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More Warnings Against Oversharing on MySpace

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the internet-never-forgets dept.

383

Skapare writes "Your next prospective employer might be watching your MySpace page, according to a story at the New York Times. And if you think Facebook is more private, maybe not if that prospective employer has an intern from the same school checking up on you." From the article: "Students may not know when they have been passed up for an interview or a job offer because of something a recruiter saw on the Internet. But more than a dozen college career counselors said recruiters had been telling them since last fall about incidents in which students' online writing or photographs had raised serious questions about their judgment, eliminating them as job candidates."

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#1? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15512089)

HOw about it?

Woohoo! (5, Funny)

hpcanswers (960441) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512095)

This is great news; my Facebook site is a combination resume, cover letter, and reference letters. Hey recruiters, this way!

Exact Opposite. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15512223)

I'm the facebook's Illinois Enema Bandit.

"Wanna, wanna, wanna, wanna enema

Enema?"

if you didn't get the joke... google Frank Zappa.. fools.

Re:Woohoo! (1, Redundant)

smackdoo (981642) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512279)

I would prefer my potential employers didn't discern my tastes for Linux and booze.

Be careful how you try to close your accounts (-1, Redundant)

demonic-halo (652519) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512096)

Might be pretty embarrasing if you're in the process of canceling your MySpace account and your boss sees it before the profile gets deleted.

http://www.consumerist.com/consumer/fuck/myspace-i s-a-loser-so-were-resorting-to-porn-178829.php

Re:Be careful how you try to close your accounts (1)

ForestGrump (644805) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512149)

Nope,just throws me to the consumerist.com homepage. Try again.

Re:Be careful how you try to close your accounts (0, Offtopic)

chimpo13 (471212) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512218)

I had one a couple years ago that got "killed by Tom" back when you could review pictures and make comments. Maybe you still can, I don't know. I'd comment on girls in bikinis by saying stuff like, "Not so bad, you can hardly see his adams apple" and, "Pretty good with the tuck and roll -- not much visible mangina".

That got some girl saying her marine boyfriend was going to kick my ass. I offered to give directions to my house. Then my account was deleted.

Re:Be careful how you try to close your accounts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15512280)

Re:Be careful how you try to close your accounts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15512390)

The person that deleted the article and protected it in question, well, this is from his user profile:

"I'm also a practicing homosexual - after all, practice makes perfect! I'm hoping one day to win an award for my contributions and dedicated practical research in this particular area."


Contributions != Deleting all articles that might be offensive/crude/hilarious.

I'd say... (1, Redundant)

Neko-kun (750955) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512097)

It's a good way to weed out the herd...

:D

It's as much the employer's loss here (5, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512098)

There are many highly qualified and intelligent people here (it's a top 20 university) with very vapid social lives.

these employers using google and myspace to research their prospective employees may as well be basing their decisions on the bible or the magic 8 ball.

There are many people who can quickly switch personalities to a work mode, many of the most intelligent are also the most eccentric as well. Passing people up because of eccentricity, quirks, or political views will harm employers in the end.

Re:It's as much the employer's loss here (5, Insightful)

Umbral Blot (737704) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512138)

You know intelligence isn't everything when hiring. People with vapid social lives may be generally annoying to their co-workers, and thus actually be a hindrance to a group effort.

Re:It's as much the employer's loss here (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15512286)

or.. their personalities could brighten up a dull, unproductive workplace. imagine a setting where no one knows how to socialize with others at work, whether for casual conversation or for collaboration. a lively personality may help the situation. of course, both of our ideas are possibilities and not concrete facts. so it's a toss-up either way, which i believe is what the GP was getting at.

Re:It's as much the employer's loss here (1)

rm999 (775449) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512298)

How would people with vapid social lives brighten up a dull workplace? In my experience people who don't have social lives aren't exactly that exciting...

Re:It's as much the employer's loss here (4, Insightful)

Umbral Blot (737704) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512327)

Imagine a workplace where I am actually trying to accomplish something and then add some chatty fool who keeps trying to tell me about his personal life, preventing me from getting said work done. That is the situation I have in mind.

Re:It's as much the employer's loss here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15512322)

Or they might have Social Anxiety, which usually dims one's social life, but might not change anything workwise

Re:It's as much the employer's loss here (2, Insightful)

Baby Duck (176251) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512143)

I whole-heartedly agree. Musings on MySpace don't have a strong correlation with how an employee composes himself. I don't want to work for an employer who believes otherwise.

Re:It's as much the employer's loss here (1, Flamebait)

Confused (34234) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512349)

Musings on MySpace don't have a strong correlation with how an employee composes himself.


Don't they really? if you spend 8 hours sleeping and 8 hours at the job per day, your employer will get your wonderful personality for 50% of your conscious time. That's probably more than your kids see you. There's a really good guess, that most of your self will come true and influence your behaviour at work sooner or later. As a crass example, if I'm running a call-center for the republican party, it wouldn't be such a good idea to hire people who profess on myspace a strong involvement with the communist party and the first church of Satan. I'd be better served by hiring people with details on myspace about their sunday school and latest abortion clinic bombings.

A Public Relations Major here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15512407)

Another Ann Coulter wannabe. Boy, you'd be a great salesman or cubefarm rat. Bet you've got a smooth voice, too. With that last line, who'd want you for a copywriter?

Re:It's as much the employer's loss here (5, Insightful)

ejdmoo (193585) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512168)

There are many highly qualified and intelligent people here (it's a top 20 university) with very vapid social lives.

They aren't very intelligent if they post about it publicly online.

Re:It's as much the employer's loss here (4, Insightful)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512193)

Or perhaps they feel the value of having a place, public or not, where they can vent themselves is worth the price of a couple missed jobs due to employers who demand that people they consider for jobs be identically stiff at work and away from work.

