1 in 5 Employers Have Denied Someone a Job Due to Their Social Media Profile

Digital Hoarding Can Backfire

Social media has blurred the lines between the personal and work lives of employees. And as more businesses look into the profiles of their potential hires and also employees, what are the implications.

A new survey from WhoIsHostingThis? reveals more than 1 in 5 or 22% of people in a hiring position have denied someone a job due to their online content. This includes everything from images and texts to videos and audio recordings.

Whether using personal social media content to vet employees is right or wrong is up for debate. But as long as the content is online, users have to know it is accessible. And the report Frank Moraes writes asks a question that is highly relevant in today’s digital ecosystem.

How much of your online content are you hoarding and would you delete your old content? Moraes makes a great point in addressing this question. He goes on to say, “In a digital world where everything is recorded, longevity can be a liability. How many of us cringe at past posts or pictures, knowing they’re a poor reflection of our present selves?”

In order to find out just how many people are willing to delete their old content, the survey asked 947 people on the matter. This includes the way they hoard digital content on social media and their personal devices.

Digital Hoarding Can Backfire

The issue of worrying about past content is very real because 1 in 10 of the respondents say it has been used against them. And the survey reveals people are aware of the possibility.

When it comes to work 51% share their concern it can be used against them, this is because it has. Exactly two thirds (66%) say managers used photos, while others reveal it is text posts (65%), videos (45%), and audio recordings (15%).

Digital Hoarding Can Backfire

image: WhoIsHostingThis?
The worry the content can be used by others is also a concern, with respondents pointing out the government (49%) and relationships (47%). Furthermore, the respondents said their social media content has been used in other situations. This includes discussions with friends (47%), significant others (37%), family discussions (26%), work (18%), criminal/legal situation and more.

How Much Content Do You Have?

The content you have online as well as your personal device is vulnerable to cyberattacks. If you or the company that has your content don’t have the proper security protocol, the data is at risk. This is why you must seriously consider going through your content.

With that in mind, the survey finds people are hoarding their digital content. Almost two thirds or 63% say they are never deleting their photos. The same goes for videos (56%), text messages (47%), audio recordings (44%), emails (43%) and notes (40%).

Digital Hoarding Can Backfire

image: WhoIsHostingThis?
When it comes to social media 80% of the people say they are never deleting their photos, videos and text posts. And this is the data employers and others have access to unless you set your channel to private.

Regarding the hoarding, people are still keeping inactive social media accounts. And it is important to remember, as long as the channel still has an online presence the information is there for everyone to see.

Some of the channels are Myspace (69%), Photobucket (69%), Blogger (64%), Flickr (63%), and Tumblr (59%).

Deleting the Content

Moraes says some social media channels make it much more difficult than it has to be to delete content. Removing large batches from Facebook and Twitter is not easy. He adds it will require the use of external applications if you have a large amount of content you need to get rid of.

In addition to the difficulty of deleting the content, people have many different reasons for keeping it. On personal devices, 74% say they don’t want to delete memories, but it goes down to 54% on social media.

Keeping records is high on personal devices at 71%, but it goes all the way down to 32% when it comes to not even caring enough to delete the content. A couple of the other reasons for keeping them are for other people’s reference (56%) and having thought about deleting (37%).

On social media, 55% say they haven’t thought about deleting the content, with an almost equal number (54%) saying it is not sensitive.

But deleting the content isn’t enough, you also have to be careful of what you post and protect the information. Make sure to be cautious of what you post and make your social media only visible to family and friends. However, you need to go further. Always change your password often, deactivate old accounts while not forgetting to delete old posts.

Image: Depositphotos.com

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Michael Guta Michael Guta is the Assistant Editor at Small Business Trends and has been with the team for 9 years. He currently manages its East African editorial team. Michael brings with him many years of content experience in the digital ecosystem covering a wide range of industries. He holds a B.S. in Information Communication Technology, with an emphasis in Technology Management.