Thank you for this excellent resource. I have a question pertaining to social media and airline hiring practices. I hope it’s not too specific to my situation to be of interest.
In evaluating an applicant’s employability, I know a pilot’s social media footprint will be subject to scrutiny. Does this extend beyond what we post personally to what people say about us? Someone I became acquainted with online years ago but have never met has led a smear campaign against me and has managed to get others to join in. The person leading the charge is not a troll and presents as a trustworthy professional, though their behavior rises to the level of stalking. I’ve been falsely accused of everything from lying to plagiarism to non physical abuse to harboring political views I don’t have.
I’d never claim to be a saint, but I have a bachelor’s and graduate degree from two top ten schools. I have good credit. I have never been arrested. I have an extensive social and professional network. However, let’s say I turn out to be good enough to be evaluated as a candidate at an airline. I’m worried that they might take these baseless accusations on social media into account when looking at my moral character. What do you think? Before it’s suggested, I have spoken to a lawyer about sending out some cease and desist letters but I’m not sure I want to risk inflaming the situation.
Anonymous for obvious reasons. Many kind thanks in advance.
Stuff like this is one of many reasons I keep an extremely low social media footprint. I havnt posted a photo of my face to the internet since high school; I only have like 100 close friends on fb and 25 close followers on insta, ha.
I recommend you Google your name, get all that “bad” information, and send a message to the webmasters requesting to remove it. Then ONCE it’s removed, there is a way to send a link to Google to remove outdated links. Do that.
P.s this isn’t only for a pilot job, this is for any professional career out of college. They will certainly Google you around/check your profiles. I was even asked for my usernames and passwords for all my emails/social media’s, and they’d snoop around my accounts in a private room for a few minutes doing who knows what haha.
Social media really has become a double edged sword with some very good and some very bad aspects. I don’t know the extent of the damage you’re referring to but yes having a negative profile can be a problem for any professional. What I can also tell you is if it comes up in an interview your claims of never meeting this person or no knowledge of why they’re doing this will not play well.
Moe’s suggestions can help and moving forward I’d definitely tone down your participation.
I’ve never been on a hiring board, but my advice would be get it removed if you can. If not, just be honest about it if it ever comes into question. If you’d like another opinion you can contact the airlines directly.
I’m sorry that you have to deal with this. It sounds a lot like this person is using your profile to make money off click bait.
I am curious though, you said you were acquainted with this person online but never met in person. Was there a reason you became acquainted before they decided to harass you? Or did something happen between you two?
Thank you for the thoughtful response. Good for you keeping your social media footprint minimal. I deactivated my accounts entirely during lockdown. It’s not worth it, not at all.
I actually just googled myself as you suggested and almost everything that comes up is positive. It appears this person has deleted the actionable things they said. All of it was/is confined to Twitter, for better or worse, and I reported the tweets in question at the time they were written but they haven’t yet been removed. However, Twitter is very slow with these kinds of things in my experience. Thank you again.
Thank you for the input. Yes, social media can definitely have bad aspects. Most people in my field fight on Twitter and it often gets this ugly; it’s a major reason I want out. Thankfully it appears this person deleted most of what they’d posted online about me, possibly because I made it known that I contacted an attorney. You’re right about interviewers not looking favorably on the situation as I painted it in my original post. I may know why this person was doing what they were doing, and that they have a documented history of this sort of behavior with others in my field, but that doesn’t mean interviewers do. What seems self-evidently absurd to me and my colleagues won’t be for future interviewers, even if they are operating with the edict “don’t believe everything you read on the internet” in mind.
I’ve deactivated my personal social media accounts and it looks like this group have moved on to a new victim. Fewer distractions for study time anyway. Thanks again for your comment and for the site.
Yes, I’ll definitely be honest about it if it comes up. This person has a history of doing this to other people in our extended field. We all use Twitter and I knew this person only as another account. It started when this person was attacking a major player in our field with really heinous accusations, and I stepped in to defend the integrity of his work. This upset them and they redirected their anger at me. This all happened on Twitter. Very foolish and I am no longer on Twitter so hopefully it’s a moot point. Still a good reminder to all that everything that happens on the internet is forever, you can’t anticipate how other people out there are going to react, and that it’s a good idea not to engage in pointless disputes. Thanks again for this wonderful site!
Sounds like the info is gone, but even if it is still lingering around, it sounds like you could easily make a case against the user if they’ve done this to enough people.
A potential employer asked you for usernames and passwords to your personal email? I have never heard of such a thing and would certainly not allow any company to go digging through my personal email. What kind of job was this for?
I read through all of your posts and quite honestly, I think you will be fine. It seems like this person is some sort of internet loser and the real world understands that there are people like that out there.
I do have some social media accounts, but I keep it all very benign. No crazy pictures, political posts, etc, just pictures of my kids and my travels.
Oh yeah, it was for a city law enforcement internship.
It’s a common thing to do, at least around here, for city/federal law enforcement, or jobs that require clearance. They also require a polygraph.
Interesting. I have never applied for a job like that. I of course have nothing to hide, but I still would not want them in my personal emails. They would probably be rather bored.