June 10th, 2006

Why the Social Networking Backlash WILL Happen


A generation is about to learn the hard way about the downside of posting your entire life online. An article in the Times shows the tip of the iceberg:

Many companies that recruit on college campuses have been using search engines like Google and Yahoo to conduct background checks on seniors looking for their first job. But now, college career counselors and other experts say, some recruiters are looking up applicants on social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Xanga and Friendster, where college students often post risqué or teasing photographs and provocative comments about drinking, recreational drug use and sexual exploits in what some mistakenly believe is relative privacy.

Young people may be naive but they are not stupid.

The generation just hitting puberty will watch the class ahead of them get screwed out of college admissions and job offers as a result of too much online social networking.

And they won’t make the same mistake.

Comments (26 Responses so far)

  1. Why the Social Networking Backlash WILL Happen

  2. Why the Social Networking Backlash WILL Happen

  3. I’ve written previously (and skeptically) about Scott Karp’s concerns regarding the “coming privacy backlash,” and his post over the weekend on the “social networking backlash” brings us back to the same territory: Young people may be naive but they are not stupid. The generation just hitting puberty will watch the class ahead of them get screwed out of college admissions and job offers as a result of too much online

  4. You can also write a short bio, and allow others to contact you through the site without exposing your email address. While the business model isn’t clear yet, there’s definitely a big demand for this type of service. If a potential employer isGoogling your name, do you want them to find a neatly presented biography, or your drunken party photos on MySpace? Likewise, your enemies are free to set up fake Tagworld profiles for you to mislead potential business partners, employers or girlfriends. What

  5. Shared by: don l on 6/11/2006 at 9:24 PM – DetailsPublishing 2.0 » Why the Social Networking Bac…

  6. The New York Times ran a piece last week about the ever increasing amount of private information we are sharing online, on social networking services, and unintended consequences. Scott Karp thinksthis will lead to an eventual backlash. danah boyd has this to say: Networked technologies not only make this easier, but they also make the snoop invisible. Problematically, people don’t sweat the invasion so much because they can’t see it.

  7. o. E se tudo isto parece uma ‘lapalissada’ para utilizadores mais experientes (na net e na vida) o choque pode ainda ser substancial para agentes mais novos e/ou inexperientes. Um curioso artigo, publicado ontem no NYTimes (sugestão recolhidaaqui), fala-nos precisamente de alguns desses riscos para jovens universitários em busca do primeiro emprego. O texto diz-nos que as empresas que procuram novos ‘talentos’ procuram também informar-se sobre os interesses n

  8. [IMG ] I haven’t heard the case same asPublishing 2.0 » Why the Social Networking Backlash WILL Happen says yet. But in last winter, a snowborder was in trouble from his post on mixi , most popular SNS in Japan. He was so famous and selected as a member of the national team of Japan but he couldn’t meet our expectation. Then some people found his diary

  9. It won’t be backlash if what the younger generation learns is how to be savvy in their use of social software — backlash would be if they simply logged off facebook, MySpace, etc.

    I can imagine colleges asking applicants for their URLs before I can envision teens walking away from social networking.

  10. I read the article as well, I guess my interpretation is that rather than a wholesale exodus from social networking, people will learn not to put stuff like “I like to blow stuff up” on their MySpace profile. None of the students interviewed for the article were disturbed by the fact that they were the subject of surveillance, they accepted that point as an inevitability of the times. They did, however, alter their practices to make this surveillance work in their favor.

    So, I guess I still (respectfully) disagree, social networking as a major mode of networked interaction will continue, but it will also continue to modulate according to how it is used.

  11. like tattoss. it seems like a good idea at the time, but you make a good point. In the end though, the power of the hookup will win for now

  12. Nathan, I don’t think people are going to abandon online social networking — but they may very well abandon PUBLIC social networking, which is the essence of MySpace. We’re only beginning to see how this drama unfolds. This was a key observation from the piece:

    This is really the first time that we’ve seen that stage of life captured in a kind of time capsule and in a public way

    The pendulum can swing both ways.

    Jenny, I think they will log off of those public sites and find more private ways to socialize. It will still be cool to socialize online, but not with the entire world watching.

  13. But isn’t the point of these sites the fact that many people can find you? When Friendster began, the big draw was that you could find people you used to know and reconnect with them. That means that part of the point is that these profiles are public, that they are findable. Perhaps there will be a greater emphasis on private aspects of these services, and certainly there will be change as the users and the services adapt over time (they are still quite young in both areas). I think, however, that the public nature of these media will continue to exist in a significant way since that is the very reason we use them in the first place.

