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  1. #1
    Old God Hyve's Avatar
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    [Business] Social Media Investigations

    It is no secret to many involved in the business world that we investigate our potential & current employees as part of our Quality Assurance. We want to make sure that anyone we hire is at all times, the sort of person we wish to maintain in our company and we use whatever tools we have at our disposal to do so.

    However, I was on my way home from town and a news report was talking about how most people were unaware that a lot of businesses did this, and that they feel it is wrong.

    Social Media Sites (Particularly Facebook) is an invaluable tool in the employers arsenal, as Facebook allows employer to actually access account information, despite the privacy settings that have been enabled. Facebook offer this currently only to a few companies, but any company (ours included) has spoken to Facebook and we're able to contact them, asking for specific information related to certain individuals accounts.

    Personally, as an employer I see nothing wrong with this because I want to know the person I employ is actually a valuable asset to my company. As it is my company you're working for, I believe I have the right to know a bit more about you, and as most people lie on their Resumé I take it into my own hands to find out all about them.

    We've decided not to hire people on the basis of their Social Media accounts, because of the content put on them. We don't snoop for personal information, we just want to know more about the person we're going to hire, and if they're a nice person.

    What are your views on this? How do you feel about the fact that myself, and millions of other employers are actively looking at your Facebook accounts (when you apply to us) in an attempt to gather more information about you, and to reach a verdict on your employment?

  2. #2
    Never put anything on social media you dont want everyone to find out about and/or be used/sold for market research. Which is why I have never had a twitter, facebook, etc account and never will.
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  3. #3
    im curious what do they do if they see a largely inactive profile that hasnt been touched in years?

  4. #4
    Merely a Setback Rukentuts's Avatar
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    My view is that anything posted as public is fair game for employment agencies to look at. However, I feel that sending a query to them and the circumvention of privacy settings is a major issue.
    Quote Originally Posted by GreatOak View Post
    Hey, as a transabled, transethnic, non-binary, genderqueer, neo-communist, indoor-capable republican otherkin I am offended by your callous display of ignorance.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cybran View Post
    Both of those links don't provide any evidence. They make unsubstantiated statements

  5. #5
    What kind of information can you actually get? I hardly have any information at all do you just go off their posts and pictures people tag of them?

  6. #6
    Old God Hyve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by breadisfunny View Post
    im curious what do they do if they see a largely inactive profile that hasnt been touched in years?
    Nothing. If we can't gather information from it, then so be it.

    ---------- Post added 2013-01-28 at 06:26 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamdwelf View Post
    What kind of information can you actually get? I hardly have any information at all do you just go off their posts and pictures people tag of them?
    We tend to go off the content they post, their pictures, the stuff they write and the links they submit. But we obviously also get the account information, such as address, name, email address and such.

    For example, we had a guy try and apply for a internship with me as a Web Developer, he took the time to write up about how I was obviously going to be an asshole, so when we called him in to interview him, he made a lot of hints at the fact he called me an asshole, until we showed him the post, and he was just speechless.

    I knew someone also, when I used to work for a supermarket (when I was younger) that called in sick, posted on Facebook a few hours later about how they were going out to party, posted loads of pictures of them being drunk, and then got fired.

  7. #7
    Fluffy Kitten Badpaladin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gamdwelf View Post
    What kind of information can you actually get? I hardly have any information at all do you just go off their posts and pictures people tag of them?
    It depends on the employer and potential employee. Some people are dumb enough to put inflammatory rants about this and that in the public view, or allow public tags of embarrassing photos. Tools exist to easily circumvent privacy settings and access (illegally, if I'm not mistaken) any information desired. I wouldn't put it past some employers to do that.
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  8. #8
    Mechagnome Liagala's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rukentuts View Post
    My view is that anything posted as public is fair game for employment agencies to look at. However, I feel that sending a query to them and the circumvention of privacy settings is a major issue.
    I agree with this completely. If I put something out there in public, it's public and I deserve any fallout that might come from it. But if I lock it away behind privacy settings, then no one other than law enforcement (with proper court orders) should be able to see it without my say-so. The website gives us those tools for a reason, and that reason is not what amounts to tricking us into putting private information up so they can sell it to prospective employers.
    [22:14] <+Lia> And why is Ruken molesting trees?
    [22:14] <@Rukentuts> Because they give me wood.
    [22:14] <+Lia> ...
    [22:14] <+Lia> worst pun ever
    [22:15] * Rukentuts boughs.

  9. #9
    Merely a Setback Rukentuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liagala View Post
    I agree with this completely. If I put something out there in public, it's public and I deserve any fallout that might come from it. But if I lock it away behind privacy settings, then no one other than law enforcement (with proper court orders) should be able to see it without my say-so. The website gives us those tools for a reason, and that reason is not what amounts to tricking us into putting private information up so they can sell it to prospective employers.
    My biggest issue is actually the circumvention of privacy just because a business requests private information with a court order. Isn't that grounds for litigation?

    EDIT:

    http://www.facebook.com/about/privacy/your-info

    From this I would think they cannot share your information without your consent? Or do they just circumvent that by:

    Company: Give me John Doe's profile info.
    Facebook: Here's some information about a profile.
    Last edited by Rukentuts; 2013-01-28 at 06:32 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by GreatOak View Post
    Hey, as a transabled, transethnic, non-binary, genderqueer, neo-communist, indoor-capable republican otherkin I am offended by your callous display of ignorance.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cybran View Post
    Both of those links don't provide any evidence. They make unsubstantiated statements

  10. #10
    Old God Hyve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badpaladin View Post
    illegally, if I'm not mistaken
    As I stated in my first post, there is nothing Illegal about it because it is Facebook that allows businesses to access the information. Some businesses can go straight into your account, while others (like mine) need to submit a request for information on an account. They're normally very snappy, around 4 - 5 hours until we get all the information back.

