Is it stalking or research?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-1998
Is it stalking or research?
7
Wed, 02-20-2013 - 11:18am

The comment that Bord mentioned in another thread along with my own personal experience started me thinking about internet research.  I know colleges routinely search through facebook, twitter and other social media accounts for athletes looking for scholarship and a position on a college team.  I have heard athletes lose their scholarship based on their comments on twitter.  I have also read about lawyers using facebook and other social media in cases.

http://www.athleticscholarships.net/2012/01/20/football-recruit-loses-scholarship-twitter.htm

What do you think?

PumpkinAngel

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-29-1999
Wed, 02-20-2013 - 11:36am

I'd call that due dilligence. What's out there is rather indicative of common sense. If you don't have the common sense to make your FB/Twitter/etc profile private and you've got damning stuff on there...

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2013
Wed, 02-20-2013 - 12:03pm

If it's on the internet, it's public information. I see nothing wrong with using any legal means necessary to find out if someone is who they say they are, if they are applying for a job or scholarship/making a claim in a lawsuit against you/dating your daughter/friending your kids on Facebook/etc.

That said, creating a fake name on a social networking site with the intent of friending people who would not accept the request from the REAL you is stalking. Even if your intent is good, it's still wrong. If you don't get what you need using google, spend a little $$ and hire a PI, and let the PI do the dirty work.

When a person gets butt-hurt on a debate board and decides to try to get information on the butt-hurter to use against them later, googling them or reading public information on their FB page is not stalking, even though the intent is malicious. The "Butt-hurtee" has done nothing legally wrong, but they still need therapy, IMO.

When the butt-hurter googles butt-hurtee's name and finds out all sorts of stuff that is public record, it's not stalking. It's not very nice to call someone out, but I don't think the poster on the other thread intended to be nice. Sometimes people have just had enough of the bull**** and decides to give their antagonizer a taste of their own medicine. It wasn't nice, but I admit I thoroughly enjoyed the spectacle. Guess what, I'm not always nice either!

Basically, it's research if you go about it without breaking any law or violating the TOS of the site. If you have to bend rules or ignore laws, you're stalking. There are exceptions of course.

Shaking my head at the things grown women get their panties in a wad about.

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Wed, 02-20-2013 - 12:11pm

I wanted to mention another aspect to this debate, what about for jobs?  Only 6 states prohibit employers from demanding your social media passwords, I believe Washington state has presented a bill as well: http://dailycaller.com/2013/01/04/six-states-now-prohibit-employers-from-demanding-employee-facebook-passwords/

While they can still view your public profile, is it fair for them to demand access to your private ones?   Are there any colleges that are demanding it as well for scholorships?

Avatar for savcal2011
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-2010
Wed, 02-20-2013 - 2:15pm

I routinely check FB, LinkedIn, google and other sites when evaluating candidates for jobs. In addition, our state's court records are online and publicly accessible, so I search there as well. 

"I don’t mind a banshee, that’s fine. 2 banshees? I HATE you. I actually wish bad things upon you." -- Day[9] Daily #459 P1

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
Wed, 02-20-2013 - 2:30pm
I think that the demanding passwords for protected sites is beyond the pale. There might be a legitimate "need to know" about your public profile; no need to read private messages, infiltrate private/secret groups, or anywhere else where you might have a "reasonable expectation of privacy."
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-1998
Wed, 02-20-2013 - 4:02pm

Cmmelissa wrote:
<p>I wanted to mention another aspect to this debate, what about for jobs?  Only 6 states prohibit employers from demanding your social media passwords, I believe Washington state has presented a bill as well: http://dailycaller.com/2013/01/04/six-states-now-prohibit-employers-from-demanding-employee-facebook-passwords/</p><p>While they can still view your public profile, is it fair for them to demand access to your private ones?   Are there any colleges that are demanding it as well for scholorships?</p>

I don't know if colleges are demanding it but I do know they routinely ask and review social media sites of the athletes they are following for scholarships.

PumpkinAngel

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Registered: 02-21-2013
Thu, 02-21-2013 - 4:21pm

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