  14. Scott – I agree. I don’t think they’re going to abandon this. They are going to get smarter and their tools will get better. They’ll have parts of their pages public and other parts private.

    Having 3 teenagers, I’ve watched my oldest (15 1/2 years old) on MySpace, and Xanga before that, for a few years now. At first she didn’t realize that I was reading her entries all the time! She’s gotten smarter. She’s moved parts of her conversation to IM and other parts to her cell. It’s fascinating to watch.

    I often tell my husband that after my three are out of the house I want to adopt another teenager – just so I can keep watching the first wave of the revolution! He doesn’t really like the idea :-)

  15. In 10 years, the people who are getting screwed today will be the ones making hiring decisions. They’ll brush off stupid stuff on MySpace the way hiring managers today brush off frat parties and pot smoking as youthful indiscretions.

  16. [...] Pointing to an NYT piece that rehashes the old news about schools and employers expanding their background checks of applicants to include searches of social networking sites for admissions of drug use, drinking, and other shenanigans, Scott Karp declares the “generation just hitting puberty will watch the class ahead of them get screwed out of college admissions and job offers as a result of too much online social networking.” [...]

  17. Derek, 10 years is a long time at this rapid pace of change. 10 years from now anyone dumb enough to let it all hang out in public won’t be considered for a job by those who are making that mistake now and who will consider it rank amateurish in the future.

  18. [...] An interesting post on Publishing 2.0 regarding a potential social networking backlash sparked conversation based on a New York Times article.  I had heard that companies were looking for information on potential hiring candidates on websites such as MySpace.com and Facebook.com, but this article confirmed it.  The post on Publishing 2.0 pointed out the potential backlash that could happen as a result.  The point was that young people will not use these social networking sites in the future because of the negative association it will have.  I disagree with this.  I think that people and the technology they use for these sites will change over time.   I think the users of these sites will become more aware of what they put up for public display.  I also think the sites will give users the opportunity to keep some things private while leaving other things available for public viewing.  I don’t see the popularity of online social networking decreasing anytime soon.  I would argue that users will find a way to keep certain things from public view, particularly the view of hiring managers. [...]

  19. Naymz Launches – Control Your Online Identity…

    Naymz is a new online identity service along the lines of ClaimID. The idea is that you can create an accurate profile of yourself that will rank highly on Google results – in fact, they claim that the Premium account will get your Naymz profile li…

  20. [...] It’s notable that LostCherry is also addressing privacy concerns with their approach to online conversation: What is my Shoutboxâ„¢? Your Shoutboxâ„¢ is your private chat area — only you can read the messages inside your Shoutboxâ„¢. With this feature you can instantly chat with anyone on LostCherry. You can send someone a shout in three ways: [...]

  21. My guess is that all those recreational drug and sex users who didn’t get jobs will be forced to start their own companies and will start hiring social-software savvy kids pretty soon after that.

  22. Scott

    I think that people don’t realize how much of data their private data they are willing make it public and thus losing an ownership on it. I am pretty sure that what you said ( the backlash) is going to happen. What I find rather interesting in this all is that opens a nice huge market gap with oppurtunities for innovators to create a ton of value. We need solution which would help people reclaim their data ( remove all the traces ) from public domain like MySpace, facebook & even google for that matter. An important thing that i belive people should do is that they should data which they are ok making it public.

    Here is my post reflecting thoughts on this http://rajan.wordpress.com/2006/06/13/do-you-own-your-data/


  23. In Japan, I haven’t heard such a case you say but I think it will be often. But some recruiter begin to seek people who meet their need.

    Here is my post reflecting this post.
    a Japanese famous snowborderfaced a problem by the SNS

  24. [...] Scott over at Publishing 2.0 posted this blog on the potential backlash of social networks, qutoed from the NY Times. [...]

  25. [...] When I predicted a social networking privacy backlash a few months ago, most everyone scoffed. Young people have grown up online. They are used to exposing their lives. They are willingly give up their privacy. They aren’t concerned about the risks. [...]

  26. [...] for a social network backlash? If you have a feeling you’ve seen these before, fatigue and backlash were also predicted for 2007). posted by Jon at 2:49 pm [...]

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