Honestly, I would not want to work for any employer who thought that they should have any control whatsoever over my personal life when it is not affecting my work, nor one who considered me incapable of conducting myself professionally based on completely unrelated situations.

Re:It's as much the employer's loss here (2, Insightful)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512250)

Amazingly enough there is something known as anonymity on the internet. In other words you make sure it's not easy to find your blog using whatever info you provide to your employer.

Re:It's as much the employer's loss here (1, Insightful)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512174)

I couldn't agree more.

From where I stand, companies seem to want to control every single aspect of their employers' lives - so if you do not conform to the company standards in all aspects of your life, you are not really wanted here, thank you.
I mean, how else can one explain the fact that your personal life can influence your getting a/the job?
Maybe you'll have to fight for improvements in anti-discrimination laws...

I, for one, hide nothing.
It's not that I have nothing to hide; in normal life I hide quite a lot of things.
However, in every job interview so far I've presented myself as even worse than I really am; some jobs I never got (and was later glad for it), while the others I did get - and got along quite well.

Re:It's as much the employer's loss here (5, Insightful)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512183)

There are many people who can quickly switch personalities to a work mode, many of the most intelligent are also the most eccentric as well. Passing people up because of eccentricity, quirks, or political views will harm employers in the end.

Yet, the damaging information about those people, information that they personally posted, is out there for anyone to access. This time the bosses happen to access them but what about the prospective clients and business partners? Independently of that person's competence and professional attitude, what damage can a public profile like that bring to a company?

As I see it this has a lot in common with politics. What does it matter if a political candidate smoked pot or even if he's into S&M? Isn't his competence the only thing that matters? Yet, when the public learns about those details the would-be politician is automatically done for, even if the voters or political opponents do as bad or even worse than him. It's all about public image and if someone is involved in socially questionable things and if that information passes to that person's professional environment and life, then obviously it will have an impact.

Oh and let's not forget that the person in question bragged about doing drugs, which not only is considered ilegal in a lot of countries but it can also, at least to some extent, be a liability.

Re:It's as much the employer's loss here (5, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512191)

Yet, the damaging information about those people, information that they personally posted, is out there for anyone to access. This time the bosses happen to access them but what about the prospective clients and business partners?

I refer you further up in this story to the post from the guy who happens to have a shared name, age, and major with someone else.

In truth, when you google someone's name or search for it on myspace there is no guarantee it's the same person.. you may as well be shaking your magic 8 ball: "is this employee responsible and cordial?"? "ask again later"

Re:It's as much the employer's loss here (1)

WCD_Thor (966193) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512189)

I have to agree with plasmacutter, but just as well I am glad that I don't do too much crazy stuff with my myspace acount(only have it to get messeges) and my facebook acount (the only thing questionable on it is the groups I've joined, mostly anti republican groups). Anyway, I hate myspace, its so god damned slow because way to many idiots are using it and putting up moving backgrounds along with music videos and crazzy pictures on the front page. Most of the time I can't do anything because the servers go to damned slow. The site should go back to being about the artists, give them the ability to have multimedia acounts while everyone else gets limitations on the shit they can put up.

Depends on the job surely? (4, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512197)

I already posted this link in a other replay, but they this is slashdot and posting a dupe might just get me to be an editor. Arthur Andersen [wikipedia.org] was a boring stiff off an accountant who build up a highly successfull firm. Then it all went to hell. Now how much do you want to bet that the guys who ruined the firm were the kind of people that if myspace had been available in their time would have posted pics of themselves doing stuff frowned upon at the time.

Yes a marketting job could well do with someone who stands out. For a lot of real jobs it don't matter shit. You don't care what your plumber did in school did you?

But for a lot of the more exciting/succesfull jobs who you are matters because the risk for choosing the wrong person are high.

Tell me, what kind of pilot do you want. One who leads a perfectly boring life who just spend a quiet weekend home with his wife and kids or one who just spend the weekend on a drug and booze filled rampage? Who do you want managing your stocks. Someone with all the political motivation of a jellyfish or someone who firmly believes money is the root of all evil?

Do you want an eccentric person in charge or a nuclear powerplant. A police officer with quircks, a judge with political views (especially one that doesn't agree with yours)?

Luckily most people never need to worry about this. There are plenty of jobs out there where they don't give a shit what you do in your private life. And I can't help but feel that if you want a bigger job then you should be willing to adjust what you do in your private life so you can get the big bucks.

If you want to be your own person in your personal life then the price is that you will have to accept the kind of job where your personal life don't matter. The fast majority of jobs will be open to you. Sure the fast majority of jobs also have bad pay and are boring but hey, at least you got a full and un-spyed upon private life.

Re:Depends on the job surely? (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512220)

While I can understand that mentality with corporate execs or individuals who will be regularly scrutinized by media, I think your comments adequately illuminate how terrible it can be for individuals looking for jobs, and I believe the use of such things in consideration for employment should constitute unfair discrimination, especially as there are no guarantees the pages you find for the name you search will be the same person you are considering.

That said though.. the case for unfair discrimination and the case that such discrimination also harms employers are not mutually exclusive.

I believe as more net savvy individuals rise in the ranks of various employers, this "trend"(for lack of a better word) will disappear, as quite frankly when put to logical tests, it really amounts to nothing more than superstition.

Myspace and net savvy? (0)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512268)

Well, we will just let that one slide. I think I know what you are trying to say. I just don't get where you get the discrimation thing from.

Discrimination is against something you are that can't be changed. Your skin color is easy (and yes I have heard of Michael Jackson but lets not go there) since it is fixed from birth and will never ever change. You therefore should not be choosen based on your skin color. Right? Right.

But is a myspace account the same thing? Yes "I won't hire you because you are black" is bad. "I won't hire you because you posted pics of yourselve online doing illegal or stupid things wich make me think you are an idiot who can't be trusted with any reponsibility" is entirely different in my eyes.

