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More Warnings Against Oversharing on MySpace 383

Posted by Zonk
from the internet-never-forgets dept.
Skapare writes "Your next prospective employer might be watching your MySpace page, according to a story at the New York Times. And if you think Facebook is more private, maybe not if that prospective employer has an intern from the same school checking up on you." From the article: "Students may not know when they have been passed up for an interview or a job offer because of something a recruiter saw on the Internet. But more than a dozen college career counselors said recruiters had been telling them since last fall about incidents in which students' online writing or photographs had raised serious questions about their judgment, eliminating them as job candidates."
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More Warnings Against Oversharing on MySpace

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  • Woohoo! (Score:5, Funny)

    by hpcanswers (960441) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @04:42AM (#15512095)
    This is great news; my Facebook site is a combination resume, cover letter, and reference letters. Hey recruiters, this way!
  • by plasmacutter (901737) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @04:42AM (#15512098)
    There are many highly qualified and intelligent people here (it's a top 20 university) with very vapid social lives.

    these employers using google and myspace to research their prospective employees may as well be basing their decisions on the bible or the magic 8 ball.

    There are many people who can quickly switch personalities to a work mode, many of the most intelligent are also the most eccentric as well. Passing people up because of eccentricity, quirks, or political views will harm employers in the end.
    • by Umbral Blot (737704) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @04:57AM (#15512138) Homepage
      You know intelligence isn't everything when hiring. People with vapid social lives may be generally annoying to their co-workers, and thus actually be a hindrance to a group effort.
      • by Jasin Natael (14968) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @09:42AM (#15512632)

        And this point brings up something really scary. What happens when you use your rights to privacy, and choose not to post anything about your private life on the Internet? Do employers start interviewing MySpace users first (because they are at least a known quantity), or even dropping your resume completely?

        IMO, this is just a question of references. If you are able to provide suitable character and work references on your resume, then your employers shouldn't be considering additional references that you did not provide. Maybe it will be decided that listing MySpace as a reference is acceptable, but there is no guarantee as to accuracy. Prospective employers don't have the right (as far as I know) to call random co-workers from your past, your drinking buddies, or your old high school friends to dig for dirt. I can't imagine that they would examine the transcript of an argument you got in at a bar, which is what a lot of online flames degenerate to. If employees want their online lives evaluated, it should be optional, with no reasonable expectation of consequence if they refuse.

        • Prospective employers don't have the right (as far as I know) to...

          What do you mean "do not have the right?" It is you who doesn't have the right to hide what's in plain sight. If you have posted information for the whole world to see, how can you reasonably expect the whole world to look at it? And why is it that the prospective employee should be able to completely control where the prospective employer gets his information?

          There are some concerns about whether or not the future boss is looking at

        • by Surt (22457) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @04:07PM (#15513600) Homepage Journal
          Personally, I set up a couple of fake myspace accounts for 'former employers' where they have a reference to what great work i've done, or how I solved a problem that really saved the companies ass ('sometimes I wonder if this company could have survived the last 2 years without the help of surt's real name here'. I bury it in with a ton of other material about the daughter's birthday or this or that so it won't look too blatant or fake hopefully. I believe it would be enough to fool most people's first search efforts, and should even pass an uncareful examination.

          Anyone who goes googling for me on the internet is going to find that apparently there are a number of people who think really highly of me as a coworker.
    • I whole-heartedly agree. Musings on MySpace don't have a strong correlation with how an employee composes himself. I don't want to work for an employer who believes otherwise.
      • by flibuste (523578) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @09:53AM (#15512660)

        The fact is, employers don't want to work with people who publicly admit using drugs and dirty sex as their recreational time.

        It may appear sad but it's the terrible truth

      • And I don't want to have coworkers (or employees if I'll ever run a company) who would touch MySpace even with a 10-foot pole.

        Come on, when I tried to take a look at MySpace, my eyes almost fell out. It was truly a traumatic experience. Please, don't even try to claim that an intelligent -- or even just sentient -- being would come anywhere near that site.

        There may be intelligent people with a lack of good taste, but every page of ~10 I dared to look at on MySpace was beyond all reasonable limites.
    • by ejdmoo (193585) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @05:09AM (#15512168)
      There are many highly qualified and intelligent people here (it's a top 20 university) with very vapid social lives.

      They aren't very intelligent if they post about it publicly online.
      • by Dhalka226 (559740) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @05:21AM (#15512193)

        Or perhaps they feel the value of having a place, public or not, where they can vent themselves is worth the price of a couple missed jobs due to employers who demand that people they consider for jobs be identically stiff at work and away from work.

        Honestly, I would not want to work for any employer who thought that they should have any control whatsoever over my personal life when it is not affecting my work, nor one who considered me incapable of conducting myself professionally based on completely unrelated situations.

