In the last few weeks, we’ve seen how the internet literally does not forget. We’ve seen incidences of people whose videos and tweets were dug up from the past and brought to life is 2020. From Miss South Africa hopeful Bianca to Miss Universe Zozi Thunzi. Someone sat and thought; “What can I do with my internet today?” and proceeded to get tweets from the past but there’s something to learn here.
A few weeks ago I had an interview on POWER 98.7’s POWER Up with Kwena Moabelo discussing “The Internet Doesn’t Forget” with two other digital experts. Here are a few pointers that came from that conversation.
It’s not just a tweet
Everything you put out on social media is a representation of you and every aspect of your life; your personal brand, relationships, and employers. So it doesn’t help to say “RT’s do not represent my employers” on your bio, because it does. Now more than ever we are judged by the content we put out online. People have gotten jobs because of it while others lost their jobs because of a single tweet.
Your online presence is part of your CV
Your employers search for you online before an interview. They do this to view and access your character before they meet you. Your CV is a well-documented overview of your qualifications, while your online presence is an overview of who you are. Social media attorney Emma Sandler once said “If you wouldn’t put it on a huge billboard on the side of the road for everyone to see, you shouldn’t say it on social media.”. I live by those words.
I’ve also been in meetings where an influencer lost out on a gig because of the things he tweeted. Everything was all set until the client went on their feed and found tweets on a newly developed silicone sex doll. It’s all good and well to keep people informed about “news” but think about whether or not that serves your bigger picture. If it represents you.
Touch is a move
Last but not least, just because you deleted something on a social media platform, doesn’t mean it has been entirely deleted. No matter what you do, you can never guarantee that something has been entirely scrubbed from the internet. The cookies, caches, and people’s ability to screenshot and screen record mean that it almost doesn’t matter how quickly you take down a post, chances are someone has spotted it and nabbed it for the future.
There is a cloud that stores archives, much like the recycling bin on your laptop. The stuff you delete is still stored in there, and even if you delete it, there’s a separate cloud that stores deleted items.
Kwena asked during the show if the employer can hold it against you when you post prayers on your feed or jokes. Can those be excused as not being out of character? By law, an employer cannot discriminate against you because of your religion but there’s no law that protects your jokes.
When in doubt, just don’t put it out there. Catch the full podcast here: