Places like MySpace and Facebook have changed the way most of us have socialized on the Internet. These social networks have provided a way to stay in contact with family and friends, but these same postings have also come back to haunt some. The N.Y. Times recently related a story about a student who was denied her teaching credentials since she was pictured on MySpace as a drunken pirate. The university felt that this type of behavior reflected poorly on a potential teacher and she was rejected for a teaching degree.
The story continues with the would be teacher taking her case to court and the court upholding the right not to issue her a teaching credential because she would be a public employee.
The story went on to state others who have had problems:
With Web sites like LOL Facebook Moments, which collects and shares embarrassing personal revelations from Facebook users, ill-advised photos and online chatter are coming back to haunt people months or years after the fact. Examples are proliferating daily: there was the 16-year-old British girl who was fired from her office job for complaining on Facebook, “I’m so totally bored!!”; there was the 66-year-old Canadian psychotherapist who tried to enter the United States but was turned away at the border — and barred permanently from visiting the country — after a border guard’s Internet search found that the therapist had written an article in a philosophy journal describing his experiments 30 years ago with L.S.D.
According to a recent survey by Microsoft, 75 percent of U.S. recruiters and human-resource professionals report that their companies require them to do online research about candidates, and many use a range of sites when scrutinizing applicants — including search engines, social-networking sites, photo- and video-sharing sites, personal Web sites and blogs, Twitter and online-gaming sites. Seventy percent of U.S. recruiters report that they have rejected candidates because of information found online, like photos and discussion-board conversations and membership in controversial groups.
The bottom line is this: do not post or say anything on the Internet that you wouldn’t want your mother to see or hear.