Social Media Faux Pas - Avoid being the next Paris Brown

BIRMINGHAM, U.K. - April 18, 2013 - PRLog -- Most of us don’t even think about what we share on Facebook or Twitter, we’re just having fun and sharing things with our friends, but could you putting your future at risk?

The answer is yes, as 17-year old Paris Brown found out recently, when her tweets from years earlier came back to haunt her, costing her a £15,000 a year role as Britain’s first youth crime commissioner. Her tweets certainly portrayed an ugly image, with homosexuals referred to as ‘fags’, immigrants as ‘illegals’ and posting about cravings for hash brownies.

This story swept across the nation as Paris Brown stepped down from her newly appointed position after her tweets hit the public, and caused concern for teens from the social media generation, including Oscar Quine. Oscar is a freelance journalist currently studying Journalism at Goldsmiths, and after the Paris Brown story hit the papers, he thought it would be a good idea to check up on his own social media history to see what sort of image was being painted of him to potential employers.

Oscar hired the services of Tony Smith, a private investigator with Insight Investigations ( with years of experience in the private investigation industry. Although many people say it is bad practice for employers to check the social media profiles of potential employees, Tony estimates that 15% of his business comes from recruitment companies and employers.

The private investigator found, with only ‘the briefest of checks’:

·         which universities Oscar has studied at

·         the countries he had lived in

·         the languages he spoke

·          information about a charity event he participated in

·         details of his family including their ages, addresses, occupations, how much their houses are worth and even business dealings his dad had over a decade ago

Oscar agreed to publish his findings in The Independent, and wrote an article ( which you can read here:  outlining both his own and the private investigator’s findings. But of course not everybody is aware of the impact publically sharing their life on social media sites can have, and a generation raised being completely and unreservedly open about their lives online could be in for a shock when it comes to looking for employment.

How much do you share online? Do you know what information employers could dig up on you online? If you believe it may be a problem then you can speak to the investigators at Insight Investigations (, who can provide you with a complete overview of the information readily available about you online and what you can do to improve your online reputation.
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