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Beware Your Online Presence

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the watch-what-you-put-out-there dept.

677

Mz6 wrote to mention an article in the NY Daily News stating that an increasing number of employers are Googling their prospective employees during the interview/hiring process. From the article: "'A friend of mine posted a picture of me on My Space with my eyes half closed and a caption that suggests I've smoked something illegal,' says Kluttz. While the caption was a joke, Kluttz now wonders whether the past two employers she interviewed with thought it was so funny. Both expressed interest in hiring Kluttz, but at the 11th hour went with someone else."

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677 comments

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Feel free to link to an article... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14953856)

...if you want... no pressure. Or read daddypants@slashdot.org :)

Re:Feel free to link to an article... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14953914)

Re:Feel free to link to an article... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14954000)

Oh men!!! WTF???
That site is so 90s, but with the worst features of HTML....

The moral of the story is... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14953857)

Don't use MySpace. Trust me, we'll all be better off when that fad has passed.

I feel sorry for the goatce man then... (0, Offtopic)

jigjigga (903943) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953861)

Obligatory

Re:I feel sorry for the goatce man then... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14953880)

Which gives the term 'job opening' an entirely new perspective.

RTFA! (4, Funny)

XanC (644172) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953865)

...oh. There isn't one.

Maybe he *was* smoking something (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14953867)

He sounds a little paranoid, everybody gets passed over for jobs once in a while. Submit your resume elsewhere, life goes on.

Nothing 'bout the net, dude... (1, Funny)

pegr (46683) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953969)

Would you hire a guy named "Kluttz"?

I don't think so. (3, Informative)

babbling (952366) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953982)

Not entirely paranoid. I thought it was a well-known fact that employers Googled people when considering hiring them. I keep this in mind whenever I post anything that links me to my real name, though.

It's not paranoia (1, Interesting)

moochfish (822730) | more than 8 years ago | (#14954015)

My boss Google'd me when I first applied for my job before my interview. And from what I could tell, he Googled me quite thoroughly. He even brought up stuff I had forgotten about. I'm well aware that having stuff on the internet is like putting it up on a big sign on your front lawn. People these days don't seem to fully consider if a particular picture or post is something they may want to keep to themselves. For example, this now happening on the facebook [wikipedia.org] .

Re:It's not paranoia (1)

drbill28 (748405) | more than 8 years ago | (#14954077)

There should be a dividing line. It's a grey area in what they get ahold of that I would consider discrimination if they use it in their hiring decision. It's not hard to protect your information, but there are areas where it would be inappropriate for one to scour.

Simple to avoid. (4, Insightful)

babbling (952366) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953868)

I think this is made out to be more of a big deal than it really is. It's quite simple to prevent this from happening to you. Post "good stuff" under your real name, perhaps linked to a professional-sounding alias, and post other crap under another alias that you never link to your real name.

Re:Simple to avoid. (3, Insightful)

Sancho (17056) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953887)

It might not be that easy, since OTHER PEOPLE (a friend) could post that about him without posting it under some other handle.

Re:Simple to avoid. (0)

xiando (770382) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953922)

It might not be that easy, since OTHER PEOPLE (a friend) could post that about him without posting it under some other handle.

Simple solution: Educate your friend(s) on on-line privacy issues and teach them basic security skills like using http://gnupg.org/ [gnupg.org] to encrypt your e-mail while you are at it. Someone who still posts embarrassing pictures after you told them not to really isn't a very good "friend".

Re:Simple to avoid. (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953950)

Someone who still posts embarrassing pictures after you told them not to really isn't a very good "friend".

True, but this doesn't stop it from being a potential problem if an employer sees the picture.

Re:Simple to avoid. (4, Insightful)

Wordsmith (183749) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953984)

I don't know about you, but I've got dozens if not hundreds of friends and friendly aquantances. Even within my core group of close friends, many of those people aren't very technically minded, and would be confused by a lesson in computer privacy. But even if they all understood - how am I going to instruct so many people, and be sure they're all following through? And what about friends of friends? PEople I see once at a party, people I meet in passing?

You really can't expect to control anything but your own actions.

Seems to me the better solution is to google for yourself once in a while, and if you see anyone posting anything troublesome that includes you, contact that person directly.

