Clean the &$#*)@ Off of Your Social Profiles

There are few things more embarrassing than getting caught with damaging materials on social profiles, particularly by a relative, employer, or competitor. What we posted weeks, months, even years ago can come back to bite us. That’s the nature of social media in many ways – to allow us to expose ourselves. The degree to which we do so, however, is often what gets us in trouble.

Drunk tweeting, getting tagged in Facebook photos doing less-than-appropriate activities, even breaking the law – all are things that have not only caused embarrassment but have also helped get people prosecuted for crimes. Even if you’re not out murdering people, companies are using social media as part of background checks when looking for employees. It’s a dangerous world, indeed, this thing we call “sharing.”

Depending on how active you are in social media, you should probably considering “cleaning” things up. I was recently asked by a friend to help her go through her social media profiles before she went job-hunting. It seemed that most services out there were geared towards businesses finding juice about us rather than us finding our own juice.

One exception was Socioclean. After reviewing it this morning I noticed a few things that impressed me:

Private Screening

People ask why we don’t review many Facebook apps and services. The answer is simple – I don’t want anyone having access to post on my wall. Call me paranoid, but when the Facebook or Twitter permissions screens pop up, they almost always grant permission to post. Socioclean passed my first test – get info (which I don’t mind giving) and don’t post anything on my behalf.

Upon further examination, the site “feels” secure. I have our Mr. Paranoid investigating further but for now, all is well.

Perhaps most importantly, it only scans what is accessible by the public. Private messages are excluded from the search.

Paranoia FTW!

The search screen prompted me for keywords. At first, I thought, “Oh great. I have to think about this?”

Instead of entering keywords, I let it run on default. Above, you’ll see part of the initial report I received. Keywords that were flagged without my prompting were fire, balls, and kill. Yes, I can see how those words, when used inappropriately, could be a problem:

“If my boss thinks he can fire me, he has another thing coming. Tomorrow, I’ll chop off his balls and kill him.”

Thankfully, I didn’t use the words in that order or context.

Photo Tagging – The Hidden Killer

Sometimes, it isn’t necessarily what you say but rather what others say about you.

So, you’re out on the town and one of your girlfriends snaps a shot of you doing a drunken table dance. She puts it on Facebook and tags you in it. Either you don’t monitor Facebook enough or you’re just so active that the photo makes it onto your profile page and off too quickly for you to see. Either way, it’s not a good thing when a student in the 3rd-grade class that you teach finds it.

In the example above, words like BJ, ho, and blunt were found in images associated with me. Thankfully (again) they did not point to pictures that put me in a bad light, but I’m thankful for being able to monitor those.

Clean the &$#*)@ Off Once a _____

Fill in the blank. Once a year? Once a week? It all depends on how active you are and what you do. Definitely do it before searching for a job or shortly after getting arrested.

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Read more about cleaning your &$#*)@ on this social media blog.

Leave a Reply


  1. This is def a valuable tool that has mass implications given that would-be employers and suitors are paying close attention to our social media activities. At the risk of sounding righteous, however, I say Clean the &$#*)@ Out of Your Life — then there won’t be so much &$#*)@ to clean up on Facebook! I mean really, if there’s so much incongruity between the way we are out in our lives vs. who we are in the office or with a new relationship, something ain’t right. And don’t get me wrong, if FB was around when I was in my late-teens, the evidence of debauchery would have sunk me for good. I’m grateful those photos only show up on occasion and I can proudly say, I had a good time but phew! – glad those years are over. I submit that people would be a lot more free of anxiety, concern, and upset if they were responsible for what they said and did out in their lives — and to have what they say and do be a true reflection of where they’re heading and who they really want to be in the eyes of all.

  2. Comix79

    Kenneth I disagree, I think there is more than enough content on FB now for this to work. Also much as we try to represent the “best us” on FB and how we may be in real life sometimes it doesn’t work out that way on FB – FB has been around long enough where certain users (large population) have been posting content since their late teens and through college – now it’s time for them to enter the rat race and well – show they’re respectable/hireable adults. Unfortunately we live in a “judge a book by its cover” type of world and FB (to a certain extent myspace, twitter as well) have become that “cover”.
    Social networking has been around for longer than 8 years and if you have been a member of any of these networks for longer than say 2 or 3 years – I’m sure you have done some spring cleaning or need to.
    Personally I’m not heavy traffic guy on FB and that’s only because I’m a paranoid freak and don’t like anyone or any single establishment having access to every single element of my life but there are people who don’t hesitate one iota about posting anything and everything – So I def. see what these guys are trying to do and they seem to be onto something.

  3. Or you could always do the simple solution like I do and make it so only my friends can see my profile. If a would be employer asked about why I would tell them that my private life if just that, private.

  4. impatientgirl

    I was telling my teenage nieces to do this just the other day because content lives forever. Once it is there, it can always be found if one knows where to look. Just ask a political candidate.

  5. Good for you. I think it’s kind of ridiculous. Unless it’s obvious that you have a real problem, why should they get to decide what constitutes “having “proper” fun”.

  6. Some people are just don’t care about the consequences at all. And in fact it doesn’t really bother them at all. They just live, drink and do all the crazy things they and their friends like.

  7. Liking, Poking and Linking our way through the career ladder:

  8. I have heard of teachers getting into real trouble through the school kids going through their facebook pages and finding ways into photos even though they are not friends. It’s a bit unfair that teachers are expected to behave like Catholic Nuns during their ” time off” however I think its very important also, to make sure nothing incriminating gets on facebook.

  9. It is high time that we understand what we show on social networking sites becomes a fact for us. People will start thinking that we are what we have mentioned. How can we be so much irresponsible morally?

  10. Definitely. This is a good way to clean up the wreckers in Facebook. But it’s still in beta. Got a long way to go. Let’s see how it turns up.