Last week, I was at one of my favorite firms in Houma, LA for some consulting work. Making my rounds in the office, I noticed that a couple of staff members were viewing the popular social networking site MySpace (www.myspace.com). I have been requested by some of my clients to block MySpace because their employees waste so much time on it. I made a mental note to ask the managing partner if she wanted me to do this. As I walked into her office I noticed she was also on MySpace. Jokingly I asked her if she was a big MySpace fan and she replied, “Sure, I just won another custody case today because of it.” She went on to explain that her client’s spouse had a MySpace Page which had pictures of the spouse going out and getting drunk every night of the week. This spouse also left comments on her friends pages about how drunk she was the night before. The attorney just submitted all of this into evidence and is was pretty easy for the judge to rule in favor of her client. As I was looking over the firm’s New File Procedures, I noticed that check MySpace was Step 4.
I was at lunch the following Friday with a group of solos and mentioned this story. One of them was a Family Attorney and she said she has been doing this for months now. She had a dedicated Staff member who searched MySpace and Facebook, another popular social networking site. She also advises her clients to clean up or delete their MySpace pages so nothing can be used against them.
You do not have to have a MySpace Account to look at someone page. Simply go to MySpace Search Page (http://search.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=find&MyToken=c2b7573e-47ab-4874-aed3-5b2af06ecc14) and type in a person’s Name, Email Address, or College and you can find them. From there you can view also sorts of information. You need to have an account to view a person pictures and some people make their accounts private but this is easy to get around. To be completely honest, after getting home last week, I immediately went to my MySpace page and cleaned it up.
Note: Fortune 500 and Educational systems screen applicants that have accounts. In some cases signing a waiver to close as part of employment agreement