Re:Simple to avoid. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14953921)

Sorry, but I think this is a big deal. If I had known in 1990 that all my postings to Usenet would be publicly available many years after the fact, I might have thought twice before posting some of the articles I did, but now there are some postings from me around, that I am ashamed of 16 years later.

I am pretty sure, I am not the only one this has happened to.

So remove them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14953942)

How do I remove my own posts? [google.com]

Google gives you the option. My own usenet posts aren't a big deal. I was a geeky teenager posting geeky technical questions to geeky newsgroups.

Re:Simple to avoid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14954016)

> Post "good stuff" under your real name, perhaps linked to a professional-sounding alias, and post other crap under another alias that you never link to your real name.

That's all well and good *now*. But there were some of us around in the early to mid 80's when it was not known that eventually everybody and his freakin' dog would be here.

I never posted anything I really wouldn't want seen. But still, I'm sure there are discussions I had on usenet in the mid 80's where I just wasn't thinking that in 20 years, they'd be all archived and searchable by prospective employers and anyone else who wanted to.

Re:Simple to avoid. (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14954038)

That didn't work for one camgirl I know. She never uses her real name online, but the popularity of her web site makes it inevitable that her employers find out about her double life. She actually got canned a few years ago when she refused her then-employer's orders to take down the web site.

What is "good stuff"? (5, Insightful)

GuyMannDude (574364) | more than 8 years ago | (#14954082)

It's quite simple to prevent this from happening to you. Post "good stuff" under your real name, perhaps linked to a professional-sounding alias, and post other crap under another alias that you never link to your real name.

As others have already pointed out, it's difficult to make sure that every person in the world who has a photo of you won't post something that isn't very flattering. But even ignoring that for the moment, what consistutes "good stuff" in your mind is likely to change. Suppose you are a first-year student in grad school and you post something under your real name stating that your dream is to become a professor. Very noble, very "good stuff". Fast-forward several grueling years when you are burned out. Your goals have changed and academia doesn't sound so great. You start interviewing for companies and tell them during the interview that you have a strong interest in tackling today's technical problems.

After you leave, the people you interviewed with start googling around to see what they can dig up on you and come across this thing you wrote many years earlier. Now there's doubt in their mind. Are you looking at an industrial position because you didn't get a postdoc? Are you just looking to make some big bucks in the private sector for five years before returning to what you love -- academia? Maybe I trust you and realize that your priorities have changed. How do I know they won't change back? You wrote so eloquently about the fact that your life-long dream was to become a professor a few years ago. How much do I want to bet that you won't dream this way again?

And what about posting your politicial, philosophical, or personal beliefs on the web? You write a well-thought-out essay about a woman's right to choose and your pro-life potential-employer finds it. You may think that's "good stuff" but your employer sure doesn't. You're making this way too simple. The article brings up a very good point. You are unwise to dismiss it as "someone else's problem" so easily, my friend.

GMD

Maybe it's just the name. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14953869)

Would /you/ hire someone named "Kluttz"?

Re:Maybe it's just the name. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14954064)

Would you hire someone named "Kluttz"?

Sure, he works on our Microsoft Windows Security team.
     

"wrote to mention" (2, Interesting)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953872)

I'm glad Mz6 "wrote to mention" an article. Next time it would be helpful if he provided a link to go with the mention.

Perhaps... (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953876)

Perhaps (the) Kluttz didn't relize it was a job handling delicate situations?

Erm.. (1)

sH4RD (749216) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953878)

Now, I don't know much here, but just because information is publicly out there doesn't mean a potential employer could legally look at it right? I mean, just because someone writes something on *the internet* doesn't mean it's true. Don't employers have to check their sources? Or is that left up to them, it is in their interests to double check facts -- either good or bad.

Re:Erm.. (1)

xiando (770382) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953954)

In theory, you may argue about a lot of things like "it's not legal" or whatever. In the real world, the overall best-looking person gets the job. If you view any kind of information about someone you likely get an impression, like it or not. And you won't be told "we reviewed your posts on forum X so you won't get the job", you get "We hired someone else" and it's up to you to guess which of the skeletons you posted on the Internet years ago made them hired someone with less real skills and better looks.

