It’s one of those things that we were warned about years ago but didn’t really take heed of: in today’s world, you have a lot less privacy. People have unprecedented opportunities to humiliate themselves more easily and to a much wider audience than ever before. And increasingly, it’s costing them their jobs.
It’s hard to estimate exactly how many big companies actively do research into a candidate’s social media background before a hiring decision (or as a reason to fire), but it’s a safe bet to assume that a very large number do. As this article points out, anything controversial (not necessarily blatant bad behaviour) can raise eyebrows. IT recruitment firms, for one, are doing their best to educated candidates on how to disengage their personal and professional social media profiles, but for whatever reason, we’re seeing more and more stories about people who got burned.