What Happens on Social Media, Can Live on in Infamy
Did you know that Facebook photos can be found even after your profile is deleted?
It’s not uncommon for me to pull “social media Veto power” over my friends and family if I happen to be in a picture they were thinking of posting online. Sometimes they ask me why I’m so particular about it and I have to remind them that since I deal with social media for a living, I have a very profound understanding of the power it wields.
A couple of weeks ago, there was a Facebook post about a man who ran up a large bill at a local restaurant and left without paying. The staff took a picture of him before he was able to leave and posted it on Facebook with a plea to bring him to justice. After sharing his picture, other restaurants in the area saw the post and recognized him immediately as someone who had performed the same scam on them. As the post was shared further and picked up momentum, people started researching this individual with the intention of learning his true identity. Eventually, piece by piece, the collective swarm slowly disseminated not only his name, but his address, phone number and place of employment as well. The post went viral and was picked up by the RGJ, and even the national AP. Justice was served and Saul Zelanog was arrested for his crimes.
This story made me laugh because not only did the power of Facebook bring justice for local restaurants that were being taken advantage of, but it also proved how easy it is to find someone online. Forever, Saul will be the guy who was brought to justice by Facebook.
This story is a reminder of how when you’re using social media, be it for personal or professional reasons, you must be careful of how you are portrayed. Did you know that Facebook photos can be found even after your profile is deleted? If someone else commented or shared your images and posts, those are no longer only located on your page and can be accessed. Employers will often review a prospective employee’s social media pages to get a good feel for their habits and personality. Do they complain about their work? Are most of the photos of them drinking? Are there risqué photos?
I continue to urge both professionals and students to be very careful of what they post online. You may not be able to control what people think of you or your business based on what they see online, but you can at least make sure that what you do put online paints you in the best possible light.
Think before you post.
Dragonfly Media, Dragonflymedia.net, (775)746-4690
Amber Howland is General Manager of Dragonfly Media, based in Reno, Nevada. Dragonfly Media works with small to medium size businesses to increase their digital influence through SEO/SEM, social media management, website/app development, and email marketing.