Re:Erm.. (1)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953959)

You can do a lot of things when nobody is checking. How would anyone know that an Internet post was the reason someone wasn't hired unless it was said so? At a past job one of the reasons (all of which were stupid made up reasons) listed was that I dared to say on my website that I'd like to work for Google. The fact that my website has said that since long before I took that job with them didn't seem to matter. In the end it's for the best cus they didn't pay well, had no idea how to write good code, and in general were just not a good place to work.

Legality (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953962)

If its published to the public, its totally legal to look at, by anyone, for any reason.

You can be denied a job beacuse your hair style is ugly. Or you smell bad. No need to verify facts. Even if its proven it was 'just your friends screwing around', you can still be denied as who wants a worker with friends like that?

Re:Erm.. (1)

pvt_medic (715692) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953981)

I know a couple of employers who offers internships that checks in on individuals via these popular sites. They often check facebook and see what groups they associate with and photos they have posted. While they dont use this information to remove someone from consideration, it is considered information to strengthen ones application. What an employee does on their own time can affect a business, so employers do check this sort of thing. I mean who would look more like a qualified canidate: the one who has pictures and stories about their drinking experiences or someone who has a well rounded profile. If you publish it, you need to remember that it does reflect upon yourself. Granted situations that pictures are published without your approval does shed different light on this situation, but i know with facebook, you can remove your name from it.

Re:Erm.. (1)

sH4RD (749216) | more than 8 years ago | (#14954010)

That brings up yet another issue. Don't you have to have an EDU domain to join facebook? That would seem to indicate that employers are pretending to be part of an educational system to join. Now that's certainly not legal.

Re:Erm.. (1)

pvt_medic (715692) | more than 8 years ago | (#14954054)

who says they are not part of an educational system. Besides is joining facebook really that hard?

Re:Erm.. (1)

Methuseus (468642) | more than 8 years ago | (#14954075)

It was hard for me when I tried, and I had a valid .edu email address. They didn't want to let me in because I was at a somewhat small college whose faculty hadn't contacted them. So I said "fuck you" to facebook for being idiots and didn't try any more.

Re:Erm.. (1)

kubrick (27291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14954074)

After all, schools and universities never employ people. No, it's all volunteer labour.

Re:Erm.. (1)

neoform (551705) | more than 8 years ago | (#14954020)

I once had a lease torn up in front of me by a landlord after he found out that i'm a DJ and a rave promoter.. and at my last 5 interviews i've had potential employers ask me about my website www.rave.ca and if i do drugs etc.. this is all stuff they've found by looking up my name in google. oh well.

Re:Erm.. (1)

tanguyr (468371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14954040)

Now, I don't know much here, but just because information is publicly out there doesn't mean a potential employer could legally look at it right?

I'd say if information is publicly available, then it's available to members of the public - including any who might be your potential employers. I know that it's illegal to ask a job applicant questions covering a number of different areas of their private lives (religion, sexual orientation, ...) but that's not the same thing. In this day and age, googling a prospective hire is due diligence, not an invasion of privacy.

I mean, just because someone writes something on *the internet* doesn't mean it's true.

The truth will always out... or at least we can hope so. Otherwise we're all just a character assassination from being social pariahs.

Re:Erm.. (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14954076)

"The truth will always out... or at least we can hope so. Otherwise we're all just a character assassination from being social pariahs."

Welcome to the new world, where truth doesnt really matter. Doubt me? Just look around..Truth is totally optional, its all about smear.

Well no shit (1)

hsmith (818216) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953881)

It has been know for years this is common practice. Assume anything sent electronically can be read by someone else and will NEVER be taken off the web. email isn't privledged by lawyers and clients, so why would you assume that posting on myspace would be?

Only post things online with anonymity you are worried that could come back to haunt you.

Re:Well no shit (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14954080)

> Assume anything sent electronically can be read by someone else and will NEVER be taken off the web

Yep, that is clear *now*.

It was not so clear in, say, 1984. Which was before the web, but not before usenet, and there are usenet archives going back that far.

Also, in those days, almost everyone posted under their real names. Home net access was not common, so almost everyone was online through their employer or university, and accounts were under real names.

