Facebook is not a background check. There, we said it.
This post was prompted by an article titled “Parents Conduct Background Checks via Facebook.” The article explains that “when you arrange a play date for your kids, you’re probably going to undergo a background check [via Facebook].”
It’s not just this article. There seems to be this prevailing thought that in accessing a person’s Facebook profile (or information on any other social network, for that matter), you somehow miraculously “know” the person and what he or she is all about.
Of course, we hear all the time that people will say just about anything about themselves, post pictures of inappropriate behavior or make comments without any concern that the world may be watching.
This may be a news flash, but not everyone is like that.
As people become aware of the consequences of doing or saying inappropriate things on Facebook, more people are finally figuring out how to manage their privacy settings for the site.
Dig Deeper: Facebook Privacy Tips
Sure, you may find some inappropriate pictures, vulgar Facebook updates or insight into how others on the site spend their free time, but social networking sites will not reveal whether, for example, someone is a convicted criminal or sex offender or has been arrested for DUI, fraud or passing bad checks.
Of course, seeing what you can find out about parents, significant others, old friends or new friends certainly can’t hurt, and Facebook can be helpful for that.
Although Facebook may be an inquisitive person’s dream come true, however, it’s not a background check.
Your turn. There has been a lot of discussion about potential employers using Facebook when conducting a background check. Do you think this is an invasion of your privacy?