    It has been in the Terms & Conditions of Facebook since Day #1.

    ---------- Post added 2013-01-28 at 06:32 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Liagala View Post
    I agree with this completely. If I put something out there in public, it's public and I deserve any fallout that might come from it. But if I lock it away behind privacy settings, then no one other than law enforcement (with proper court orders) should be able to see it without my say-so. The website gives us those tools for a reason, and that reason is not what amounts to tricking us into putting private information up so they can sell it to prospective employers.
    Gaining access to the information isn't a simple process. You have to verify you're the business (which, I can tell you, was a fucking pain in the ass!) and you have to manually submit requests for the information.

    The issue is, in the job market that we have today, I want to ensure that everyone on my staff people are quality. I don't mind if you go out drinking, having a laugh and enjoying yourself, and I don't wish to interfere with that or make any criticisms, but we do it to catch the people that every night are wasted, running around naked or are making abusive comments.

    This sort of attitude, whether public or not, will eventually spill out into the work environment...

  11. #11
    Fluffy Kitten Badpaladin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyve View Post
    As I stated in my first post, there is nothing Illegal about it because it is Facebook that allows businesses to access the information. Some businesses can go straight into your account, while others (like mine) need to submit a request for information on an account. They're normally very snappy, around 4 - 5 hours until we get all the information back.

    It has been in the Terms & Conditions of Facebook since Day #1.
    No, I'm not talking about information requests from Facebook. There are web tools out there that will circumvent privacy settings and allow you to view all information in a profile. I believe using those to attain private information is illegal.

    On the subject of requesting information from Facebook, I can't really say much. Every person I know who either works for or has worked for Facebook can't emphasize enough just how important user privacy is for them.
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  12. #12
    If you're dumb enough to have a facebook account, it's your problem.

  13. #13
    Titan Frozenbeef's Avatar
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    If anyone can be bothered to spend that much time and effort they deserve to read the constant happy birthday messages i send to my friends :S

  14. #14
    Old God Hyve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badpaladin View Post
    No, I'm not talking about information requests from Facebook. There are web tools out there that will circumvent privacy settings and allow you to view all information in a profile. I believe using those to attain private information is illegal.

    On the subject of requesting information from Facebook, I can't really say much. Every person I know who either works for or has worked for Facebook can't emphasize enough just how important user privacy is for them.
    Ahhh, I misunderstood what you meant. I agree, gathering the information without going through the right channels is illegal, and wrong.

    The reason privacy is important to those at Facebook is because it is an asset, that they now control. They basically have a big sub-niched list of millions of people, that they could, if they wanted too, sell to other businesses and make billions of dollars!

  15. #15
    Moderator Endus's Avatar
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    On the one hand, a prospective employer has no right to invade your privacy to try and determine what you're "really" like.

    On the other, with regards to social media sites specifically, you're the dumbass who posted that shit to the public. If you're stupid enough to post pics to your public profile of you getting drunk with friends, you deserve to have employers pass you over for someone with more discretion.

  16. #16
    Old God Hyve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frozenbeef View Post
    If anyone can be bothered to spend that much time and effort they deserve to read the constant happy birthday messages i send to my friends :S
    Most people do a lot more with their accounts I find. You'd be surprised though, how disgusting some people really are in the private parts of Facebook. I won't disclose any details of course, but some people should be on porno sites instead, while others are being blatantly racist and abusive, then come into our office talking about their great social ethics ...

    ---------- Post added 2013-01-28 at 06:38 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Endus View Post
    On the one hand, a prospective employer has no right to invade your privacy to try and determine what you're "really" like.
    Why? If you're going to work for my company, I want to know the sort of person you are. If you're someone who gets drunk every night, I know that is going to have an impact on your work, and I don't want that, not when this is a buyers market.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Hyve View Post
    Most people do a lot more with their accounts I find. You'd be surprised though, how disgusting some people really are in the private parts of Facebook. I won't disclose any details of course, but some people should be on porno sites instead, while others are being blatantly racist and abusive, then come into our office talking about their great social ethics ...

    ---------- Post added 2013-01-28 at 06:38 PM ----------



    Why? If you're going to work for my company, I want to know the sort of person you are. If you're someone who gets drunk every night, I know that is going to have an impact on your work, and I don't want that, not when this is a buyers market.
    Who's job is it to just sit around and go through people's FB profiles.

  18. #18
    Old God Hyve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gamdwelf View Post
    Who's job is it to just sit around and go through people's FB profiles.
    It depends on the postion. If we're hiring for a management position, or someone a bit higher up in the company i'll do it myself, but we tend to out-source the function to a few of our assistants. They're all under N.D.A. and they have far more sensitive data then some fools Facebook address.

    Also, as I said, we just request the information from Facebook and they send it to us in a nice neat format, I simply read through it. I don't have to go through all the profiles in the world.

  19. #19
    Merely a Setback Rukentuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyve View Post
    Why? If you're going to work for my company, I want to know the sort of person you are. If you're someone who gets drunk every night, I know that is going to have an impact on your work, and I don't want that, not when this is a buyers market.
    No, what you're supposed to care about is how well I can get the job done. As long as I do a spectacular job, getting sauced every night is a non-issue.
    Quote Originally Posted by GreatOak View Post
    Hey, as a transabled, transethnic, non-binary, genderqueer, neo-communist, indoor-capable republican otherkin I am offended by your callous display of ignorance.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cybran View Post
    Both of those links don't provide any evidence. They make unsubstantiated statements

  20. #20
    My FB has nothing on it but birthday wishes...for the past like 5 years. That's all you see on my Wall...
    "Bah-weep-graaaaagnah wheep nini bong!"
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