        • Amazingly enough there is something known as anonymity on the internet. In other words you make sure it's not easy to find your blog using whatever info you provide to your employer.
          • by xstonedogx (814876) <xstonedogx@gmail.com> on Sunday June 11, 2006 @08:03AM (#15512468)
            Amazingly enough there is something known as anonymity on the internet. In other words you make sure it's not easy to find your blog using whatever info you provide to your employer.

            I've always view these types of things as great filters, removing the people from my life that I would not want to associate with anyway. Don't like me because I'm funny/had purple hair when I was younger/listen to Dream Theater/love Sushi/am left handed/have OMG, political views/get drunk once in a while/whatever? Oh well, have a nice life.

            Who really cares what they find out about me? I don't apologize for having freedom and using it; and I accept the consequences of the same. I don't want to associate with people (including employers) who would first hunt down that information and second use it to discriminate against me in some way. With friends/employers like that, who needs enemies?

            (And ya, I realize the irony in posting this as a more or less anonymous identity, but this is /. afterall.) :)
          • I have never been to myspace, I would never use a Murdoch controlled site.

            So what if someone went off and created a profile for me? Posted the untrue story about me calling into a conference call while in a hot tub (I was sitting next to it and the clean cycle went off). I'll admit I did call in from a bar on a beach in Jamaca while on a cruise and yes I did call in from the delivery room after our first child was born but the kid was asleep and the mother said she didn't mind.

            You could really do a numb

    • I couldn't agree more.

      From where I stand, companies seem to want to control every single aspect of their employers' lives - so if you do not conform to the company standards in all aspects of your life, you are not really wanted here, thank you.
      I mean, how else can one explain the fact that your personal life can influence your getting a/the job?
      Maybe you'll have to fight for improvements in anti-discrimination laws...

      I, for one, hide nothing.
      It's not that I have nothing to hide; in normal life I hide

    • by GreatBunzinni (642500) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @05:17AM (#15512183)
      There are many people who can quickly switch personalities to a work mode, many of the most intelligent are also the most eccentric as well. Passing people up because of eccentricity, quirks, or political views will harm employers in the end.

      Yet, the damaging information about those people, information that they personally posted, is out there for anyone to access. This time the bosses happen to access them but what about the prospective clients and business partners? Independently of that person's competence and professional attitude, what damage can a public profile like that bring to a company?

      As I see it this has a lot in common with politics. What does it matter if a political candidate smoked pot or even if he's into S&M? Isn't his competence the only thing that matters? Yet, when the public learns about those details the would-be politician is automatically done for, even if the voters or political opponents do as bad or even worse than him. It's all about public image and if someone is involved in socially questionable things and if that information passes to that person's professional environment and life, then obviously it will have an impact.

      Oh and let's not forget that the person in question bragged about doing drugs, which not only is considered ilegal in a lot of countries but it can also, at least to some extent, be a liability.

      • by plasmacutter (901737) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @05:20AM (#15512191)
        Yet, the damaging information about those people, information that they personally posted, is out there for anyone to access. This time the bosses happen to access them but what about the prospective clients and business partners?

        I refer you further up in this story to the post from the guy who happens to have a shared name, age, and major with someone else.

        In truth, when you google someone's name or search for it on myspace there is no guarantee it's the same person.. you may as well be shaking your magic 8 ball: "is this employee responsible and cordial?"? "ask again later"
      • Yet, when the public learns about those details the would-be politician is automatically done for
        Automatically done for!? As far as pot smoking goes, that has not affected the outcome of the last 4 presidential elections. Clinton smoked but did not "inhale" and George W. was just "really young and irresponsible". And these are just some of the minor "socially questionable things" these presidents have done, yet they still got elected.
      • You'll also notice that people will fake having a hobby if it will help their image, like wannabe executives who try to learn to play golf just to get in good with the boss, and politicians who go on a staged hunt to prove to the voters that they are rugged outdoorsy types.

        Sometimes just not liking golf can kill your career just as much as enjoying various unsavory hobbies.
      • Which is why net posting is probably only an issue if you are a marginal candidate in search of specific job.

        The problem with getting a job is that the interviewer is often instructed to find a particular person that will "fit into" the company. Sometimes this is done by a personality test, sometimes by interviews, sometimes on the basis of superficial qualities. The challange, expecially to the large firm, is that the government often limits on what can disqualify a candidate. In these cases, finding

    • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @05:22AM (#15512197) Journal
      I already posted this link in a other replay, but they this is slashdot and posting a dupe might just get me to be an editor. Arthur Andersen [wikipedia.org] was a boring stiff off an accountant who build up a highly successfull firm. Then it all went to hell. Now how much do you want to bet that the guys who ruined the firm were the kind of people that if myspace had been available in their time would have posted pics of themselves doing stuff frowned upon at the time.

