As social networks become ubiquitous, we often look up people on Facebook before meeting them for the first time. As a first impression though, is the face of your Facebook profile really one you want to present to a potential employer?
Those status updates about how you got drunk and had a wild night out with friends don’t seem so harmless when you realise that if your profile is public, then anyone, and not just your friends, can see those words.
Enter Socioclean. The product is a free plugin for Facebook, which uses Facebook connect to scan through your pictures, comments, status updates and wall posts, and analyses the content for profanity, aggressive language, racism, and other objectionable language.
Most people will likely feel that their profile doesn’t need such monitoring, and that it’s unlikely that they’ve put out anything on the Internet that is objectionable. And if they have, it’s probably just one or two items, and not anything that will create a bad impression.
A quick try of the service though, revealed somewhat different results. Analysing four years worth of data took the website only around 10 minutes, and they were able to present a very detailed report, which shows a percentage-wise breakdown of the posts you have made, shows a detailed table counting the number of things you have said that might be objectionable and also marks them into categories, and even shows each individual entry, complete with a link to it so you can delete the offending data if you would like to clean up your act.
As more and more categories of associations are connected using the same platforms online, it’s a useful tool to have, and for now, it’s free. Over 5,000 people have already used the service, and the company is planning on selling its analytical software to job websites and dating websites, who can offer their members a cleanup of their public faces, and make them more successful at their attempts online. Companies with an image to be concerned about could also use the product to prevent their employees from harming the company by posting things outside of the values of the company.
The product only works with Facebook right now, but they plan to integrate other social networks like Twitter and LinkedIn to their services as well, and the latter in particular could be useful for people who are using LinkedIn to seek new employment but do not realise that the language they use is what is getting in the way of getting ahead.
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