Thursday, July 7, 2011

Potential Employers May Screen Your Social Media History

The advent of Google+ has social media addicts (including myself) scrambling to sign up for the internet giant's response to Facebook, Gizmodo brings some interesting developments to light about what a potential employer can find out about you via your Facebook habits.

Basically, there exists a company, Social Intelligence, which goes through seven years of your social media history in order to identify if you have habits (think racist ideology or illegal sex acts) that could cause you to be a legal liability to your prospective boss.  It then gives you a pass/fail grade and forwards the information to the entity in question.  If you fail, you can request a copy of the report.

The writer of the article failed the test, and requested the report.  What I found somewhat reassuring was the extent to which the service attempted to preserve personal information, to include racial identity, in order to give the screened subject as much privacy as possible.  Also, since the search is in no way automated, the service's team can make very human distinctions between silly goof-off photos and actual dangerous behavior.

I might be in trouble.

Why did the writer fail the test?  Because of drug references the author had made online.  So don't worry, the wet t-shirt contest you participated in during your college years won't impact your future employment, but if you're trolling online for weed, you might just have a problem.

Would you pass?

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