
    No
    Mister X
    +11
    As I tell all my students. "Never post anything online you'd be ashamed to tell your grandma. Even if you post something as private, you're never positive that someone isn't going to make a mistake somewhere, or that someone isn't going to hack your account." Anytime you post something online you unleash it on the world, if you don't want it seen, don't flash it up there. If you don't want someone to hear something, don't say it.

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  • mg's haven~POTL~PWCM~JLA 2011/08/06 05:09:33
    No
    mg's haven~POTL~PWCM~JLA
    Technically no. I want to know that the people i speak with have had nothing to do with bombing a US soldier that was only doing their job. ...making sure they come home alive and not in a body bag.
  • DanWebguy 2011/07/25 22:37:03
    Yes
    DanWebguy
    I think so, but then again you would be better off not associating your real name with your Twitter, Facebook , Myspace, etc

    I first read about that Social Intelligence yesterday. I think its just unethical.
    But if information is able to be obtained without breaking the law and its not out of your way, you'd probably do that yourself if you were an employer.

    More info on background checks: http://www.stuff4you.biz/bcfaq
  • Nudenz 2011/07/15 10:18:14
    Yes
    Nudenz
    It's an invasion of privacy.
  • Paradox25 2011/07/15 04:36:34
    Yes
    Paradox25
    I've been fully aware of this and other extensive background check measures since potential employers in my line of work pretty much put your entire life history under a microscope before considering you for employment. I'm about to make a mountain out of a molehill with very good reason. Employers over the years have been gradually squeezing away at their employees privacy for two decades now. One little thing like this does not seem big by itself but when you combine all of their tactics over the years into one unit (drug testing methods, nicotene testing, credit reports, health reports, etc, etc, etc) and then compare this to where we were twenty years ago the amount of privacy we've been losing is astonishing.

    What concerns me is where does this stop? What will be next? Will Internet search history checks, phone call monitoring, purchasing history, background checks on personal habit tendencies, lie detectors and very much more follow? This is what I call a backdoor version of a police state, corporate fascism, where corporations buy off the influence of our lawmakers and agencies, which were formulated to protect the common person, for its own gain and profit. Knowing full well that our lives are completely dependent upon receiving a source of income from their employme...

    I've been fully aware of this and other extensive background check measures since potential employers in my line of work pretty much put your entire life history under a microscope before considering you for employment. I'm about to make a mountain out of a molehill with very good reason. Employers over the years have been gradually squeezing away at their employees privacy for two decades now. One little thing like this does not seem big by itself but when you combine all of their tactics over the years into one unit (drug testing methods, nicotene testing, credit reports, health reports, etc, etc, etc) and then compare this to where we were twenty years ago the amount of privacy we've been losing is astonishing.

    What concerns me is where does this stop? What will be next? Will Internet search history checks, phone call monitoring, purchasing history, background checks on personal habit tendencies, lie detectors and very much more follow? This is what I call a backdoor version of a police state, corporate fascism, where corporations buy off the influence of our lawmakers and agencies, which were formulated to protect the common person, for its own gain and profit. Knowing full well that our lives are completely dependent upon receiving a source of income from their employment no actual police, military personel or extreme totalitarian government legislation is needed. It is the perfect tactic of violating our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that the U.S Constitution gaurantees without (ironically) actually violating our constitutional privacy rights since this is being done through the private sector. Excellent plan for formulating a convenient way in which the government can control the population and its behavior through the clever use of the private sector that funds it.

    Do I have the right to express myself through free speech even on the Internet without a potential employer screening me whether it was done in a civil manner or not? Do I have the right to express my political, social and religious views? Maybe I do, for now, but what about in 5 to 10 years from now? I've written about similar issues related to this topic before since this is the perfect way to take away our liberties without actually violating the Bill of Rights and they're doing this gradual enough that we've blindly have been molded into accepting this nonsense for our own self justification of the 'employer's best interests' since we are dependent on them to survive. Just wait until using credit with interest rates for making purchases becomes mandatory to acquire most types of employment opportunities, actually with the credit check system in operation we are just about already there. Where does this end?
    (more)
  • Megan 2011/07/15 02:32:00
    Yes
    Megan
    Yes, I agree to 'don't post anything you wouldn't show your Grandma' and stuff like that, but that's not what we're talking about here. This is about invading people's personal lives!
  • AngryGabby 2011/07/14 21:23:01
    Yes
    AngryGabby
    People post stupid things as jokes all the time! Not to say that it's right, of course, but now and again my friends will, as a way to jokingly explain weird behavior, that they're on something. That doesn't mean that they really are.