      Yes a marketting job could well do with someone who stands out. For a lot of real jobs it don't matter shit. You don't care what your plumber did in school did you?

      But for a lot of the more exciting/succesfull jobs who you are matters because the risk for choosing the wrong person are high.

      Tell me, what kind of pilot do you want. One who leads a perfectly boring life who just spend a quiet weekend home with his wife and kids or one who just spend the weekend on a drug and booze filled rampage? Who do you want managing your stocks. Someone with all the political motivation of a jellyfish or someone who firmly believes money is the root of all evil?

      Do you want an eccentric person in charge or a nuclear powerplant. A police officer with quircks, a judge with political views (especially one that doesn't agree with yours)?

      Luckily most people never need to worry about this. There are plenty of jobs out there where they don't give a shit what you do in your private life. And I can't help but feel that if you want a bigger job then you should be willing to adjust what you do in your private life so you can get the big bucks.

      If you want to be your own person in your personal life then the price is that you will have to accept the kind of job where your personal life don't matter. The fast majority of jobs will be open to you. Sure the fast majority of jobs also have bad pay and are boring but hey, at least you got a full and un-spyed upon private life.

    • A blog full of half-literate paeans to partying does suggest that you are overeducated and perhaps incompetent.

      Smart people often break taboos: Richard Feynman loved strip clubs and Paul Erdös took amphetamines, to name but a couple.

      • A blog full of half-literate paeans to partying does suggest that you are overeducated and perhaps incompetent.
        Smart people often break taboos: Richard Feynman loved strip clubs and Paul Erdös took amphetamines, to name but a couple.

        I think your first statement had it right:-

        • Smart people break taboos, but they cover their tracks
        • Towering Geniuses can break taboos and they normally have enough reputation to survive any blowback.
        • Idiots break taboos, post it on MySpace and act suprised when employe
    • "There are many people who can quickly switch personalities to a work mode, many of the most intelligent are also the most eccentric as well. Passing people up because of eccentricity, quirks, or political views will harm employers in the end."

      I don't know -- half the contracting work I get is solely because of my vapid personality that I love displaying on the internet :)

      I do and say quite a bit of obnoxious opinionated bullshit, though at the same time, this is exactly what is needed in my field -- someone that actually believes in his particular line of BS and willing to stand behind it. In different lives, I deal with the music industry where it is imparative that you not obviously compromise your values whatever they may be, as well as being a senior developer / manager in the software side of things where you need to be able to stick with a belief through a project in order to deliver a cohesive project (and not something that is the product of every idiot that thinks they have a stake in its creation and thus should get equal billing / equal chance of getting their unneeded feature ruining the workflow of the rest).

      It may be different for young people...I had taken a class on CSS last year and it was amazing all the folks willing to suck it up for their potential employeers. Maybe I'm old enough I know what I'm willing to put up with and what I'm not -- as well as established enough in two disciplines that I've been known to quit one (being told I'll never work in that industry again by the very folks that come to me begging for a reference a year later) to do the other when life becomes too unbearable -- and doing it seemlessly. I guess its good to be old for once.

      All in all, I would never work for an employeer that asked me to act differently at work than I do 'at play'. No, I'm not going to show up plastered and blatently hit on the interns (ok, this is slashdot, so I'm posting theoretically) -- but past that, my personality is the same either place for the good or bad. I gotta say, without my obnoxious personality, I would have never worked on the projects that I have in my academic or creative fields. Hell, I guess one of my first internships in computers was working for the US gov't and I was several years older than the others going for the same position and when the interview started going south based on my lack of experience (i.e., because I was off living a life while the 20 year olds applying for the job had their noses in their books but even though we were going for the same job, my age played a factor) I pointed out to my future boss that I wanted the job so badly that I almost missed it risking my car being impounded (and having to have it searched by 3 police officers) as I had a rather large anarchy symbol painted on it and a Eff The System type logo painted on the side (this was pre-911, pre-Oklahoma which was lucky as I was interviewing with the IRS) -- he laughed in the straight laced sort of way that I ended up loving him for, and said if he I could point out the car in the parking lot from the window, I had the job -- and when he saw how obnoxious it was he just laughed and shook my hand welcoming me to the job pending background checks and internal lie detector testing (and believe me, my 'love of the system' came up with the polygrapher telling me that I was one of the more honest people he had ever interviewed -- ended up getting security clearance that a college intern shouldn't have possibly been given, IMHO).

      So the point is, if its you and you are comfortable with it, post it online. If you aren't and you are ashamed of your personality to the point you think that you need to make accomodations in public for it -- then there is something you need to change in yourself and as a current employeer, I wouldn't hire you either if your private personality didn't live up to your professional one.
    • by jrockway (229604) * <jon-nospam@jrock.us> on Sunday June 11, 2006 @06:00AM (#15512258) Homepage Journal
      > Passing people up because of eccentricity, quirks, or political views will harm employers in the end.

