The Perils of Fake Social Media Profiles – A Growing Governance, Risk and Compliance Concern

The two part article I wrote on Fake Social Media Profiles was reviewed very favorably. Immediately after it went live at Corporate Compliance Insights, I got quite a few notes from professionals who read the columns. Here are a couple:

Note #1: I just read your article on fake social media profiles, thank you for posting it! Here are some thoughts that many be uniquely relevant. While many firms use social media profiles in pre-employment checks, they should verify and consider those profiles as part of a bigger body of documentation when making an inquiry into any individual. When I worked for a PI firm, we used social networking profiles like LinkedIn, but I always “triple verified” all data I found in them because often they contained phony, canned, or carefully positioned data to make a person appear as something other than what they were. When using these social media tools the user must follow what I call ‘Benchmarks’ in data mining; specific key points of data must be further evaluated and verified – if It cannot be verified by at least two other sources it should be discarded…period.

The problem arises when employees and firms cut corners for time and money,
they get lazy and rely too heavily on social media profiles and forget/neglect
to do the required research and verification that should be done with respect
to pre-employment and background checks. One cannot simply search a database
such as a social networking site and take anything there as gospel, a simple
common sense Google check can easily reveal much of the false statements made
in ANY profile found there or any other site for that matter.

I think you are on to something big in that going forward, while I do not agree
with this, criminalizing Terms of Service (TOS) agreements may become a big
issue for obvious reasons. I look forward to your other articles.

Note # 2: I had not considered the verification of the information.  My sister is a victim of a fraudulent Face book profile.  I know its fake and of course she knows its not real but a potential employer would not know.  That’s pretty scary stuff! You hit some very good point in both parts one and two.