Granted it comes close. For instance in holland smoking pot is semi-legal. The smoking itself is legal but the sale isn't wich makes it all a bit of a legal mess. Yet this leaves the fact that if a dutch person shows pictures of himself smoking a joint (on dutch soil) there is no crime being committed and it is really no different then say a picture of him drinking a beer.

So should this person then not be hired for a job just because the boss considers pot wrong in his views? Is this the same as not hiring a gay person because you consider homosexuality wrong? For that matter is it wrong to not hire a person using any drug is you consider drug use wrong?

I don't think it can be called discrimination because I just hope that we won't go that far. When you have to fire a person you will have to decide in wich person to invest a small fortune of time and real hard cash in the hope you will be getting some value out of them after training and orientation.

It is hard and I always try not to get involved but being the tech guy in a non-tech company I have to try to determine how good they will be in the tech role. Personality then comes into play. If I would find a tech with a myspace account I wouldn't not just hire them. I would fire them. Twice. Just to be sure.

It may not be scientific but suprise suprise, human resource management ain't a hard science.

There's something to this, in fairness. (3, Informative)

Ivan Matveitch (748164) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512214)

A blog full of half-literate paeans to partying does suggest that you are overeducated and perhaps incompetent.

Smart people often break taboos: Richard Feynman loved strip clubs and Paul Erdös took amphetamines, to name but a couple.

Re:There's something to this, in fairness. (3, Interesting)

mlush (620447) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512344)

A blog full of half-literate paeans to partying does suggest that you are overeducated and perhaps incompetent.
Smart people often break taboos: Richard Feynman loved strip clubs and Paul Erdös took amphetamines, to name but a couple.

I think your first statement had it right:-

  • Smart people break taboos, but they cover their tracks
  • Towering Geniuses can break taboos and they normally have enough reputation to survive any blowback.
  • Idiots break taboos, post it on MySpace and act suprised when employers don't want to hire a stoner

Most employers don't want to hire people who rock the boat they want warm bodies that do the job their asked to do. Given the choice of Richard Feynman, a known stoner and a guy in a smart suit and tie, they will go for the suit and tie almost every time. Feynman would be great to have round the office playing the bongos and being insightful, but productivity would plumit and he'd make a rotten DB admin.

Re:There's something to this, in fairness. (1)

mr_tenor (310787) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512408)

In all fairness, Erdos took amphetamines so he could continue doing math 24 hours a day.

Re:It's as much the employer's loss here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15512216)

It's like any other kind of new test. Until you get used to the *average* kind of result, using the test will just skew your analysis. The point being kids these days aren't more irresponsible than kids of 20 years ago; they're just talking about it more online. Condemning them for it is dumb as all hell.

In fact the judgement of kids these days is in many ways better - you don't get many middle-class kids getting knocked up at college any more.

Re:It's as much the employer's loss here (3, Insightful)

clifyt (11768) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512254)

"There are many people who can quickly switch personalities to a work mode, many of the most intelligent are also the most eccentric as well. Passing people up because of eccentricity, quirks, or political views will harm employers in the end."

I don't know -- half the contracting work I get is solely because of my vapid personality that I love displaying on the internet :)

I do and say quite a bit of obnoxious opinionated bullshit, though at the same time, this is exactly what is needed in my field -- someone that actually believes in his particular line of BS and willing to stand behind it. In different lives, I deal with the music industry where it is imparative that you not obviously compromise your values whatever they may be, as well as being a senior developer / manager in the software side of things where you need to be able to stick with a belief through a project in order to deliver a cohesive project (and not something that is the product of every idiot that thinks they have a stake in its creation and thus should get equal billing / equal chance of getting their unneeded feature ruining the workflow of the rest).

It may be different for young people...I had taken a class on CSS last year and it was amazing all the folks willing to suck it up for their potential employeers. Maybe I'm old enough I know what I'm willing to put up with and what I'm not -- as well as established enough in two disciplines that I've been known to quit one (being told I'll never work in that industry again by the very folks that come to me begging for a reference a year later) to do the other when life becomes too unbearable -- and doing it seemlessly. I guess its good to be old for once.

All in all, I would never work for an employeer that asked me to act differently at work than I do 'at play'. No, I'm not going to show up plastered and blatently hit on the interns (ok, this is slashdot, so I'm posting theoretically) -- but past that, my personality is the same either place for the good or bad. I gotta say, without my obnoxious personality, I would have never worked on the projects that I have in my academic or creative fields. Hell, I guess one of my first internships in computers was working for the US gov't and I was several years older than the others going for the same position and when the interview started going south based on my lack of experience (i.e., because I was off living a life while the 20 year olds applying for the job had their noses in their books but even though we were going for the same job, my age played a factor) I pointed out to my future boss that I wanted the job so badly that I almost missed it risking my car being impounded (and having to have it searched by 3 police officers) as I had a rather large anarchy symbol painted on it and a Eff The System type logo painted on the side (this was pre-911, pre-Oklahoma which was lucky as I was interviewing with the IRS) -- he laughed in the straight laced sort of way that I ended up loving him for, and said if he I could point out the car in the parking lot from the window, I had the job -- and when he saw how obnoxious it was he just laughed and shook my hand welcoming me to the job pending background checks and internal lie detector testing (and believe me, my 'love of the system' came up with the polygrapher telling me that I was one of the more honest people he had ever interviewed -- ended up getting security clearance that a college intern shouldn't have possibly been given, IMHO).

So the point is, if its you and you are comfortable with it, post it online. If you aren't and you are ashamed of your personality to the point you think that you need to make accomodations in public for it -- then there is something you need to change in yourself and as a current employeer, I wouldn't hire you either if your private personality didn't live up to your professional one.

Re:It's as much the employer's loss here (4, Insightful)

jrockway (229604) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512258)

> Passing people up because of eccentricity, quirks, or political views will harm employers in the end.