It's not that I ever said anything I really wouldn't want seen. It's just that back then, most people weren't in the mindset of thinking about online communications as something that might be archived forever and searchable 20+ years later by absolutely anybody for any reason. Search engines didn't exist yet!

Test it yourself! (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953883)

In holland there was one politician who, way time back, asked how to break a laptop-password on a usegroup. Name and e-mail address all written down for eternity on google groups. Didn't want to say how he 'found' the laptop. Oops!

Test it yourself before you start applying! Just look on google with your e-mail address and your name in various combinations, to see what you can find about yourself, and be sure your employer will find the same. So change what you can change, and for the things you can't change (maillists, for example), just make sure you either don't make a habit writing stupid stuff, or use a special e-mail address that cannot be coupled to you.

SOP for us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14953888)

I'm the de-facto online background checker for our prospective new hires, and Google is my #1 tool. Sometimes I find nothing; sometimes some pretty damning stuff- usually posted by the individuals themselves.

TFA (0, Redundant)

mnemonic_ (164550) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953891)

Where's the fucking ARTICLE???????

Re:TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14953958)

You are new here, aren't you?

Re:TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14954017)

Where's the fucking ARTICLE???????

A couple of days ago someone read the article before posting. In order to prevent this happening again, no links will be provided to future articles. It's a pity when one guy has to ruin ir for everyone like that, but that's the way it is.

Hemos

Use an alias. Do not post your last name on... (1)

5n3ak3rp1mp (305814) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953894)

...anything that you wouldn't want the whole world to know was attributed to you.

Anyone who googles my name will find out that I'm a hardcore geek. A while back I took pains to remove my last name from all my online presences but it was largely too late. This is hopefully not that bad for jobs, its impact on my dating life is something I wish I could measure however ;)

Re:Use an alias. Do not post your last name on... (5, Insightful)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953975)

Honestly, I can't see a girl having a great time, then googling you and finding out you're a geek, then going, "Well darn, I found an nice, kind, witty, entertaining and all-around great guy. Too bad he's good with computers". Would you really want to date someone like that?

Re:Use an alias. Do not post your last name on... (4, Interesting)

xiando (770382) | more than 8 years ago | (#14954029)

I know several girls who not only search the web for the name of someone they are considering as a "candidate for marriage" (which is anyone they consider dating) and not only do they do that, they also check the income for previous years which is publicly made available here in the tyrannical covert-government-torturing Norwegian regime. This is not fun to think or write about, but it is a present truth: Girls do (secretly) check your online record AND INCOME. And don't expect them to tell you anything except perhaps "I met someone else". Also, a friend of mine told me that he noticed a printout of his last years taxes lying on the desk in a (rich) girls fathers office and got dumped shortly after.

Wow, what an awful idea... (1)

WiseWeasel (92224) | more than 8 years ago | (#14954072)

Yeah, great idea... let's make everyone's tax forms available publicly... can't see any potential for privacy abuse there, nooooooooo... I can't believe a government could be so stupid!

Re:Use an alias. Do not post your last name on... (4, Insightful)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14954078)

Well then obviously they're doing you a service. They're saving you time in a pointless relationship. Do you want to marry some idiot who only cares about how rich you are? I mean, if someone's only going to marry me for money, or is going to be incredibly stereotyped against geeks, even attractive, personable ones they would otherwise date, I don't want to date them, and I assume you don't either.

Re:Use an alias. Do not post your last name on... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14954079)

Who wants a shallow bitch like that anyway?

Re:Use an alias. Do not post your last name on... (1)

JaseOne (579683) | more than 8 years ago | (#14954007)

Actually if you are going for IT jobs then prospective employers (well our company does at least) actually look online for that sort of thing and if we find geeky stuff like newsgroup postings or involvement in Open Source Software projects then it is a definite plus in your favor. Although it can easily go the other way as well, like if you have something like a Geocities account with one of those ugly picture backgrounds with big bold text to post your resume online then that will earn you a black mark.

Re:Use an alias. Do not post your last name on... (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 8 years ago | (#14954039)

I guess I could say the same for myself because I only find a Gna.org profile, a Wikipedia profile, and a few posts on public mailing lists (e.g. debian-kde, kopete, synaptic).

