Private investigators find character information. Background investigation companies have known about Facebook, LinkedIn and the dozens of other social networking sites for years. We often use these sites to look into an applicant’s personal life and make an estimation of what type of character that applicant has. Employers appear to be getting in on the action as well. Numerous news reports have documented the struggle between an individual’s privacy rights and the public availability of online information. Employers and background investigation companies argue that if an applicant puts themselves online for all to see, that there is no reason they should not be able to view that information and potentially use it to make hiring decisions.
Whether you agree or disagree with the use of social networking sites as a hiring tool, you should be aware that information available online can and will be viewed by people outside of your group of friends, and also those who find character information as a profession. Included in the list of major social networking sites that are often used are Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Xanga, Frendster, LiveJournal and Flickr.
If you are an investigator, background screening company or employer looking to find character information, these sites are invaluable in determining if you are about to hire a class act or a class clown.