True, but passing up people that post pictures of themselves violating several local laws whilst naked is not necessarily a bad idea. Have you seen some people's facebook pages? "Hi there, I'm completely wasted and people are drawing on me with a permanent marker. Hire me?"

Re:It's as much the employer's loss here (2, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512303)

"Hi there, I'm completely wasted and people are drawing on me with a permanent marker. Hire me?"

What's she look like? I might have an opening.

KFG

Re:It's as much the employer's loss here (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15512326)

No dude -- *she* has a couple of openings I'm interested in.

Re:It's as much the employer's loss here (1)

kesuki (321456) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512375)

Online persona can affect one's carrer possibilities, true enough, but with all the statues on the books, chances are everyone has broken more than a few 'local laws' automatically rejecting people based on having a negative past is stupid, isn't it better to already know what's wrong with someone than to hire someone who you have no idea of what sorta laws they might break?

There is such a thing as being too perfect, Frankly I'd rather try to defend my flaws than try to claim I'm perfect, because really nobody is perfect :)

Irrelevant! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15512262)

Passing people up because of eccentricity, quirks, or political views will harm employers in the end.

That doesn't mean the employers won't do it. Many managers would also discriminate on the basis of race, sex, and age if the law let them get away with it. Yes, any selection criterion other than "pick the best person for the job" damages the company the manager works for. But that never stopped them from doing it.

More news from the obvious forefront (5, Informative)

obscurelyfamous (931883) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512100)

While it's not much a surprise that employers would do some unconventional background checking, the article seems to make it seem increasingly prevalent. Unless you are completely in an online pseudonym, don't portray yourself in a manner online that you wouldn't want seen in real life. As far as a Google search is concerned, I can't find much with just a straight name search. My only online profile would be a Facebook listing where nothing is risque.

The rule is simple... (1)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512124)

...don't post anything online that you don't want to be known about you. Unless you are using an alias and post no identifying details at all.

Of course employers are looking for information online, why wouldn't they? It's easy, fast, and most importantly: the person you are scanning has no idea about it.

Re:More news from the obvious forefront (1)

Khaed (544779) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512150)

This is one case where having a boring name would help. If you have some oddball you-kneek* name spelling, it makes Googling for you that much easier. If your name is John or Bob or Christina, with a common or at least not unusual last name, finding you on the internet can be a bitch. Unless you have pictures up or give out a ton of details.

I do not post anything under my real name that I would be ashamed of my mother reading. I pretty much just write reviews for gadgets on newegg under my real name. I don't post my picture, either. The world isn't interested in what I did last night, and I'm not interested in anyone pathetic enough to care what I did last night -- unless I already know them, that's just freaking creepy. I'm not Tucker Max, my life isn't interesting enough to blab about.

I guess being more familiar with technology, I know how easy stuff can be found -- and how hard it is to get rid of it once it's out there.

Just ask Libby Hoeler.

* Intentional destruction of the word unique.

Re:More news from the obvious forefront (1)

TERdON (862570) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512209)

Doesn't help - you'll have to come from a pretty big city as well. Just combining my name (both my first and last name are very common Swedish names) with the town I live in, will instantly grant you a great deal of access to information about me, just by doing a Google search. Actually, there even is one hit when searching for just my name, but it's one that I intended to be found - and unless you already knew quite a bit about me it would just be lost in the hay stack.

nothing to fear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15512101)

I have nothing to fear

-- Charlie Manson

Modern Net Exhibitionism and Slutism ... (4, Funny)

orangeguru (411012) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512105)

On the Internet - everybody knows that you are a perv' ...

Re:Modern Net Exhibitionism and Slutism ... (1)

Mathness (145187) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512393)

*chokes on the morning tea and drops a monocle*

Dear lord, engage the stealth mode James. By golly I hope it works.

Come on (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15512107)

Is a job which would pass you over because of your personal life really one worth having anyway? I mean really?
Some people need spines.

Depends on how badly you need it (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15512434)

Is a job which would pass you over because of your personal life really one worth having anyway?

If your rich parents will make sure you never need to work, no it isn't.

If you're a summa-cum-laude Harvard MBA and can take your pick of employers, no it isn't.

If, like most people, you need a paycheck, are not in the top 2% of achievers, and need to send out about 50 resumes to get one interview, damn right that job is worth having.

Should you post that pic or not... (0)

badran (973386) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512109)

This should make those people think before they post their info online.... or not.. coz if they wanted to hide it they would not have been doing so in the first place..

Overhype, Inc? (2, Interesting)

Zx-man (759966) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512111)

I've been in the Biz for some time, being on both sides, that is. Actually, an employer has a reasonable right to check how do you behave in a informal online situation as it might also be reflect what you do in an informal situation offline. Now way am I advocating it, but it seems to me that data mining is a significant part of future's corporate intelligence. And if you think you can spy on your partners or competition, your moral will allow you to spy on your employees.

Re:Overhype, Inc? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512282)

. . . it seems to me that data mining is a significant part of future's corporate intelligence. And if you think you can spy on your partners or competition, your moral will allow you. . .

I just spied on Microsoft.

I typed "http://www.microsoft.com" into my browser.

I expect to sleep well tonight, but YMMV.

KFG

Re:Overhype, Inc? (1)

tomjen (839882) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512351)

I for one would certainly behave differently online than offline.

But maybe I should add some funny pictures of myself online - if for nothing else then because an employer stupid enough to trust something like that is not one I would work for

Not only MySpace... (4, Insightful)

Bjarke Roune (107212) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512125)

Unfortunate postings to Slashdot are also pretty, well, unfortunate, because Slashdot has a high Google-rank, so your Slashdot postings will place highly in Google on a search for your name. I don't think you can get a Slashdot comment removed.