No offense, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14954084)

It could be that your insecurity has had a more significant effect on your social/dating life than your 'web presence'.

The best part of being a geek and getting googled (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14953896)

Is you can check your access logs to see if/when someone from a potential employer has visited your website.

Who wouldn't? (4, Insightful)

xiando (770382) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953898)

Think about it. Wouldn't you like to know "as much as possible" about a person you are about to hire? Checking a real name on Google is, from that point of view, almost as natural as calling former employers to find out how you performed there (and why you quit). The "trick" is basically to use a alias when posting "stoned-looking" pictures.. It's easy to do a search for the name on the application, it's much harder to find out what the person applying actually has done online if he/she only use aliases and fake names (and other e-mail address than the one used on the application). Oh btw, unless it's obvious, a "home page" where you brag about law violations, drug use and tell the world that you have a political view that's likely to be viewed as "not very politically correct" also don't help you much..

In this case here is a more interesting question (0, Troll)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953899)

would you hire someone, who you know uses drugs?
  • Alcohol Y/N
  • Amphetamines Y/N
  • Cannabis Y/N
  • Cocaine Y/N
  • Ecstasy Y/N
  • Hallucinogens Y/N
  • Heroin Y/N
  • Inhalants Y/N
  • Party drugs Y/N
  • Pharmaceuticals Y/N
  • Steroids Y/N


really, I wouldn't hire anyone, who I knew used drugs.
I am currently working with someone who is a total pothead, and it is terrible. The guys is completely useless. I am not saying that anyone who smokes weed is completely useless, but I would rather get someone clean anytime than deal with this problem.

Re:In this case here is a more interesting questio (1, Insightful)

karnal (22275) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953929)

You didn't properly specify, however.

Would you hire someone who possibly used drugs >1 year ago, recreationally? Would it take 5 years?

The only reason I would ask is that I know of people (potheads) that smoke regularly, and I also know of people that have not touched the stuff in years.

Drug use in the workplace is a no no in my book, however. That'd be just as bad as sleeping while on the job....

OK, it's worse...

Re:In this case here is a more interesting questio (1)

Propagandhi (570791) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953934)

Everyone has their imperfections or crutches. In my experience its far more disruptive to work with someone with a personality defect than someone that smokes pot on the weekends. Honestly, I get far more trouble from that workaholic or socialite who keeps pestering me.

Obviously, there are certain drugs that can take a person over, making them completely useless.. but weed, cigarettes, or alcohol? Those hardly cause enough trouble to warrant some kind of aggressive filtering.

Re:In this case here is a more interesting questio (1, Insightful)

un1xl0ser (575642) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953971)

I work with a lot of people that watch television that are completely useless. I know that all people who watch television aren't completely useless, but I personally wouldn't hire anyone who watches television, just in case.

Whiskey
Tango
Foxtrot

Re:In this case here is a more interesting questio (1)

Freaky Spook (811861) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953991)

Drugs are taboo,

So many people use drugs recreationally and it does not effect their work habbits or lives.

If i was emplyoing someone I would evaluate their ability to do their job, if they had a drug habbit that prevented them doing their job to the best of their ability then they would not get it. Its not my business to know if they are taking drugs recreationally or not, is my business if they are coming into work under the influence of drugs.

There is a big difference in recreational drug use and a drug habbit, I have worked promoting safe partying at rave parties, there are a huge amount of people who excell at their work, but participate in recreational drug consumption.

I don't see it as any different and going out on the weekend to get blind drunk. What you do in your sparwe time is your own business, as long as you don't bring it into the work place.

I can sympathize... (3, Funny)

beowulfy (897757) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953907)

I used to post all the pictures of myself smoking crack and heroin with captions listing my full legal name and social security number. But then I read on article that said that might not be so hot if your looking for a job. So I wised up and posted the pictures under the alias: uber-rocksmokeerdood69woot! No problems so far! hope this helps....

Aliases (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14953909)

Ah, the advantages of flexible identity. I have four of them, each one of which either denies the other three or tries to avoid associations. This is an effective way to remain seperate lives - at least until someone comes up with a very advanced data-mining program that can look at all the billions of identities in use and cross-reference them to determine which ones share a person.