      True, but passing up people that post pictures of themselves violating several local laws whilst naked is not necessarily a bad idea. Have you seen some people's facebook pages? "Hi there, I'm completely wasted and people are drawing on me with a permanent marker. Hire me?"
      • "Hi there, I'm completely wasted and people are drawing on me with a permanent marker. Hire me?"

        What's she look like? I might have an opening.

        KFG
      • Online persona can affect one's carrer possibilities, true enough, but with all the statues on the books, chances are everyone has broken more than a few 'local laws' automatically rejecting people based on having a negative past is stupid, isn't it better to already know what's wrong with someone than to hire someone who you have no idea of what sorta laws they might break?

        There is such a thing as being too perfect, Frankly I'd rather try to defend my flaws than try to claim I'm perfect, because really nob
    • There are many highly qualified and intelligent people here (it's a top 20 university) with very vapid social lives.

      I have a very vapid social life but Im pretty sure that employers will still flock to me. Searching on goolge will result in the fact that I like robots, I once counted gypsy mothes, and I one a scholarship. The only thing that doesn't belong is Kaiju Big Battel.
  • by obscurelyfamous (931883) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @04:43AM (#15512100)
    While it's not much a surprise that employers would do some unconventional background checking, the article seems to make it seem increasingly prevalent. Unless you are completely in an online pseudonym, don't portray yourself in a manner online that you wouldn't want seen in real life. As far as a Google search is concerned, I can't find much with just a straight name search. My only online profile would be a Facebook listing where nothing is risque.
    • This is one case where having a boring name would help. If you have some oddball you-kneek* name spelling, it makes Googling for you that much easier. If your name is John or Bob or Christina, with a common or at least not unusual last name, finding you on the internet can be a bitch. Unless you have pictures up or give out a ton of details.

      I do not post anything under my real name that I would be ashamed of my mother reading. I pretty much just write reviews for gadgets on newegg under my real name. I don'
      • Doesn't help - you'll have to come from a pretty big city as well. Just combining my name (both my first and last name are very common Swedish names) with the town I live in, will instantly grant you a great deal of access to information about me, just by doing a Google search. Actually, there even is one hit when searching for just my name, but it's one that I intended to be found - and unless you already knew quite a bit about me it would just be lost in the hay stack.
  • by orangeguru (411012) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @04:45AM (#15512105) Homepage
    On the Internet - everybody knows that you are a perv' ...
  • Come on (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Is a job which would pass you over because of your personal life really one worth having anyway? I mean really?
    Some people need spines.
  • Overhype, Inc? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Zx-man (759966)
    I've been in the Biz for some time, being on both sides, that is. Actually, an employer has a reasonable right to check how do you behave in a informal online situation as it might also be reflect what you do in an informal situation offline. Now way am I advocating it, but it seems to me that data mining is a significant part of future's corporate intelligence. And if you think you can spy on your partners or competition, your moral will allow you to spy on your employees.
    • I for one would certainly behave differently online than offline.

      But maybe I should add some funny pictures of myself online - if for nothing else then because an employer stupid enough to trust something like that is not one I would work for
    • Webster's:
      5. to observe secretively or furtively with hostile intent (often fol. by on or upon).

      There is nothing hostile about checking a prospective employee for idiocy off the site. That idiocy is what allowed those VA records to be stolen. Don't want to look like a fool? Don't act like one. If you post info on a public forum, expect all sections of the public to have access.

      This is hard to wrap the mind around, how?
  • by Bjarke Roune (107212) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @04:51AM (#15512125) Homepage
    Unfortunate postings to Slashdot are also pretty, well, unfortunate, because Slashdot has a high Google-rank, so your Slashdot postings will place highly in Google on a search for your name. I don't think you can get a Slashdot comment removed.
    • That is why people don't make their username their real life name, or allow their real email to be shown publicly next to it. (duh)
    • by MT628496 (959515)
      I'm a college freshman, I work as a network tech at our school. There are a grand total of three people maintaining our network. I'm mostly responsible for field work such as installing new or replacing dead switches, access points, data drops and the like. I'm also the resident scripter. In the interview, when my boss found out I read slashdot, it actually helped my chances. Part of our morning ritual is to talk about the previous day's slashdot stories and this even went so far that when they intervi
  • by Umbral Blot (737704) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @04:53AM (#15512127) Homepage
    In my opinion this could be as much of a good thing as it is a bad thing. Sure if you write all sorts of useless MySpace one line "lol ponies are cute!!!!" comments then yes, you may be less likely to be hired. But then again making such comments indicates that you are a fairly shallow, and possibly annoying person, and thus may not be a good person to hire. On the other hand if you are generally insightful and have useful things to say then it would seem that you would be more likely to be hired, and I can't think of that as a bad thing. So in general if you act like an idiot you are less likely to be hired, if you act like an adult you are more likely to be hired. If we feel that this is an acceptable consequence of real life behavior why shouldn't it be an acceptable consequence of online behavior?
  • by Shano (179535) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @04:55AM (#15512134)

    Every so often, I get an email from someone I've never heard of, asking how I've been and why I never respond to email at some other account. Turns out there's someone else with my name, of a similar age (well, plus or minus 5 years, I guess), in the same country, and studying informatics of some form (AI rather than CS). Also, he appears to be impossible to find contact details for. I'm not making this up, and unless spammers have suddenly become much more intelligent and literate (and created a specialist website to back up their story), these are quite genuine requests.

