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Social Media and Protecting Reputation

swatttt007

Full Member
Aug 1, 2019
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  1. Pre-Medical
So my general rule with regards to Facebook is that I won't post anything anywhere that I wouldn't be fine with an employer seeing, and I won't post anything political outside of a private group because I don't want to just broadcast my opinions to people who don't want to hear them. I also figure this second measure might at least be a layer of protection against a politically charged adcom snooping around my profile. (I get that private never really means private on the internet but it at least sanitizes things.)

Anyways, a recent trend I've heard of has been that people will go into some of these groups, take screenshots, and then edit them so it looks like you were saying horrible things that you didn't actually say. These fake screenshots then get posted. I'd take full responsibility for anything I actually say, but how can someone protect against someone they've ticked off, for whatever reason, doctoring what they've said? What can someone's defense be to this?
 
Jun 11, 2010
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Somewhere west of St. Louis
  1. Non-Student
So my general rule with regards to Facebook is that I won't post anything anywhere that I wouldn't be fine with an employer seeing, and I won't post anything political outside of a private group because I don't want to just broadcast my opinions to people who don't want to hear them. I also figure this second measure might at least be a layer of protection against a politically charged adcom snooping around my profile. (I get that private never really means private on the internet but it at least sanitizes things.)

Anyways, a recent trend I've heard of has been that people will go into some of these groups, take screenshots, and then edit them so it looks like you were saying horrible things that you didn't actually say. These fake screenshots then get posted. I'd take full responsibility for anything I actually say, but how can someone protect against someone they've ticked off, for whatever reason, doctoring what they've said? What can someone's defense be to this?
Honestluy, I've never heard of that.

But altered posts do have clues that show that they've been altered. One needs tech savvy friends to be able to suss them out, though.
 
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deleted1005514

Don’t have social media
Easier said than done in 2020. If I didn't have facebook, I would have no access to some of the materials our tutors post or classmates share. However, I have the most boring social media profile ever...literally not even a photo of me, and zero posts. I use it strictly to be able to view stuff for my class.
 
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swatttt007

Full Member
Aug 1, 2019
57
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  1. Pre-Medical
It would probably be easier if you told us what there is a screenshot of you *not* saying
I don't know if there's any of me, I just know it's a thing people in the groups have been bringing up recently. It's more theoretical as it applies to me right now. If I actually saw one of me I'm sure Facebook has a report function or something so I could take care of it. I'm more worried of the possibility that there is something floating out there that I don't know about.

However, the examples I've seen so far has been comments getting doctored from very mainstream political takes to "kill all [X group of people]", or "why do these people have rights anyway?", or "[insert slur here]". I've not posted anything close to that level of prejudice which is why I'd be very upset if I found someone claiming I had.

Also, usually I've been very uninvolved with social media for reasons exactly like what I've been describing here, but social distancing means this is one of the few ways I can actually connect with friends. You're probably right to say I shouldn't engage with it so much, but easier said than done sometimes.
 

swatttt007

Full Member
Aug 1, 2019
57
67
56
  1. Pre-Medical
It would probably be easier if you told us what there is a screenshot of you *not* saying
This was the post I saw that made me worried about this, if that helps.

"Its been bought to the attention of multiple admins that some people are just entering this group to screenshot comments, editing them and posting them in the X group.

People are falsely claiming that this group is filled with hateful and offensive commentary. The admins and moderators do a very thorough job in making sure there is no racism, bigotry, etc. It is Rule #1. If there is something we may have missed, bring it to our attention.

To all members who are here to commit acts with bad intentions: We ask you to please respect our group. You are more than welcome to engage in debate/civil arguements.
Take care."
 

JanetSnakehole

I’m a very rich widow with a terrible secret.
2+ Year Member
Jun 18, 2018
806
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the West Coast
  1. Medical Student
I don't know if there's any of me, I just know it's a thing people in the groups have been bringing up recently. It's more theoretical as it applies to me right now. If I actually saw one of me I'm sure Facebook has a report function or something so I could take care of it. I'm more worried of the possibility that there is something floating out there that I don't know about.

However, the examples I've seen so far has been comments getting doctored from very mainstream political takes to "kill all [X group of people]", or "why do these people have rights anyway?", or "[insert slur here]". I've not posted anything close to that level of prejudice which is why I'd be very upset if I found someone claiming I had.

Also, usually I've been very uninvolved with social media for reasons exactly like what I've been describing here, but social distancing means this is one of the few ways I can actually connect with friends. You're probably right to say I shouldn't engage with it so much, but easier said than done sometimes.

IDK if the same holds true in the realm of educational admissions, but I know if a company were to take adverse action against an employee after receiving unsolicited and unsubstantiated information from a third party, the company could get in a lot of legal trouble.

I saw this occasionally at the companies I used to work for. We would sometimes receive potentially damaging information, photos, documents, accusations etc. from an employee’s ex-spouse or disgruntled neighbor or whatever. All that stuff got immediately reported to our lawyers and then destroyed. Management wanted absolutely nothing to do with it. I’d imagine it works the same in admissions offices.

