New service flags old social media posts for inappropriate or controversial content
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A new survey says 70 percent of employers used social media to screen job candidates in 2017. Now there is a new service that can help you clean up your old social media mistakes.
Ryan Anguilly had the idea for Scrubber four years ago after he realized his new sister-in-law thought he was going to Strip Clubs all the time thanks to a misunderstanding on the social media platform Foursquare. “There’s all these things people might not realize they’re putting out into the world,” said Anguilly.
It’s no surprise that posts on social media have gotten people in trouble like a New York City publicist fired for tweeting a joke about AIDS before flying to Africa, or actor Gilbert Gottfried who was fired as the Aflac duck for a joke about the tsunami in Japan. Scrubber aims to change that. They scan every post, tweet, and comment you’ve made on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others and compare it against a database of over 15,000 words that could be vulgar, controversial, embarrassing or even illegal.
“For many people online is a huge part of their world and for those people, they have a fighting chance to represent who they really are,” said Anguilly.
We put Scrubber to the test and after scanning over 5,000 posts it flagged 83 which doesn’t seem too bad, but Scrubber gave us a grade of C.
After further looking at the results we realized the majority were what scrubber calls false positives. 25 were flagged for using the word “beer” or another alcohol term and 35 were flagged for using political words like America, Trump, bipartisan and liberal which has actually angered some scrubber users, “I think we flag the word ‘American Flag’, which isn’t controversial at all, but in the context of Scrubber we get a lot of angry people…and I try to explain we aren’t saying it’s bad but people have asked for it,” said Anguilly.
We took our flagged posts to Robert Half, the largest specialized staffing agency in the country, to see if they would recommend us for a job.
They didn’t see any problems with the flagged posts and said it’s all about context. Jim Jeffers the Milwaukee Metro Market Manager for Robert Half says to follow two simple rules: if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all and don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your mom to see.
“Hiring managers in particular come to conclusions on somebody just based on a post they have on politics or a former employer or whatever it might be,” said Jeffers.
And it’s not just posts either, pictures can play a huge role according to Jeffers, “The questionable photos, the repeat photos of being at parties or taking too many selfies of yourself. If that shows up to an employer, that might be questionable.”
It’s not just prospective employees or employers using Scrubber either, Anguilly tells us they have a lot of student athletes or high schoolers applying to college that use their service. Professional sports teams are starting to get in the game too along with NCAA Division One teams and Olympic feeder programs to track their current athletes and avoid embarrassment.
If you don’t want to go through a service like Scrubber, experts say Googling yourself or setting up Google Alerts is a good way to keep track of your history and recommend doing a social media checkup at least every six months.
Scrubber is completely free to use and run a report on, but if you want them to actually edit or remove the posts for you it will cost $19 a month. We also found a few other services like Clear and BrandYourself that do similar things to Scrubber.
If you are thinking about doing a wipe of your entire account or profile, experts say think twice. Employers like to see constant updates, so keep posting, just make sure it’s the right things.