    What's to guarantee that the person a company finds on Myspace or Livejournal - I don't know much about Facebook - is the same person they're actually considering employing? I'd be quite upset to find I'm suddenly employed and expected to be an expert in genetic algorithms, when my total experience with them is a couple of lectures several years ago. Names aren't unique, and sometimes there are enough similarities that I'm contacted by people who believe they know me personally.

    • What's to guarantee that the person a company finds on Myspace or Livejournal - I don't know much about Facebook - is the same person they're actually considering employing?
      I don't mind, if people Google for me they come to the conclusion that I own this company [pba.co.uk].
    • > What's to guarantee that the person a company finds on Myspace or Livejournal - I don't know much about Facebook - is the same person they're actually considering employing?

      As someone who has actually had a responsible job and been in the hiring process I will let you into a secret. Either you use a bit of intelligence to cross-check that the person posting the views is the person being interviewed (same email, same pseudo, same home address etc) or when you interview the person you ask them:

      Do you hav
  • My employer (Score:3, Informative)

    by ValiantSoul (801152) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @04:58AM (#15512140)
    I'm an intern at a software development firm and when looking for another intern, my employer asked me to look the person up on Facebook - so this is a very real issue.

    But I did not know the person, nor did anyone I knew, so it had no effect on the hiring of them.
  • Well (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sv-Manowar (772313) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @05:03AM (#15512156) Homepage Journal
    No real suprise here, it's been coming for a long time. With so many people thinking they will never be seen on the net and that only a small amount of people can reach their personal pages, smart employers will google around for them and find out a lot more about the person than they need to know and you can't blame them, that way they will find the best candidate for the job no matter what CV they are presented with or how many qualifications you have.

    It may be a harsh way to do things, and some may argue that work should stay work and personal life should be private, but if you compromise yourself publically on the web - expect to reap what you sow.
  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @05:05AM (#15512161) Journal
    Doctors spend a lot of time in school and if you ever lived in a uni town then you will know that they are not exactly known as responsible mature adults. Best that you don't know what that young intern in charge of saving your life was upto just last year. Hell better not know what he was up to last night. (Although to be honest what he did 24 hours ago was probably being on the same shift he is still on)

    What seems kinda silly is however to go to far with this. The odd thing is that those kids who do extreme things are the ones who do best in real life. I should know, I didn't as a kid and I am very mediocre in my adult life.

    Who do you want in your company? Joe Average or somebody going places? For certain jobs yes somebody with a solid boring past is perhaps best. Chartered accountants would be nice to know they never ever broke any law of any kind ever. Read up on Arthur Andersen [wikipedia.org] to see what happens when you go from the boring accountants to the exciting ones.

    What is a problem is that people who do stuff like posting pictures of themselves smoking pot online then seem to want the kind of job that calls for people who think a cup of tea is a rollercoaster ride. There are just certain kind of proffesions where your entire life will come under close scrutiny. It doesn't matter so much as what you did but how easily it can be found out. Have an affair as president just don't let it get into the papers.

    The problem is that we fear overlap. Is the guy who smoked pot in college still doing it? That doesn't really even matter, cocaine has a certain respectability. What matters, is he still stupid enough to post evidence of criminal behaviour for the entire world to see?

    Women especially are truly stupid in this regard. Take your top off in front of a camera and those pictures WILL find their way onto the internet. Surely everyone knows this by now? Yes women still take their kit off and act all suprised when they end up on the net. How much are you willing to bet that if these women ever want to have a position with any importance later in life these pictures will come back to haunt them?

    I bring this up because I recently had a rather weird discussion with a co-worker about this whose pictures off an art thing she did in university came up. She was full frontal in some play they did. It was art. When I asked her why none of her fellow male students were in any kind of naked state she was unable to find a reason. I noticed this before. A lot of times women in art go naked while the males telling them it is for art keep their clothes on. Odd that.

    But she is now known on the workfloor not for her brains or years of good work but her perky tits. This doesn't matter if like me you got no ambition but if you want to move up who do you think they are going to choose. The guy who jerked off to naked girls or the girl that got naked?