Re:Aliases (1)

Cromac (610264) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953960)

Ah, the advantages of flexible identity. I have four of them, each one of which either denies the other three or tries to avoid associations. This is an effective way to remain seperate lives - at least until someone comes up with a very advanced data-mining program that can look at all the billions of identities in use and cross-reference them to determine which ones share a person.

That's Googles next project. First cache the entire Internet , then buy Dejanews so you have Usenet indexed/cached too, then get everyone to use gmail and never actually delete anything. All they have left to do is figure out how to index IRC and P2P traffic. :)

You'll only be safe using Gopher!

Link to the article (1)

Frankie70 (803801) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953915)

Here [nydailynews.com]

This ain't news (4, Insightful)

Zspdude (531908) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953916)

There's nothing especially wrong or insidious about googling a prospective employee. I'd do it.

The larger problem is that not everyone realizes that the internet is *public*, not private, and that what you post online has the potential to stay around for a very long time.

If you don't want it googled, don't put it up. If your friend puts it up, tell them to take it down.

On the other hand, any employer who would refuse to hire someone based off of humorous content in a blog or on a personal webpage (or even due to radical political/religious views) is probably ignoring a large pool of good employees. A smart employer will realize that even clever, hardworking people look stoned sometimes.

Re:This ain't news (1)

FLEB (312391) | more than 8 years ago | (#14954021)

On the other hand, any employer who would refuse to hire someone based off of humorous content in a blog or on a personal webpage (or even due to radical political/religious views) is probably ignoring a large pool of good employees. A smart employer will realize that even clever, hardworking people look stoned sometimes.

Nor would I want to be employed by such a person. I realize that getting a job is difficult, but I might consider a no-hire as a result of this sort of obtrusive personal meddling to be something of an "employer self-filtering system".

Very True (2, Interesting)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953918)

As the webmaster of NoJailForPot.com [nojailforpot.com] , I have had a number of people ask me to remove their names for exactly this reason (which after verification of identity, I always do). The interesting thing about a lot of people who believe society would be better off with decriminalization of marijuana, many like myself don't even smoke pot...

(by the way, yes I know the html sucks, we're working on a new site that has fully valid code...)

Passive Anonymity (4, Insightful)

Y-Crate (540566) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953923)

When I search my real name on Google, I'm continually amazed at how horribly out of date and esoteric the information is.

Any employers will find that I had an interest in fixing an .fstab file on a LinuxPPC installation 6 years ago, I was vehemently anti-Windows at least as far back as 1999 and I used to watch Babylon 5 rather religiously during its original run. Since then I've stopped using my real name outside of personal communications because I saw that just this sort of thing would become a problem in the years to come.

I'm a firm believer in passive anonymity. I won't go to great lengths to hide who I really am, and have no problem with people I'm conversing with knowing my real name, but I make sure that any comments of mine end up archived under a pseudonym. Considering HR people are looking for applicants with 15 years of experience in Windows XP, I don't really trust them to do the mental math necessary to establish that the questionable rant of mine from 1995 they've taken issue with, was posted by me while I was still in middle school.

Poor Mike (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14953925)

That dude from Mike's Apartment is officially unemployable ad inifitum.

That's very nice.... (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953926)

Now is there any chance you could actually post a link to the article?

Hmm... (1)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953931)

"Both expressed interest in hiring Kluttz, but at the 11th hour went with someone else."

I wonder if it had something to do with her name choice...

Woops, my bad... (1)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953944)

If that's her last name, then, well, I've lowered to the depths of Jimmy Kimmel-type jokes. I apologize.

Be Glad Of Your Online Presence (5, Interesting)

rimu guy (665008) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953943)

On the other hand...

I recently hired two guys based primarily on their online presence.

I was looking for a couple of people to do support. Both of them applied. I googled them. They both had blogs. Their blogs demonstrated that a) they could write well (their jobs involve providing support via email) b) that they had a bit of personality and c) that they were smart people, passionate about Linux (which is our focus).

I hired both these guys without ever meeting them face-to-face. Being able to google them, see what projects they've been involved in, get a feel for how they deal with other people (e.g. in mailing list posts, etc) helped me start getting a handle on them. These guys got their jobs over dozens of other candidates who had great resumes, but were 'invisible' on the web.