Re:Not only MySpace... (1)

Umbral Blot (737704) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512133)

That is why people don't make their username their real life name, or allow their real email to be shown publicly next to it. (duh)

That is why people don't (1)

hyfe (641811) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512158)

.. or link to their own blogs?

Re:That is why people don't (1)

Umbral Blot (737704) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512165)

Ah but if you search for my name my slashdot comments won't come up. Plus I try not to say anything too stupid. However if I really wanted to troll obviously I would make a new account. Plus who says that's my blog? Maybe I just like it.

Re:Not only MySpace... (1)

phatslug (878736) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512360)

When I first visited slashdot years ago my normal username for forums was taken. Unfortunatley I used my real name. I posted a few comments before realizing they'd turn up in google. I don't think there's anything that would hurt my prospects with an employer, but I must say it is very frustrating having them appear.

Re:Not only MySpace... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15512202)

Just join Scientology and then demand the comment be removed. Of course then you have the much bigger problem of being a Scientologist, but perhaps you can figure a way out of that one.

Re:Not only MySpace... (1)

zlogic (892404) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512267)

Well, I've just searched for my nickname on Google, and the fist two and the fourth links were some unrelated companies, the third was my profile on OSNews (where I have something like 10 postings or even less) and the fifth was my personal website. No sign of Slashdot anywhere on the first page of Google's results, although I am a member since 2005 and I have over 200 postings.

MOD PARENT UP!!! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15512330)

we can't have slashdot lose...

Re:Not only MySpace... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15512310)

Ah, that's why I never get called into any job interviews.

It's really a good thing (3, Insightful)

Umbral Blot (737704) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512127)

In my opinion this could be as much of a good thing as it is a bad thing. Sure if you write all sorts of useless MySpace one line "lol ponies are cute!!!!" comments then yes, you may be less likely to be hired. But then again making such comments indicates that you are a fairly shallow, and possibly annoying person, and thus may not be a good person to hire. On the other hand if you are generally insightful and have useful things to say then it would seem that you would be more likely to be hired, and I can't think of that as a bad thing. So in general if you act like an idiot you are less likely to be hired, if you act like an adult you are more likely to be hired. If we feel that this is an acceptable consequence of real life behavior why shouldn't it be an acceptable consequence of online behavior?

Re:It's really a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15512323)

well, looks like 99% of myspace is out.

Then again, the way American business is getting, they want you to be an idiot, to a certain degree anyway. That way you dont threaten your employers' ego or intelligence. If anything, you having intelligence on myspace would be grounds for not being hired.

Then again, if you seriously use myspace, your intelligence is questionable anyway.

2 years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15512128)

From the article: Facebook and MySpace are only two years old but have attracted millions of avid young participants, who mingle online by sharing biographical and other information, often intended to show how funny, cool or outrageous they are. I think Myspace has been around a little longer than that.

Google for potential candidates (3, Insightful)

Shano (179535) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512134)

Every so often, I get an email from someone I've never heard of, asking how I've been and why I never respond to email at some other account. Turns out there's someone else with my name, of a similar age (well, plus or minus 5 years, I guess), in the same country, and studying informatics of some form (AI rather than CS). Also, he appears to be impossible to find contact details for. I'm not making this up, and unless spammers have suddenly become much more intelligent and literate (and created a specialist website to back up their story), these are quite genuine requests.

What's to guarantee that the person a company finds on Myspace or Livejournal - I don't know much about Facebook - is the same person they're actually considering employing? I'd be quite upset to find I'm suddenly employed and expected to be an expert in genetic algorithms, when my total experience with them is a couple of lectures several years ago. Names aren't unique, and sometimes there are enough similarities that I'm contacted by people who believe they know me personally.

Re:Google for potential candidates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15512195)

I found out a couple of years ago that there is a gay porn star who has the same name as me. (Or rather, his "stage" name is the same as my real name.)

If an employer actually CLICKS on the link in the Google search, they will be able to see (in full, explicit color) that the gay porn guy isn't me (he doesn't look anything like me).

But I worry sometimes: how many won't bother clicking in the link to see?

Re:Google for potential candidates (1)

Grey Ninja (739021) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512248)

No offense man... but if I was trying to figure out what sort of person you were by looking online, and I found your name associated with gay porn... I probably wouldn't want to click on the picture either.

Re:Google for potential candidates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15512276)

This has happened to me, but from the employer's perspective. A quick google search for on google resulted in first hit to be a homosexual adult movie star. Yes, it was funny for a few minutes at the office; however, we proceeded with the interview process like we would with anybody else.

My employer (3, Informative)

ValiantSoul (801152) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512140)

I'm an intern at a software development firm and when looking for another intern, my employer asked me to look the person up on Facebook - so this is a very real issue.

But I did not know the person, nor did anyone I knew, so it had no effect on the hiring of them.

Well (4, Insightful)

Sv-Manowar (772313) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512156)

No real suprise here, it's been coming for a long time. With so many people thinking they will never be seen on the net and that only a small amount of people can reach their personal pages, smart employers will google around for them and find out a lot more about the person than they need to know and you can't blame them, that way they will find the best candidate for the job no matter what CV they are presented with or how many qualifications you have.

It may be a harsh way to do things, and some may argue that work should stay work and personal life should be private, but if you compromise yourself publically on the web - expect to reap what you sow.

Good thing this doesn't happen to doctors (4, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512161)

Doctors spend a lot of time in school and if you ever lived in a uni town then you will know that they are not exactly known as responsible mature adults. Best that you don't know what that young intern in charge of saving your life was upto just last year. Hell better not know what he was up to last night. (Although to be honest what he did 24 hours ago was probably being on the same shift he is still on)

What seems kinda silly is however to go to far with this. The odd thing is that those kids who do extreme things are the ones who do best in real life. I should know, I didn't as a kid and I am very mediocre in my adult life.

