NFL Players Have No Privacy: Facebook and Background Checks

Nick Fishman

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The New York Times published a great article on how social networks are used by National Football League teams in order to perform background checks on players.  In reality the prospect of using these sites to conduct employment background checks in no different than what an ordinary employer considers.  See our recent white paper, Recruiting and Social Networking Sites: What you Know Can Hurt You.

NFL Prospects Have No Privacy on Internet. And Neither May You.

By TONI MONKOVIC
“We used to be able to reinvent ourselves. So much of our lives are now wide open. If we aren’t sharing it, our friends are.”
– Parry Aftab, executive director of WiredSafety.org
Mike Tanier’s latest Walkthrough column at Football Outsiders takes on the issue of privacy on the Internet, in football and beyond.
Oversharing on social networks can cost N.F.L. prospects big dollars on draft day. But they, like many college seniors, are in a vulnerable position — they’re making the most of their final days of pre-employment responsibility. In other words, they’re having fun, sometimes the kind of fun you don’t tell Mom about. “Most of us are lucky that stage of our lives wasn’t indelibly preserved,” Tanier writes.
Every detail of a prospect’s background is researched by teams and publicized by the media. The scrutiny goes beyond touchdowns and dropped passes, it continues to arrests, scandals, and brief, long-ago suspensions for “undisclosed team violations.” If a player was involved in some non-noteworthy taproom scuffle, we know about it. Type “Jimmy Clausen” into your search engine, and Google helpfully suggests “punch” to steer you toward controversy.
Athletes are far from the only ones who can be hurt:
The days of walking into a job interview with a new suit and a spell-checked resume are long gone. Today’s college graduate cannot expect his or her past to disappear once he or she enters the job market.

By TONI MONKOVIC

Mike Tanier’s latest Walkthrough column at Football Outsiders takes on the issue of privacy on the Internet, in football and beyond.

Oversharing on social networks can cost N.F.L. prospects big dollars on draft day. But they, like many college seniors, are in a vulnerable position — they’re making the most of their final days of pre-employment responsibility. In other words, they’re having fun, sometimes the kind of fun you don’t tell Mom about. “Most of us are lucky that stage of our lives wasn’t indelibly preserved,” Tanier writes.

Every detail of a prospect’s background is researched by teams and publicized by the media. The scrutiny goes beyond touchdowns and dropped passes, it continues to arrests, scandals, and brief, long-ago suspensions for “undisclosed team violations.” If a player was involved in some non-noteworthy taproom scuffle, we know about it. Type “Jimmy Clausen” into your search engine, and Google helpfully suggests “punch” to steer you toward controversy.

Athletes are far from the only ones who can be hurt:

The days of walking into a job interview with a new suit and a spell-checked resume are long gone. Today’s college graduate cannot expect his or her past to disappear once he or she enters the job market.

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Nick Fishman
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Nick Fishman

Nick Fishman is the co-founder of EmployeeScreenIQ, a leading, global employment background screening provider, and serves as the company’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer. He pioneered the creation of EmployeeScreen University, the #1 educational resource on employment background checks for human resources, security and risk management professionals. A recognized industry expert, Nick is a frequent author, presenter and contributor to the news media. Nick is also a licensed private investigator in the states of Ohio and Texas.
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