    Life ain't fair, that boss who drives his suv while drunk will not hire the kid who smoked a joint and the boss who fucks his secretary half his age will not give a promotion to a woman who got her kit off. If you got ambition, think about what you do. And while it ain't entirely fair, I am not certain I want the world to be run by people who can't think ahead. Is somebody who can't think ahead about his own future really fit to think ahead about say a companies future or even the entire country?

    • The odd thing is that those kids who do extreme things are the ones who do best in real life. I should know, I didn't as a kid and I am very mediocre in my adult life.

      Well, you clearly didn't spend your time studying statistics...
    • "But she is now known on the workfloor not for her brains or years of good work but her perky tits. This doesn't matter if like me you got no ambition but if you want to move up who do you think they are going to choose. The guy who jerked off to naked girls or the girl that got naked?"

      I seriously don't get this culture. As if seeing someone naked would be such a big thing. Sometimes I wonder how these people reproduce at all.

      "Is somebody who can't think ahead about his own future really fit to think a
    • by lavaface (685630) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @09:12AM (#15512573) Homepage
      But she is now known on the workfloor not for her brains or years of good work but her perky tits.

      link to pics,plz ; )

    • Who do you want in your company? Joe Average or somebody going places?

      Except, a lot of the people "going places" (to the extent that their more spectacular youthful indescretions are an indication of their future ways of being) are going... to jail. Or rehab.

      Acute exhuberance and risky behavior does not necessarily lead to or imply life-long resourcefulness, or creativity, or diligence, or leadership. Sometimes it's just a form of self-medication by adrenaline for slightly (or very) broken people. The
  • Duh! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by apathy maybe (922212)
    This is a DUPE! The fact that people have been able to search for your name online has been around for years. I swear I saw an article a year or more ago with virtually the exact same wording.

    I never use my real name as a handle except where I want people to know who I am. Generally in these cases the online has a basis in real life (a forum discussing a conference or something). But for sites like Slashdot, I can post anything I like and people are not going to be able to associate my comments with me
    • But they made it an ALL NEW STORY by taking out the word "blog" (which was all over the 2005 edition of this story) and replacing it with "MySpace" (tres 2006)!

      For that matter, I remember seeing the same story in the early 90s, but the magic buzzword was "Usenet". The venue changes but the inane paranoia remains...

    • I never use my real name as a handle except where I want people to know who I am. Generally in these cases the online has a basis in real life (a forum discussing a conference or something). But for sites like Slashdot, I can post anything I like and people are not going to be able to associate my comments with me in real life.

      That's fairly naive, you know. Right now it's relatively difficult to work out your real name from your Slashdot or other handle, but it will only get easier over time. Certainly an
  • Just imagine a client looking up an adress or email to contact someone he had a meeting with / phone conversation or anything really, and stumbling on ms. X her profile where she's whoring herself or any content that could be offensive to any of your clients.

    There are things where you want to keep neutral about as a company (political issues, current affairs, racism ...) or do not want to be associated with (mentions or display of druguse, your amateur porn movie, stories about how slutty you are, ignoranc

  • by cheese-cube (910830) <cheese.cube@gmail.com> on Sunday June 11, 2006 @05:18AM (#15512185) Homepage
    Imagine if a prospective employer saw your Slashdot postings!

    Employer: I'm sorry but your just not the person we're looking for.
    You: But why?
    Employer: We saw that all your Slashdot posts were rated -1 Troll and our company doesn't need anymore trolls.
    You: Damn it!
  • By a previous employer, I was working in a team with a horror-writer, a amateur[sp] lockpicker, a juggler and firebreather, a bunch of people with an interesting history of computer security and somebody who was so socially unreliable that it was remarkable he never got kicked out.

    Guess what? That was the only part of the company (AFAIK) which was a real team, and the only department in the company which made a real profit.

    So, just because your name shows up in the internet no questionable sites shouldn't b
  • by Tim Ward (514198) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @05:30AM (#15512211) Homepage
    Next time you're going for an interview, look up the interviewer.

    You might find that the higly professional lady wearing a smart business suit spends her weekends dressed up in strange clothing and hanging around with a motorcycle gang, to pick a real example at random.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 11, 2006 @06:09AM (#15512274)
    Also your government:

    ""I AM continually shocked and appalled at the details people voluntarily post online about themselves." So says Jon Callas, chief security officer at PGP, a Silicon Valley-based maker of encryption software. He is far from alone in noticing that fast-growing social networking websites such as MySpace and Friendster are a snoop's dream.

    New Scientist has discovered that Pentagon's National Security Agency, which specialises in eavesdropping and code-breaking, is funding research into the mass harvesting of the information that people post about themselves on social networks. And it could harness advances in internet technology - specifically the forthcoming "semantic web" championed by the web standards organisation W3C - to combine data from social networking websites with details such as banking, retail and property records, allowing the NSA to build extensive, all-embracing personal profiles of individuals."