Who do you want in your company? Joe Average or somebody going places? For certain jobs yes somebody with a solid boring past is perhaps best. Chartered accountants would be nice to know they never ever broke any law of any kind ever. Read up on Arthur Andersen [wikipedia.org] to see what happens when you go from the boring accountants to the exciting ones.

What is a problem is that people who do stuff like posting pictures of themselves smoking pot online then seem to want the kind of job that calls for people who think a cup of tea is a rollercoaster ride. There are just certain kind of proffesions where your entire life will come under close scrutiny. It doesn't matter so much as what you did but how easily it can be found out. Have an affair as president just don't let it get into the papers.

The problem is that we fear overlap. Is the guy who smoked pot in college still doing it? That doesn't really even matter, cocaine has a certain respectability. What matters, is he still stupid enough to post evidence of criminal behaviour for the entire world to see?

Women especially are truly stupid in this regard. Take your top off in front of a camera and those pictures WILL find their way onto the internet. Surely everyone knows this by now? Yes women still take their kit off and act all suprised when they end up on the net. How much are you willing to bet that if these women ever want to have a position with any importance later in life these pictures will come back to haunt them?

I bring this up because I recently had a rather weird discussion with a co-worker about this whose pictures off an art thing she did in university came up. She was full frontal in some play they did. It was art. When I asked her why none of her fellow male students were in any kind of naked state she was unable to find a reason. I noticed this before. A lot of times women in art go naked while the males telling them it is for art keep their clothes on. Odd that.

But she is now known on the workfloor not for her brains or years of good work but her perky tits. This doesn't matter if like me you got no ambition but if you want to move up who do you think they are going to choose. The guy who jerked off to naked girls or the girl that got naked?

Life ain't fair, that boss who drives his suv while drunk will not hire the kid who smoked a joint and the boss who fucks his secretary half his age will not give a promotion to a woman who got her kit off. If you got ambition, think about what you do. And while it ain't entirely fair, I am not certain I want the world to be run by people who can't think ahead. Is somebody who can't think ahead about his own future really fit to think ahead about say a companies future or even the entire country?

Re:Good thing this doesn't happen to doctors (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512239)

The odd thing is that those kids who do extreme things are the ones who do best in real life. I should know, I didn't as a kid and I am very mediocre in my adult life.

Well, you clearly didn't spend your time studying statistics...

Re:Good thing this doesn't happen to doctors (1)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512417)

"But she is now known on the workfloor not for her brains or years of good work but her perky tits. This doesn't matter if like me you got no ambition but if you want to move up who do you think they are going to choose. The guy who jerked off to naked girls or the girl that got naked?"

I seriously don't get this culture. As if seeing someone naked would be such a big thing. Sometimes I wonder how these people reproduce at all.

"Is somebody who can't think ahead about his own future really fit to think ahead about say a companies future or even the entire country?"

To be honest if someone wants to run a country they better be thinking about things of more importance than their ambitions or "how good will this look like 20 years from now on". Social bigotry is not as important than other things like making the ethical choice as a president (one of the reasons why Bush sucks, btw).

Re:Good thing this doesn't happen to doctors (1)

elpapacito (119485) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512437)

This must be the biggest concentration of nonsensical rambling I have heard in some time

Read up on Arthur Andersen to see what happens when you go from the boring accountants to the exciting ones.

The emotive characteristic of a person have little to share with their intellectual honesty: there could be a boring obnoxious accountant stealing billions and an extremely extroverted accountant that becomes near-to-infinity accurate in classification and proper representation of economics and financial facts.

How much are you willing to bet that if these women ever want to have a position with any importance later in life these pictures will come back to haunt them?

To haunt ? What the fuck is wrong with a picture of sexual behavior ? There is people that remain fully clothed and absurdly incompetent and people who enjoy having pictures of themselves taken and you can bet your jewels they know exactly what to do and how. Why should a person, even an incompetent one, be haunted by pictures of his/her body ?

Curiously enough some people , on the contrary, think it is OK to vote professional, well dressed, moralistic thieves who often are caught in shady dealings ; some think it's ok to vote them because they really never got caught stealing..and if they were stealing, that doesn't imply they are now.

Life ain't fair, that boss who drives his suv while drunk will not hire the kid who smoked a joint and the boss who fucks his secretary half his age will not give a promotion to a woman who got her kit off.

The boss can drive his SUV drunk, so as long as he doesn't crash on anybody. He can certainly fuck the secretary half his age no problem, but the fact he may not hire the joint smoking kid and secretary is NOT caused by is being preoccupied by "evidence" they may have left of "immoral" behavior (if he was preoccupied he would not be doing "immoral" things himself to begin with) but it is caused also by his desire to appear as a "moral policeman" who chastized a convient victim to show he/she is a guardian of 'good' and 'irreprensible'

Such people will suggest that the thing you should most preoccupied with is "not getting caught" doing something your boss disapproves of personally or chastizes by company policy ; but in doing soing the person that is "hiding" is accepting to do the hard job of covering up leaving not traces . On top of this, the person is accepting to be moralized-by-proxy, comformed into having a lifestyle dictated by a loser mentality, the losing mentality of "keeping things secret" ..it simply doesn't work, secret don't remain secret for long and if you are caught keeping some "forbidden behavior" secret you end up like Clinton, accused of covering up something he shouldn't be moralized into covering up to being with. It's the moral of cover up that is faulty.

Such kind of boss is far too preoccupied by morals he doesn't respect to begin with and he/she is a liability to any company, because he is the most likely to have _hidden_ tons of "evidence" that may come back to haunt the company.

Duh! (2, Insightful)

apathy maybe (922212) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512162)

This is a DUPE! The fact that people have been able to search for your name online has been around for years. I swear I saw an article a year or more ago with virtually the exact same wording.

I never use my real name as a handle except where I want people to know who I am. Generally in these cases the online has a basis in real life (a forum discussing a conference or something). But for sites like Slashdot, I can post anything I like and people are not going to be able to associate my comments with me in real life.

