(KMOV) – When you apply for a job, you expect a criminal background check, a credit check or even a Google search. But what about a “social media” background check?
A company is now offering social media background checks, looking as far back as seven years of your online commenting, posting and picture sharing.
Social Intelligence is hired by companies to perform a social media background check. Facebook may come to mind first, and young people may think their profile is private, and that helps, but the company says most information comes from in-depth searches on lesser known sites. “There are blogs which typically are very open or it may be comments you write on somebody else's blog - it might be picture sites,” says Vicki Sauter, professor of information systems at the University of Missouri – St. Louis.
The FTC cays the company’s procedures comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Social Intellignece says its reports leave out information on religion, marital status or other things employers can’t legally ask.
Instead, the company looks for criminal activity, sexually explicit photos or racist remarks going years back. “It might be that you made some statements that might be sarcastic. “They don't get it that you didn't intend that, or again, it could be some phase you were experimenting with," says Sauter.
Local recruiters say this kind of check isn’t common yet, but it is a sign of the future.