--
We're hiring Linux geeks [rimuhosting.com]

My mind is boggling right now... (1)

ossington (853347) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953945)

at how ridiculous that is... I mean, I know that it's common practice to look people up, but how unethical is that? Are we really that paranoid? I guess now it's not just police checks for sensitive jobs...

Drug testing (1)

SeeMyNuts! (955740) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953947)

Companies are so fearful about employees using illicit drugs it makes them do wierd things. In some workplaces there is subtle discrimination against groups who fits certain "profiles". It isn't really racial or gender based, but typically economically based. The janitors or maintenance crew get "random" tests all the time, while managers and other white-collar workers don't. If there is any connection between a person and drug use, whether it is fictional or not or on-line or not, companies will drop that application like a hot potato.

--
God is a C programmer. [atributetonuts.com]

Don't blame the photos (1)

Y-Crate (540566) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953948)

Maybe it had nothing to do with the pictures at all...maybe her prospective employers just didn't want to hire a Kluttz?

Here's mine (1, Funny)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953951)

I'm a drug user and been a drug dealer
I've been involved in organised violence
I've commited fraud
I've driven drunk
I've lied to get jobs
I've commited perjury
I occasionally steal stuff
I've evaded tax
I've driven my car without insurance
I've done a DoS on a commercial rival's server via an exploit

I guess that'll do

Got any work for me ?

Actually... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14953953)

I wasn't bothered about the dope smoking, but I'll be damned if I hire somebody who lists Moulin Rouge as their eighth most favourite film ever [ymdb.com] !

</interviewer>

Re:Actually... (3, Funny)

schematix (533634) | more than 8 years ago | (#14954005)

I wasn't bothered about the dope smoking, but I'll be damned if I hire somebody who lists Moulin Rouge as their eighth most favourite film ever!

I think this by itself might suggest that they were in fact a dope smoker, and it had severely impacted their ability to judge rationally.

re: Beware Your Online Presence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14953961)

That's why Michael Zenke posts everything under the nickname Zonk. Otherwise, people might know that Michael really is an imbecilic "editor" who can't even make sure there's a link to an article.

Everyone. (1)

Renraku (518261) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953964)

Google everyone. By screename and real name.

That way if whoever you're hitting on is going to on the most wanted list, you can remember to carry a gun and get some before they go to jail.

Might even be a reward for them!

Re:Everyone. (3, Interesting)

schematix (533634) | more than 8 years ago | (#14954046)

Google everyone. By screename and real name.

This is a very valid point that I haven't heard anyone else mention. Most people tend to use the same (or at least similar) alias wherever they go on the internet. Often times a little digging can provide correlation between a name and online alias. It is sometimes quite amusing what people like to say when they think they are being anonymous.

For example, Googling for my real name will reveal some rather off-color comments about Linux (or Linsux as i called it) as well as many unprofessional rants and raves on mailing lists and usenet. Most of this was from 1998-1999. After that my real name dropped off of the net. Once I realized that these comments could come back to haunt me, I quickly moved all posts under my current alias. Fortunately doing a Google search on my alias returns more hits for a british comic book character than anything I've written with this name. If any employer is willing to go through hundreds of pages of results they can find things that i've said. However, i NEVER put any reference to my alias on any resume, ever.

Not likely. (4, Insightful)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953976)

Right.. because MySpace is where potential employers look for information. "Let's see, Jason.. Jason.. Jason.. Jason.. Jason.. Jason.. Jason.. Jason.. Jason.. Jason.. Jason.. AHA!"

Or did you put a link to your profile in your resume?

Here's an idea: If you're wondering why an employer decided not to hire you, you could try asking them instead of Slashdot. I know it's hard to believe, but there might actually be more qualified people applying for the same jobs. It sucks getting passed over, and occasionally there could be illegitimate reasons, but for the most part you win some and you lose some. In the long run, the most productive course of action is probably to just keep looking, and tell your friend to take down the picture if you're paran^h^h^h^h^hconcerned.