    It people are going to lose their jobs through f***ing Facebook, then let it be because they feel the need to document their every thought. I can assure you, they aren't all golden.
    "I just ate a burrito LOL"
    Who gives a bull's @$$?
  • Bonnie 2011/07/14 21:18:06
    No
    Bonnie
    It bothers me some that our recreational/personal time as posted on Facebook can have such a bearing on our professional lives. I know a lot of people that are top-notch employees that love to really let their hair down and party hard when they get the chance.

    HOWEVER...it's a fact of life that if you make something public, you will be judged. That's just how the world works. Either censor your facebook or get off it entirely, especially while you're job-searching!!
  • Curmudgeon 2011/07/14 20:40:50
    No
    Curmudgeon
    Just keep in mind what you post, where you do it, and keep your racy stuff on a place where you have password on it that nobody knows. All my social media posts are locked so only people that are my friends see them, and my bosses are never "friends" on a social media site.
  • Sinful Minded 2011/07/14 20:12:17
    Yes
    Sinful Minded
    social media is for friends... if you do not know your "friends" then you should make better friends or become closer... nothing i say on social media should be reported to my boss... some times I even use it to vent about the boss... rediculous
  • Nobamma 2011/07/14 20:11:55
    Yes
    Nobamma
    BS
  • Sofahead 2011/07/14 20:03:03
    No
    Sofahead
    If you put it on the internet, you've basically made it public anyway.
    The oft quoted rule, don't post anything you wouldn't write on a postcard.
  • THAT WAS FUN 2011/07/14 19:39:26 (edited)
  • cybernestical 2011/07/14 19:33:23
    Yes
    cybernestical
    Yes. That doesn't mean we have any privacy any more.

    privacy privacy
  • Dum Luk 2011/07/14 19:27:45
    Yes
    Dum Luk
    What I say in my own time, that doesn't affect my work performance, is none of their business.

    I murdered my father while under the influence of PCP.