    Full story at: http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=mg190255 56.200 [newscientist.com]
  • Employer Filter (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xPsi (851544) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @06:17AM (#15512287)
    Probably like many slashdotters I've had a web presence for a while. In my case, I've had a persistent web page since 1996 - the early middle part of the contemporary Web's ramp up. Since putting the site up, I've been very careful about what information I choose to put in public directories about myself -- knowing full well that the information is, well, PUBLIC. I'm not saying I shy away from controversy. I'm an atheist, skeptic, scientist, and writer and have many links and comments about said topics on my site. Some of these things are not generally popular. When I hit the job market after my Ph.D. I simply ASSUMED people would Google me. And, lo and behold, in at least half the interviews someone would say "I saw your website and loved such-and-such." In some ways I used my website as an employer filter: if someone would not hire me based on information on my site, I would not want to work for them anyway.


    Clearly many people who are creating myspace sites have a strange relationship with this very public forum. On one hand they view it and understand it as public. It is the web afterall and everyone is just a Google search away. But yet they still seem to place a psychological shield around it. So while they surely must know it is public, they still regard it as somehow very private and personal ("my space") and are shocked when people hold them accountable for the information content they advertise.

    • Re:Employer Filter (Score:3, Informative)

      by timholman (71886)

      Clearly many people who are creating myspace sites have a strange relationship with this very public forum. On one hand they view it and understand it as public. It is the web afterall and everyone is just a Google search away. But yet they still seem to place a psychological shield around it. So while they surely must know it is public, they still regard it as somehow very private and personal ("my space") and are shocked when people hold them accountable for the information content they advertise.

      Agreed

    • I'm not saying I shy away from controversy. I'm an atheist, skeptic, scientist, and writer and have many links and comments about said topics on my site.

      Congratulations; I think you managed to sum up everything that's wrong with America... completely unindended too :(

      (for the dim: neither of these shouldhave been controversial in any way)

    • Re:Employer Filter (Score:3, Insightful)

      by aussersterne (212916)
      "If someone would not hire me based on information on my site, I would not want to work for them anyway."

      Exactly my feelings, and something I'm surprised I don't hear more of on Slashdot beneath these types of stories. Instead, I see hundreds of geeks clamoring to say "Keep your mouth shut and stay repressed in your personal life! Only then can you land the job that will also force you to keep your mouth shut and stay repressed in your professional life!"

      I think things. I think them at home, and I think the
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 11, 2006 @06:21AM (#15512294)
    I had a pretty wild time at University and eventually dropped out because of it. This was back in 1991, and some of my posts on Usenet were pretty telling about what I was doing in my life at the time.

    Of course, at that time we were quite naive and none of us realised what the Internet would turn into.

    When Google released the Usenet archives for searching I had to scamper to get all my posts (hundreds of them) removed from the archive, as my employers would probably not have been too pleased - for a week or so my name in the google search engine produced thousands of posts none of which I am proud of now.

  • I feel bad for those employed to do the research, and I will not be returning..

    what a bunch of crap?? did I miss something? annoying music- nothing redeeming, it's a big dating + a few other features site?

    every user page looks awful, and they all load with music -- my average webbrowsing session is multiple site windows open- this would kill me..
  • ...they don't want to hire emos. And if you're on MySpace, you're probably an emo.
  • So? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by crhylove (205956) <rhy@leperkhanz.com> on Sunday June 11, 2006 @09:02AM (#15512551) Homepage Journal
    I'm all for personal privacy, but I think one great thing about MySpace is that it's hard to "fake it". You can pretend to be somebody you're not, but by and large kids in particular are really savvy to this kind of "fronting". Let's just all be who we are, whether we smoke weed, like kinky wierd sex acts, or are a creepy vegetarian. Let's stop lying about it and just have a good time, online and off. People are such fucking cry babies I swear. If every person in the country was totally honest about who they were, and these lame corporations still had all their lame "standards", they'd quickly not have ANY employees. Trying to make everyone pretend to be something they're not is just stupid.

    Go ahead and check my MySpace, my piss, my driving record, and my credit record. I ain't perfect, but I'm a good worker and I get the job done, and there's probably about 200 million others of me in this country so STFU.

    rhY

  • by flibuste (523578) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @09:51AM (#15512653)

    Well. It's so hilariously obvious it's funny.

    One must really be a non-hireable idiot if he thinks he can post anything on the Internet and then stay anonymous.

  • Not just MySpace... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mendy (468439) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @10:22AM (#15512723)
    Last year we were interviewing for a helpdesk position and one of the candidates mentioned that he'd written tools to aid posting to LiveJournal. This meant that there was a good chance he had an LJ himself so, out of interest we did some googling and found it.

    In it he had written...