The lesson we learn from this, on the Internet people can find out stuff about you. Therefore if you have stuff you do not want people to find out about, do not put it on the Internet!

Re:Duh! (1)

jalefkowit (101585) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512443)

But they made it an ALL NEW STORY by taking out the word "blog" (which was all over the 2005 edition of this story) and replacing it with "MySpace" (tres 2006)!

For that matter, I remember seeing the same story in the early 90s, but the magic buzzword was "Usenet". The venue changes but the inane paranoia remains...

Ofcourse... (1)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512171)

Just imagine a client looking up an adress or email to contact someone he had a meeting with / phone conversation or anything really, and stumbling on ms. X her profile where she's whoring herself or any content that could be offensive to any of your clients.

There are things where you want to keep neutral about as a company (political issues, current affairs, racism ...) or do not want to be associated with (mentions or display of druguse, your amateur porn movie, stories about how slutty you are, ignorance and hateful behaviour, ...). Your employees will form together what you will across your clients. If you can find dirt, they will be able to find dirt.

Not only MySpace (5, Funny)

cheese-cube (910830) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512185)

Imagine if a prospective employer saw your Slashdot postings!

Employer: I'm sorry but your just not the person we're looking for.
You: But why?
Employer: We saw that all your Slashdot posts were rated -1 Troll and our company doesn't need anymore trolls.
You: Damn it!

Gotcha too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15512392)

Imagine if a prospective employer saw your Slashdot postings!

Employer: I'm sorry but your just not the person we're looking for.
You: But why?
Employer: We saw that all your Slashdot posts were rated -1 Troll and our company doesn't need anymore trolls.
You: Damn it!

Dear Mr. Cheese Cube,

we saw your posting on /. and we don't need funny people. We do serious work here!

Unnecessary fear by employers (1)

MavEtJu (241979) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512192)

By a previous employer, I was working in a team with a horror-writer, a amateur[sp] lockpicker, a juggler and firebreather, a bunch of people with an interesting history of computer security and somebody who was so socially unreliable that it was remarkable he never got kicked out.

Guess what? That was the only part of the company (AFAIK) which was a real team, and the only department in the company which made a real profit.

So, just because your name shows up in the internet no questionable sites shouldn't be how they judge you. How good you are at your job and in your team, that's how they should judge you.

It works both ways of course (4, Interesting)

Tim Ward (514198) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512211)

Next time you're going for an interview, look up the interviewer.

You might find that the higly professional lady wearing a smart business suit spends her weekends dressed up in strange clothing and hanging around with a motorcycle gang, to pick a real example at random.

Re:It works both ways of course (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512229)

MySpace.com = a treasure trove of blackmail material

Re:It works both ways of course (2, Interesting)

Vengeance (46019) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512296)

'Strange clothing'...

Do you mean protective stuff, leathers or tough textiles or whatnot? The kind of thing anyone with a quarter of a brain should be wearing if riding a motorcyle?

Or do you mean she's wearing LARPing gear on the weekends, and for some reason the 'gang' doesn't send her far, far away?

"Strange clothing" (1)

Tim Ward (514198) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512378)

I don't recall, I'm afraid, it was years ago.

Re:It works both ways of course (1)

ThePeeWeeMan (77957) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512383)

I could be wrong, but I think in the majority of cases, you won't know who your interviewer is until the actual interview or at best the day before.

How would you be able to look up the interviewer then, and how (if at all) would it help you?

Common Sense Serves the Intelligent Ones Only... (0, Flamebait)

Dark Coder (66759) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512237)

We can pretty much assure that the average IQ of MySpace participants is far lower than the general population (for the other half, that is less than 100).

Only post what you are...willing to show to your neighbors.

Like a bulletin board stand next to your local neighorbood mailbox.

Big Brother can be anyone, not just the government (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15512238)

Let this be a lesson to anyone who doesn't object to more and more monitoring of our innane boring lives, especially those of you who justify such activities with the trite response "If you're not doing anything wrong then you have nothing to fear". Turns out "wrong" is very very subjective.

It's time to learn from Maddox (1)

VxJasonxV (792809) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512249)

Learn? From Maddox?
Yes, I said that...
Pardon the language, but you know how he is:

  FUCK!
  my mom just found my website
  isn't she proud?
  ha
  you've been on tv 2 times, in the newspapers several times, been banned from a country, has 40 million pageviews
  and you didn't tell your mother?
  "what is this? Did you draw this? It looks like a penis." "No mom, I didn't draw a penis"
  ROFL
  "no mom, i didn't draw a penis" thats good
  now she's crying
  haha, your mom doesn't know about your website?
  (on the phone)
  maddox: did she see the "suprise - I have a penis"-greeting card?
  dmtec: oh fuck, I forgot about that.. yeah I guess I did draw a penis.
  bahahahaha
  hahahahahaha she just said "I wish I would have died and not raised you"
  rofl
  she hung up
  You are dispwned maddox
( courtesy of http://bash.org/?203247 [bash.org] )

Re:It's time to learn from Maddox (1)

VxJasonxV (792809) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512257)

Why does plain text mode still cause HTML (specifically <>'s) to be trimmed? ...
REPOST!

