Whether we’re watching out for parents, teachers or future employers, teenagers and twenty-somethings are increasingly aware of what they put on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites– or at least they should be.
Enter SocioClean, a website built to help people do just that by scanning their social accounts for any potentially volatile information and posts. To help UChic readers everywhere learn more about this up and coming site, I tried it out– here’s what I found.
Details. The results you get back are very detailed in terms of what was posted, what the flagged issue is, who posted it and where on your profile it was posted. Date and time info are also used and all grouped into a set of charts and data on the main page.
Customization. The site offers a custom search option, allowing you to search for anything on your page that the site may not otherwise catch. For example, say you’re starting a new job. You might want to scan your page to make sure you haven’t taken to Facebook or Twitter to rant about former colleagues in hopes of starting out with a good impression at your new place of employment. Just type in their names with the custom word search, and you’re all set.
Awareness. The site helps point out things that you may not necessarily have realized people could have taken offense to or detail the issues you have with cursing in your online posts. No matter what your particular issue of focus is, it will most definitely help make you much more aware of future posts so you can hit the delete button (or even better, not post it at all) as soon as possible.
One [rather significant] Con
Extraneous results. Here’s my major issue with the site. It is basically a very sophisticated scanner, in which the program has built in specific words to search for, gathers information in instances where those words are used and compiles it all into data for the user to sift through. It does not, however, take into account the other terms for which some of these words can be used.
I’m from the South, and if you’ve ever been to Dixie, you’ll agree with me that we love our sweet tea like teenage girls love Justin Bieber. So, one day, a friend of mine from Georgia, posted a comment on my Facebook page in which she mentioned her latest quest to drink as much sweet tea as she could when she was home from college. According to SocioClean, the post was flagged because of the term “drinking.”
While the site conveniently has options to “ignore word” or “ignore instance,” it is an error that seems to creep up in most of the searches. Nearly all the instances I had were unnecessarily flagged; when I first used the site, I had received an F in terms of my social reputation. By the time I had ignored everything I approved of, I had a B.
Overall: My overall impression of SocioClean is positive. I think the site is well on its way to starting a huge social networking trend and has jumpstarted a market that has previously been discussed, but not quite acted on. It still has a few improvements it could make though, the main of which being that it alter its program to find legitimate instances of potential reputation issues and not turn into a form of entertainment that I joke about with my friends and even parents.
Will you use SocioClean? Do you think it will help you keep track of your online identities?
— By Kristy Shaulis, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign