Feature: Where's the Lens Cap?

Do You Need a Social Media Scrubbing?

Author: Byron Sletten
Published: September 06, 2011 at 7:01 am

Ahh, remember the good old days of social networking?

Many young people have grown up with social media as simply a fun and harmless method of connecting with friends. I’ve said it many times - wake up kids – there's no more time for innocence.

Welcome to a different world.

In this economy the competition for jobs is stiff. And although people often use social networks to find jobs and get some inside information, employers are also using it to get their own inside track.

It’s understandable. Employers need to feel they are getting the best candidates for the few new openings they may have. They don’t want any surprises. To mitigate any of these surprises, companies are taking on much more aggressive background checks. Drug testing, credit reports and now the US Federal Trade Commission has approved letting companies gather social media activities and use it in job screening. Here is the FTC article on the Fair Credit Reporting Act regarding social media.

Social Intelligence Corp is one of the latest companies providing a social media reporting service. In basic terms, they run online searches on individuals. Then they provide a report on any content that could impact a hiring decision.

Here is some quotes from the website: “Examples of this {reported content} include racist remarks, sexually explicit photos or videos, or illegal activity such as drug use. We flag job candidates associated with negative and positive material, filtering out their “protected class” information and reporting only relevant and desired data. Summary and detail views present easy-to-understand results, with screenshots of pertinent material.”

In addition, they provide an ongoing service to monitor current employees for online activities that could prove damaging to the company.

More from website: “Unfortunately, the online behavior of employees poses a threat to employers. In fact, most employed adults believe that a company can be easily damaged through employee abuse of social media. Employers must understand the issues surrounding social media and craft policies and procedures to address its use by employees. Social Intelligenceā„  Monitoring utilizes technology and resources that are simply not available in-house to ensure that employees abide by a company’s existing, or newly created, social media policy. We will even support a company in the creation of such a policy.”

Continued on the next page

About this article

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Article Author: Byron Sletten

Byron Sletten has over 25 years of experience in digital media & interactive design. Please follow on Twitter - @byrons As owner & partner in MindActive (www.mindactive.com) this broad focus on digital media is currently directed to strategies and …

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