    That isn't true. I didn't murder my father and I've never taken PCP. Just because I post something on the Internet doesn't mean I've sworn to it under oath. If I ever lost or were denied a job due to my social media postings, I would sue that company for all they're worth.
  • THAT WA... Dum Luk 2011/07/14 19:53:45
  • joe 2011/07/14 19:25:11
    Yes
    joe
    I am not sure my personal life is anyones business but mine.
  • THAT WA... joe 2011/07/14 19:55:32
  • Dennis 2011/07/14 19:22:54
    Yes
    Dennis
    i don't even let this hot air fest known as SODAHEAD to be attached to facebook or any other form of media (that I'm aware of)If you put your thoughts etc.on any of this wwww then it could and probably will come back to haunt you.
  • Josh Robinson R.P.2012' PWCM. 2011/07/14 19:20:31 (edited)
  • THAT WA... Josh Ro... 2011/07/14 19:57:33
  • Josh Ro... THAT WA... 2011/07/14 20:26:54
    Josh Robinson  R.P.2012' PWCM.
    People will have to change the accepted idea of what a potential candidates personal life should look like or they will never hire a clever hip person. The ''People'' of old were just like us but with anonymity and personal confidentiality. Im not going to talk to your clients like I talk to my friends online. I can see criminal/financial background and a standard personality test but social media...? Seriously?
  • THAT WA... Josh Ro... 2011/07/15 02:26:58
  • Josh Ro... THAT WA... 2011/07/15 14:13:26
    Josh Robinson  R.P.2012' PWCM.
    In this situation judgement and common sense have their own distinction though common sense is judgment. If someone on the street is approaching you you take ques from their mannerisms... are they nervous are they well groomed etc and you get a feel for the level of caution you should use with them. Social media isn't an approaching bum, its a place/s where a person can be themselves with their circle and family. Personally i would be disgusted with someone if I found out I was the best candidate through and through professionally but lost the employment because I like Asian women metal music and skydiving but my employer is prejudice against those things. The job is the job and if im shuffling papers what does my personal life matter? But if im holding a public office or something I can see my personal life falling under more scrutiny and needing a clean internet presence.
  • THAT WA... Josh Ro... 2011/07/15 18:43:04
  • Josh Ro... THAT WA... 2011/07/15 19:07:55
    Josh Robinson  R.P.2012' PWCM.
    Yes judging makes people safer. No I don't want my personal life scrutinized without my permission or knowledge. If I can't proceed with the employment till they know my favorite color then I don't want to make sub sandwiches at their business.
  • PixySix 2011/07/14 19:18:54
    Yes
    PixySix
    I didn't even know they existed. Yeah, total invasion of your privacy. It's like being hacked and last time I checked that was illegal.
  • heirsoftheking 2011/07/14 19:15:53
    Yes
    heirsoftheking
    +1
    Yes they are! It's none of their business what I do with my private time.
  • SimpleAmerican BN-0 2011/07/14 19:10:33
    No
    SimpleAmerican BN-0
    It is actually common place these days for background check companies, etc. to look at your on-line presence for information on you. So don't post it if you don't want it out there! It's too easy to gather information in the world of Social Media! You'd be surprised at how many people complain about their identity getting stolen, when investigated it shows that some of the things they or their friends posted gave the first of many "target sources" for the theft. What about "tagging" pictures, now someone can track down where you live, where you work and WOW! what you look like and where the picture was taken if the GPS location data was saved in the picture as well. What about the companies that have fired employee for complaining on line, or divulging something the company wasn't too thrilled with. What about the student who recently got in trouble with this school for bashing his teachers on line... The more "social" we become in Cyber space the less "privacy" we have.
  • heirsof... SimpleA... 2011/07/14 19:19:39
    heirsoftheking
    +1
    It's too bad employers have become this way. But then again, I don't work for such employers - atleast not now.
  • SimpleA... heirsof... 2011/07/14 19:22:51
    SimpleAmerican BN-0
    I agree... I actually had a close friend who was applying for a job and the VP who was offering him the job AFTER the background check inadvertently said, "So you don't Tweet or Face Book, that's unusual for applicants in the tech field." So apparently they looked and didn't find him anywhere.
  • bob 2011/07/14 19:10:16
    Yes
    bob
    Don't write anything that can be used against your self.
  • Wizard 2011/07/14 19:00:32 (edited)
    Yes
    Wizard
    Your 1st amendment rights should allow you to speak your voice without judgement being passed. Next, you'll find out you can only log-in, if you share the political views of the editors in charge of a public forum site. And how can they 100% determine you won't suddenly mutiny on them? They can't. And background checks are just like a person using the phone...tapping into private areas that have nothing to do with opinions. Of course, maybe profiles are OK...but cross-checking and other info sharing is intrusive and can only lead to an Internet Gastopo based society, where society severely fragments, based on electronic prejudices.
  • goblue1968 Wizard 2011/07/14 19:34:01
    goblue1968
    Your 1st Amendment rights do allow you to speak your mind, but they do not guarantee that people will agree with whatever you say! Look how the Dixie Chicks country band career went to hell after they made an unpopular political statement during one of their stage shows. Freedom of speech does not also mean freedom from criticism!
  • Wizard goblue1968 2011/07/14 19:39:55
    Wizard
    So true.

    The more interesting 1st Amendment conflicts are from people who refuse to protest quietly. Signs on their lawn, on the car, or yelling on a soap box. You see them on the Warf in San Francisco...and they get in the news, like the guy who planted 1,000's of flags to represent soldiers killed in Iraq...and was told he had to take them down.

    Me? I'd take the low road. Meaningful debate is far more fulfilling that direct conflict.
  • Riobhca 2011/07/14 18:55:51
    Yes
    Riobhca
    They are invasive. However, you shouldn't post anything on the internet unless you want the entire world to be able to read it. That's just reality.
  • Errol Park 2011/07/14 18:50:15
    No
    Errol Park
    These social networking sites are not as private as their privacy settings might make you think. Your friends might "like" your stuff or tag you in pictures, and stuff will get around to pages that aren't as private as you want. If you want something to remain private, don't post it on the internet. The internet is not a private place.
  • FantasyAuthor 2011/07/14 18:44:33
    No
    FantasyAuthor
    I have an age rule to make sure that I am only friends with people that are over the age of 18 years old since I am an adult myself and should only be friends with people that are also an adult and not friends with minors. So no. Social Media background checks aren't invasive!
  • Mr.Hoodz the Truth Troll 2011/07/14 18:37:23
    No
    Mr.Hoodz the Truth Troll
    If its available to the public its fair game. The drug test are more invasive.
  • Ben 2011/07/14 18:35:37
    No
    Ben
    Keywords: Social and Media. You can put your account on private. Just make sure that your profile picture doesn't make you look like a drunken idiot.
  • Soldier4Christ82 2011/07/14 18:23:59
    No
    Soldier4Christ82
    People really need to get it through their thick skulls that Facebook is not their private diary.

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