It’s easy to find information on people using Facebook and Twitter. When most people sign up for these social networking sites they provide some information about themselves including their age, gender, preferences and home town. In some cases they provide even more information such as facts about their education, work experience and tastes. It’s important to remember that cyberspace and the Internet are a big wild world out there, and people can be extremely creative with their identities when there is nobody to supervise them. The info you get might not be the whole truth.
If you are a prospective employer, sometimes it can be a mistake to find information on people using Facebook and Twitter because you may find misleading or potentially problematic photographs online. Employees have a right to post things on Facebook or Twitter and they may reveal a side of themselves that they won’t bring to the office. It is your duty to interview candidates who meet your criteria and judge them on the basis of their application and of their interview. Your employee may have completely changed since they pasted information about themselves on these sites so they should always be taken with a pinch of salt.
If you are in advertising then these sites are a great way to get an idea of who your target market is. You can have a look at people’s preferences and the groups that they join, or the other people they follow in order to estimate whether or not they would be interested in your product. Of course, this is only an estimate and should be followed up by further market research. What’s important is that any information you find is not yours to sell or share. It is best to have good intentions when you try to find information on people using Facebook and Twitter.