I Failed a Social-Media Background Check


Not me, but online journalism vet Mat Honan. Read the interesting results of a third-party social media data scrub over at Gizmodo.


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  1. Okay, Matt, we’ll promise to read that if you promise not to let Nick read what John Cole wrote about the latest video on the D.C. Taxi drivers. Nick has kids, and I don’t want them to lose their father to a suicidal plunge into the Cuyahoga River.

    1. I’ll take a guess at what it said: Something something Koch something something glibertarian. Am I right?

      1. Throw in a little “they’re all rich white guyz!!!1!” and you are there.

        1. Being rich is the worst form of racism.

        2. John “Malcolm X” Cole

          1. The guy who wrote the article in the comments:

            Freddie deBoer – July 6, 2011 | 4:37 pm ? Link

            Taylor (or whatever your name is), I am a socialist, as much as I am willing to pin myself down to anything, up to and including the part about nationalizing the means of production.

            Kulaks! Kulaks everywhere!

            1. Taylor is, of course, Chuck Heston.

            2. Search “Nick Gillespie”, “Matt Welch”, or, hell, even “Radley Balko” and prepare to feel somewhat sad.

              1. Oh, I know about those twats. Their hysteric anti-libertarianism would just be pathetic/funny if they didn’t send so many trolls this way.

                1. You seem rather old to be a groupie.

                  1. Case in point.

    2. Check the top of the blog (ours).

      1. Oh, and thanks for correcting me. It’s actually Freddie deBoer who wrote the post.

  2. In other words, your drunken kegstand photos are probably fine as long as you’re not wearing a T-shirt with a swastika or naked from the waist down.

    Which is good, because when I do a kegstand, I wear a shirt and therefore am only naked from the waist up.

  3. I don’t use the same e-mail for employment as I do for general intarwebz. This confirmed that that was a good idea.

    1. Yeah.

      Your personal email address, especially if you’ve had it for a long time, could have all kinds of things tied to it that you’d rather an employer not see. Spend the nothing it costs to set up a dedicated job search email account, and list that one on your c.v.

  4. I periodically kill of my internet personas in annoyingly public fashion, so I’m safe.

      1. Holder!

    1. Web 2.0 Suicide FTW.

  5. My comments here are good, because they prevent me from ever being tempted to run for political office.

    1. I actually just googled my email for feat that I had at some point in the past associated my job hunting email with my H&R email. I hadn’t. Which is a relief to me and potential clusterfuck for my next employer…. reason, i’m looking in yer direction.

    2. I thought you were more of a “seize power” type anyway. I got that impression from your comments here.

      1. The best way to ensure my freedom is to subjugate you all to my will.

      2. And it’s making jokes like that here that prevent me from running for office.

        Not that I really want to, but whenever I get the urge, I think of Hit & Run.

        1. Getting elected turns men into monsters. Your kids don’t deserve a dick for a dad.

          1. Luckily, some of us were already monsters beforehand. Me, for instance… I was a 1950’s vintage Wolfman before I got elected.

  6. My ‘official’ web presence is basically nil. Just a boring facebook page I don’t use, and that’s pretty much it. I’ve used pseudonyms for pretty much everything online, and never use my full name (if I do use my name, it’s only my given name, which is boringly common enough that there is no way in hell anyone could tell it’s me without an IP trace).

    So no drunken keg stand pictures of me, bitches.

  7. What’s all this whining about? In the libertarian view, if the government wants to invade your privacy it’s a terrible thing; if an employer does it, it’s fine. Let freedom ring!

  8. I wonder to what extend the opposite end of the social media spectrum can hurt you though. ie, if you have absolutely no social media presence and your name and supplied email turn up no google hits involving you, are they going to be suspicious that you’re hiding something, or that you’re a hermit with no friends who sits around commenting on blogs under a pseudonym.

    1. Dammit I’ve been outed!

  9. or that you’re a hermit with no friends who sits around commenting on blogs under a pseudonym.

    Hey! I’m right here.

  10. ,, I paid $32.67 for a XBOX 360 and my mom got a 17 inch Toshibalaptop for $94.83 being delivered to our house tomorrow by fedex. I will never again pay expensive retail prices at stores.I even sold a 46 inch HDTV to my boss for $650 and it only cost me $52.78 to get. Here is the website we using to get all this stuff,

    1. Wow, I mean, that’s crazy when you think about it.

  11. edsa is blatant spam. Please get rid of it. It is not even as funny as the AnonnBot. It is just low ball spam.

    1. Yeah, but you can’t beat those prices!

  12. Ten bucks says the Obama regime is all for this kind of shit.

    Twenty bucks says the eventual Obama regime replacements will be even MORE in favor.

    1. And so on, and so on, and so on…

      1. Eventually, we’ll have so many laws and so much government, we’ll come around full circle to barbarism.

        1. Workin’ on it!

  13. Here’s what I don’t understand:

    How can they search inside your Facebook profile? I can only screw around inside the Facebook profiles of my friends.

    1. Some people don’t have their security settings tweaked properly.

      1. Or, perhaps, Facebook and security are two words that shouldn’t be spoken together.

    2. Not that I countenance it, but there are some creative (and legal as no hacking is involved) ways to get access to people’s photo galleries, even if you have no friend relationship to them at all and they have their photos ostensibly restricted to friends only.

      You basically find one person in your network who has left their image gallery open to people in the network, then follow a chain of people who are in photos with each other. Preventing this sneaky method of access requires some serious, non-obvious tweaking of privacy settings which very few people bother with.

      1. I should be more clear: if person A puts an image including person B in their photo gallery, and you have access to person B’s photos, there’s a way to sneak in to person A’s entire photo gallery (even photos without person B). And you can usually find a way to daisy-chain this access if person C has a photo in person B’s gallery, etc.

  14. So I should worry that when the host of the Washington Journal reads one of my tweets on the air that someone might see it?

  15. I can see this causing major issues if employers cross the discrimination line. I think Mat’s article clearly outlines the potential risk in social networking background checks.

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