<@maddox> FUCK!
<@maddox> my mom just found my website
<+DMTec> isn't she proud?
<+khoveraki> ha
<@naken> you've been on tv 2 times, in the newspapers several times, been banned from a country, has 40 million pageviews
<@naken> and you didn't tell your mother?
<@maddox> "what is this? Did you draw this? It looks like a penis." "No mom, I didn't draw a penis"
<+DMTec> ROFL
<+DMTec> "no mom, i didn't draw a penis" thats good
<@maddox> now she's crying
<RichK> haha, your mom doesn't know about your website?
<@maddox> (on the phone)
<+DMTec> maddox: did she see the "suprise - I have a penis"-greeting card?
<@maddox> dmtec: oh fuck, I forgot about that.. yeah I guess I did draw a penis.
<RichK> bahahahaha
<@maddox> hahahahahaha she just said "I wish I would have died and not raised you"
<+khoveraki> rofl
<@maddox> she hung up
<RichK> You are dispwned maddox

Not only your (future) employer is watching.. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15512274)

Also your government:

""I AM continually shocked and appalled at the details people voluntarily post online about themselves." So says Jon Callas, chief security officer at PGP, a Silicon Valley-based maker of encryption software. He is far from alone in noticing that fast-growing social networking websites such as MySpace and Friendster are a snoop's dream.

New Scientist has discovered that Pentagon's National Security Agency, which specialises in eavesdropping and code-breaking, is funding research into the mass harvesting of the information that people post about themselves on social networks. And it could harness advances in internet technology - specifically the forthcoming "semantic web" championed by the web standards organisation W3C - to combine data from social networking websites with details such as banking, retail and property records, allowing the NSA to build extensive, all-embracing personal profiles of individuals."

Full story at: http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=mg190255 56.200 [newscientist.com]

Employer Filter (4, Insightful)

xPsi (851544) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512287)

Probably like many slashdotters I've had a web presence for a while. In my case, I've had a persistent web page since 1996 - the early middle part of the contemporary Web's ramp up. Since putting the site up, I've been very careful about what information I choose to put in public directories about myself -- knowing full well that the information is, well, PUBLIC. I'm not saying I shy away from controversy. I'm an atheist, skeptic, scientist, and writer and have many links and comments about said topics on my site. Some of these things are not generally popular. When I hit the job market after my Ph.D. I simply ASSUMED people would Google me. And, lo and behold, in at least half the interviews someone would say "I saw your website and loved such-and-such." In some ways I used my website as an employer filter: if someone would not hire me based on information on my site, I would not want to work for them anyway.


Clearly many people who are creating myspace sites have a strange relationship with this very public forum. On one hand they view it and understand it as public. It is the web afterall and everyone is just a Google search away. But yet they still seem to place a psychological shield around it. So while they surely must know it is public, they still regard it as somehow very private and personal ("my space") and are shocked when people hold them accountable for the information content they advertise.

Re:Employer Filter (2, Informative)

timholman (71886) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512415)

Clearly many people who are creating myspace sites have a strange relationship with this very public forum. On one hand they view it and understand it as public. It is the web afterall and everyone is just a Google search away. But yet they still seem to place a psychological shield around it. So while they surely must know it is public, they still regard it as somehow very private and personal ("my space") and are shocked when people hold them accountable for the information content they advertise.

Agreed. In reading many of the postings on this topic, I'm surprised at how many people are missing the point of what's going on. 25 years ago, your employers, your supervisors, and your parents spent as much time in a drug, alcohol, and sex-induced stupor as today's college students. College recruiters absolutely do not care about such matters, unless company policy requires a drug test. Your private life is your private life, because they remember they were every bit as bad in their own college days.

What is bothering them is that today's students are violating a strict social/corporate taboo - they are deliberately advertising their private lives to the entire world. When a potential competitor or customer can do a quick web search and find photographs of an employee at an S&M gangbang, that's a huge source of potential embarrassment to the company. Companies will instead hire the S&M gangbanger who had the good sense not to post pictures of his/her latest party for the entire universe to see.

People using MySpace and Facebook need to apply an old time-honored litmus test: "Would I feel comfortable if my family / relatives / minister saw this?" By all means have fun so you can swap those wild college-day stories with your co-workers ten or twenty years from now. But never put yourself in a situation where some crazy co-worker will be able to anonymously embarrass you by forwarding online photographs of something you did years earlier.

Re:Employer Filter (1)

hyfe (641811) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512426)

I'm not saying I shy away from controversy. I'm an atheist, skeptic, scientist, and writer and have many links and comments about said topics on my site.

Congratulations; I think you managed to sum up everything that's wrong with America... completely unindended too :(

(for the dim: neither of these shouldhave been controversial in any way)

Same problem with UseNet (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15512294)

I had a pretty wild time at University and eventually dropped out because of it. This was back in 1991, and some of my posts on Usenet were pretty telling about what I was doing in my life at the time.

Of course, at that time we were quite naive and none of us realised what the Internet would turn into.

When Google released the Usenet archives for searching I had to scamper to get all my posts (hundreds of them) removed from the archive, as my employers would probably not have been too pleased - for a week or so my name in the google search engine produced thousands of posts none of which I am proud of now.

Another Warning... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15512352)

An imposter can take your real information, set up another account to match your's and pose as you and even twist some of the information to defame you. There's nothing you can do to stop that from happening besides notifying the site.

Who wants to work there anyway? (1)

smilindog2000 (907665) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512355)

At our little company, we interviewed a potential employee, and somebody had the foresight to google him, and found his web site. On his home page, he was shown dressed as a girl. A prominent link showed an unusual hobby: tracking the various names given to the Devil.

Now, many companies are too stuffy to hire individuals who tend to be a bit creative around the fringes of what is considered acceptable in stuffy company. It's their loss. He was a good employee for the years we had him.

Re:Who wants to work there anyway? (1)

serialdogma (883470) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512406)

Well before coming into work one day in a pink dress with names of the Devil with dates on it, but still sacking him because of that still seams harsh to be honest.

Business plan... (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 8 years ago | (#15512398)

1. Read a couple of pop psychology and "how to succeed" books (and maybe buy one of those non-accredited PhDs)
2. Send spam offering your services to college leavers for a "reasonable" fee
3. Set up bogus blogs depicting your clients as mature and charismatic polymaths
4. Hey! There's no "..?" step!
5. Profit!!!
6. Blackmail former clients and Profit!!! again.

Right, who knows a good business method patent lawyer?

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