That said, if someone is applying to medical school but has an offensive, violent, or racist social media footprint and there are now legitimate screenshots floating around, they may want to seek legal advice.
 
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swatttt007

Full Member
Aug 1, 2019
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  1. Pre-Medical
That said, if someone is applying to medical school but has an offensive, violent, or racist social media footprint and there are now legitimate screenshots floating around, they may want to seek legal advice.
I'm sure there probably is some sort of defamation or libel case that could be pursued here, considering I haven't said what people would be claiming I said. The issue is, how do I know to pursue those remedies when I don't know whether or not that stuff about me exists?

I guess on the one hand, I'd imagine I would know about something before medical schools did, as I'm sure I'd be getting messages from friends asking me if it was true. On the other hand, I've seen and heard so many stories of people going down for the tiniest things that I'm really neurotic about all this.
Are there ways to scan myself similar to what an employer/adcom would do?
 

JanetSnakehole

I’m a very rich widow with a terrible secret.
2+ Year Member
Jun 18, 2018
806
1,856
126
the West Coast
  1. Medical Student
I'm sure there probably is some sort of defamation or libel case that could be pursued here, considering I haven't said what people would be claiming I said. The issue is, how do I know to pursue those remedies when I don't know whether or not that stuff about me exists?

I guess on the one hand, I'd imagine I would know about something before medical schools did, as I'm sure I'd be getting messages from friends asking me if it was true. On the other hand, I've seen and heard so many stories of people going down for the tiniest things that I'm really neurotic about all this.
Are there ways to scan myself similar to what an employer/adcom would do?

I mean, you don’t know what you don’t know, so you’re right, I guess. There’s no way to protect yourself against a future scenario in which some unknown actor tries to sabotage you in some unanticipated way.

All I’m saying is that human beings have been attempting to sabotage and embarrass one another since the beginning of time. Anyone can spread lies about you to anyone else, and it’s not just limited to your social media interactions, I might add. “This is a doctored screenshot made by someone trying to hurt me” is a legitimate, understandable defense.

If enough fake information about you exists out there that it comes up in a basic Google search of your name+schools+location, then yeah - you might want to lawyer up and figure out how to preemptively protect yourself. But if you can’t find anything with a thorough vetting of your social media history, do you really think an adcom is going to spend so much time digging that they find something you don’t? You’re one of thousands of applicants, after all. Nobody is going to undergo that much effort.
 
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deleted1005514

This was the post I saw that made me worried about this, if that helps.

"Its been bought to the attention of multiple admins that some people are just entering this group to screenshot comments, editing them and posting them in the X group.

People are falsely claiming that this group is filled with hateful and offensive commentary. The admins and moderators do a very thorough job in making sure there is no racism, bigotry, etc. It is Rule #1. If there is something we may have missed, bring it to our attention.

To all members who are here to commit acts with bad intentions: We ask you to please respect our group. You are more than welcome to engage in debate/civil arguements.
Take care."

Honestly if it's worrying you that much, I would delete my posts and leave the group. Google your full name and see what comes up in the first few pages. I doubt anyone is going to go digging deep in the depths of google looking for dirt on you.
 
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jhmmd

supernatural
Apr 28, 2020
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desert highway
There's nothing wrong with having social media accounts, as long as you don't post anything that you wouldn't want an adcom to see. I would agrue that the benefit of networking through social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, etc. can outweigh the cons of having an account. Just use your discretion.
 
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jurassicpark

Sith Overlord
2+ Year Member
Oct 19, 2018
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Death Star III
  1. Attending Physician
So my general rule with regards to Facebook is that I won't post anything anywhere that I wouldn't be fine with an employer seeing, and I won't post anything political outside of a private group because I don't want to just broadcast my opinions to people who don't want to hear them. I also figure this second measure might at least be a layer of protection against a politically charged adcom snooping around my profile. (I get that private never really means private on the internet but it at least sanitizes things.)

Anyways, a recent trend I've heard of has been that people will go into some of these groups, take screenshots, and then edit them so it looks like you were saying horrible things that you didn't actually say. These fake screenshots then get posted. I'd take full responsibility for anything I actually say, but how can someone protect against someone they've ticked off, for whatever reason, doctoring what they've said? What can someone's defense be to this?

Yes, we are finally understanding what we should and should not be broadcasting over social media and the general dangers social media poses. When an entire argument is boiled down to a picture of a cat snarling over a salad. Someone's life can be ruined with a meme.

As pagingdoctormom said, there could be some type of forensics investigation or comparison. But most people don't have the patience to view and weigh evidence, and will usually latch on to the juicer one to "share." It's a difficult situation, especially when something innocent you said can be taken way out of context because people can't infer inflection/tone/etc..

You will have to do just the absolute best you can in terms of discretion and privacy, how you would when you're talking amongst a group of people you don't know that well. Or the other end is not to have any social media presence on the internet itself.
 
Jun 11, 2010
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Somewhere west of St. Louis
  1. Non-Student
From an adcom's perspective, what do you think would happen?
In general, someone sending in info trying to sabotage an applicant is treated exactly as that, sabotage.

I suppose that the wily old Admissions Dean would still be obligated to do due diligence and check out the accusation.
 
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