    -That he was currently suspended from work for misuse of IT equipment.
    -That his current duties were less technical than the impression he'd given in the interview.
    -That he wasn't really interested in the position we were offering and would be hoping to leave within a few months.

    Needless to say he didn't get the position.

    His blog also went into some detail about his sexual fetishes. This wouldn't have been a reason not to employ him, but it might have made things a bit awkward in the office especially with him not knowing we knew and such.
  • by cazbar (582875) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @10:35AM (#15512748)
    I threw my name in Yahoo people search and it came back with 10 results, none of which included me. I've thrown my name in google and there was plenty of results, but again mostly referring to other people. There's even a myspace page by somebody else with the same name. Recruiters should be cautious to make sure that when they are investigating somebody, the information they find really is about the right person. The world is a big place and the internet is accessible from just about anywhere so it's just about guaranteed that there are other internet users with the same name as you. Now if there's photos of you on myspace, then they will know it's you. And you will deserve everything you get.
  • Public Data (Score:3, Informative)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @10:43AM (#15512759) Homepage Journal
    No one should be suprised this is happening. The job market is tough and HR will use anything they can to weed out the freaks. The hiring process isnt free, and every loser they deal with costs the company money.

    Not saying you are a loser beacuse you have a stupid webpage, but its not worth the risk if you have stupid stuff posted up there.

    And if you think that is invasive, wait until you get a 'security clearance audit'.. Then they come to your house personally..
  • In general, I think you'd be much better off hiring the quiet, hard-working kid or the kid who's reasonable and talkative. The kids who posture in stupid and irresponsible ways are, surprise surprise, not as smart nor as hard-working as the other kids. I don't think this has anything to do with smoking the odd blunt or getting loaded or liking satire, but it does have a lot to do with what you think is funny, what your core values are. Why hire the person who blogs vicious gossip? Why hire the person who mo
  • My company has a fairly involved hiring process and several of the mid-level programmers influence the hiring decision. The first thing most of us mid-level programmers do is google on a prospective candidate's name. It hasn't made any difference so far, but I would actually tend to lead toward someone who had some level of presence on the net. We're also quite aware that we could be looking at someone else's page entirely.

    So far that practise hasn't turned up anything really interesting though. If any of

  • by imstanny (722685) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @11:55AM (#15512937)
    I can agree with that 100%. I interned at a corporate office of a Coal Mining company this year, and HR department told me to help them recruit new interns. In essense, all of the resumes filtered through me first. I facebooked all of the candidates... and it just so happened that the number one candidate for the position (with a 3.91 GPA) was part of a malicious environmentalist group on campus at my school. I can give you 2 guesses to whether or not she even got the interview, but you'll only need one.
  • by The Asmodeus (18881) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @02:08PM (#15513248)
    People need to realize that the internet is a public forum. IANAL but management training I've been at had the opinion that posting something publicly is the same as volunteering information in an interview. And just because an employer can't ask something doesn't mean that they can't use it as a factor in hiring you or not.

    Even if they can't, like posting you're gay for instance, doesn't mean it doesn't happen. People are a slave to their preferences and if a person doesn't like gays, you're less likely to get the job.

    Also people need to realize that if you post it on the internet, it may forever be unretractable. Think that picture is gone just because you deleted it from Photobucket? Think again. It may be on the next CD of 2,000+ images of college girls gone wild. Same goes for your friends posting photos/stories of you. It may be gone for years. Then surface when you run for public office.

    People have to realize that hiring someone is difficult. I Google people before offering every time as resumes and interviews can only go so far. MTF, since we do internet work, if I DON'T find any trace of someone online that will set of red flags.
  • by Catbeller (118204) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @03:51PM (#15513539) Homepage
    If stalking on the Internet is okay, then so is stalking in real life. If they can, without cause other than curiosity, check what you've ever said to anybody (remember, the datamining the NSA et al are devising are done by private entities, who have no reason not to sell the information to anyone who wishes to pay), see who you've talking to (a DailyKos reader, eh? Commie. Not our type of people), see what porn you like, check to see if you're easy to talk into bed -- not all filtering is to block bad immoral types -- some of it will be to find a hot chick employee who gives it up. The possibilities are endless.

    Henry Ford used to hire private investigators to follow his employees around to check on their moral fiber. No doubt hornier employers used PI's to find blackmail fodder against female employees. And male, too.

    There's no business reason to spy on people. We've gotten along for thousands of years with employers being in the dark, and they can damned stay that way. There are however an infinite number of evil reasons to spy on people.

    I wonder how many politicians and businessmen will let their private lives be monitored by their employess. After all, politiicians are public employees, and therefore subject to monitoring. And businessmen are entrusted with corporate licenses, granted by the public through the government, and so therefore should be watched closely, with publically available records datamined from all possible sources, including sex lives and phone conversations.

    This is hell on earth. And not many people give a damn.

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