At least (1)

vandelais (164490) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953978)

her real name isn't Ellen Feiss.

google results (1)

techstar25 (556988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953989)

The google results

www.myspace.com/comeoncolleen
hi, i'm colleen kluttz and i just smoked the. best. weed. everrrrrrr... erin brown. 2/17/2006
1:32 PM i knew you when.... Leslie. 2/14/2006 2:27 PM ...
www.myspace.com/comeoncolleen - 123k - Cached - Similar pages

Now what's so bad about that? ;) Anyone dumb enought to use their real name on myspace doesn't deserve to get the job.

Tell me about it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14953995)

I share a name with a fairly famous person, and anytime I try to do anything, I always have trouble. It seems everyone already has a perception of this person that's so negative, it's essentially impossible for me to overcome. People don't even bother to Google me. I'm seriously thinking about changing my name.

A. Hitler (I don't want you to get the wrong impression, too)

I thought I was just paranoid... (1)

Mr Wrinkle (954196) | more than 8 years ago | (#14953998)

I have always been in two minds about this, but have erred on the side of caution: I NEVER put my name to anything online that I think could possibly reflect badly on me at any point in the future.

I'm not remotely famous by any stretch of the imagination, but I am fairly relatively known internationally within a certain subset of astronomy. I'm also still early in my career. I don't want to do something boneheaded now that's gonna stay in a Google search for all eternity and bite me on the ass when I least need it! Sometimes this means suppressing (but not denying) my opinions for fear they might piss off a future potential employer. Other times it just means going under obscure usernames that are pretty much untraceable to me. I don't even reuse usernames for different websites (except banking, bill pay, etc).

It's stupid -- I know! Nobody should be afraid of having their voice heard and, unless you're a total bigoted freak (which I'm not...), you should be proud of your opinons and stick by your beliefs. But when anybody searches on my name online, I dont want them to see results that tie me to any divisive opinion, be it pro-life or pro-choice, pro- or anti- gay marriage, republican, democrat or nazi or whatever. I want them to see the achievements that paint me in the best possible light.

Some might say that the blanket of anonymity is really just cowardice with no personal convictions. I say it's a necessary evil and good common sense.

fuckoffski (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14954004)

Hence why myspace is gayness

Double Identity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14954009)

Believe it or not, names are not primary keys...

Sounds like a good idea, but is it knowing you can bury the wrong body?

(example, look up Charles Bronson in google... You'll find 2 stars... ones an actor, the other a killer)

It wasn't the picture... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14954012)

it was the fact that the person has a myspace account.

Since when......... (1)

Jerim (872022) | more than 8 years ago | (#14954022)

...do most employers know how to do a web search?

Shouldn't they at least _say_ that's the reason? (1)

Random832 (694525) | more than 8 years ago | (#14954026)

Especially if it's not something you directly posted, if for no other reason than to ask "is this you?" "is this real?" - it could be fake, or someone else with the same name.

Then again... (1)

sH4RD (749216) | more than 8 years ago | (#14954031)

Maybe they should just get a more generic name. I'm sure everyone loves finding that one Joe Doe in a million.

More reason not to have a... (1)

MicroJesus (909689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14954051)

Homepage, Myspace, or history of sexual offense.

Warning: Myspace ruined my job prospects! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14954056)

A myspace entry implied I killed a former boss, and despite my complete assurance that there would be no more boss killing in my future, they refused to hire me. I guess once you kill a boss, all future bosses will have some reservations about you. Well, you live, you learn. They should ban myspace.

Permanent Record? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14954057)

You know that "permanent record" that folks have been claiming followed you around? It was everything about you on the web.
-Don't use your real name if your web-self isn't reputable.
-Don't let anyone post any non-password protected pictures of you in a negative light
-Don't publish your p0rn collection on the web for your friends under the domain using your last name - www.john.smith.org
-Don't let your ex retain the "home videos"; two words - "Paris Hilton"

Lucky Me (3, Insightful)

homer_ca (144738) | more than 8 years ago | (#14954085)

I don't have an extremely common name, but it's common enough. When I google myself, none of the results on the first page are me. One of them has the same middle initial, and one of them even has a similar bio (birthplace and childhood). Someone might find me if they search my name combined with other associations, but not easily. If I google my name and my university I find another (more recent) student with my name.

Unless you have a very unique name or you're dumb enough to put your full name in your public myspace profile, you probably don't have a lot to worry about.
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