Tuesday, April 24, 2012

CBS Market Watch: "USA Swimming Partners with Social Intelligence Corp"

USA Swimming is playing hardball now with background checks. When one thinks of a back ground check they usually presume a simple criminal and/or employment history... Not these guys. 

What Social Intelligence Corp does is search through any publically accessible social networking sites, which includes posts one has made to the comments section of an article, posts made to any forum, newsgroups, blogs, etc, etc, etc. so as to catalog potential sticky topics like racism, legal transgressions, or otherwise.   

From CBS Market Watch
"... Social Intelligence can assist local member clubs in conducting social network and media searches to gain greater insight into the professional and personal conduct of those entrusted with the safety of club members. "The purpose of providing resources and recommendations on providers is to help clubs conduct a thorough pre-employment screening for potential employees," said Susan Woessner, USA Swimming's Director of Safe Sport. "Social Intelligence Corp. provides expertise in the social media space, and could serve as an excellent addition to a club's hiring process. ..." 

A writer for Gizmodo.com subjected to himself to a background check from the same provider and the results were eye-opening. His article entitled: "I Flunked My Social Media Background Check. Will You?" is a wake-up call for some and a reminder to others why one should watch what they post online.

Apparently, this particular writer had an enormous online presence and subsequently posted early, often and unmeasured. read as 'way unmeasured.' His online profile was not flattering to say the least.

From Gizmodo.com
"... We ran background checks on six Gizmodo employees, including our editor in chief Joe Brown, and all but one came back clean. When it doesn't find anything incriminating on a potential employee, it simply issues a notice that the employees passed (see below) and doesn't generate a file 
And then there's me. I flunked hard. When that happens, Social Intelligence creates a report, which it would then send to an employer. And if you don't get a job because of your social media report, you can request a copy. Mine's filled with delightful details, like "subject admits to use of cocaine as well as LSD," and "subject references use of Ketamine." 
Basically, I may never work again. Yet the report is fascinating to look at. So privacy be damned, we've posted the entire thing online, you can read it at the bottom of this post. We've also annotated it and called out some interesting highlights in the gallery on this page...."


This tells me that USA Swimming is offering tools and services so as to make sure teams have the sort of coaches they want - that USA Swimming does not want to litigate but rather put up "a show of force" so to speak to prevent creepy coaches from coaching on deck.

Is it a perfect answer? I don't know? It is definitely a message that the standards are high for coaches which leads to this question - How will ASCA and their membership respond?

1 comment:

Coach Kacy Ota said...

This is the first I've heard of this, but I think it is great. Not sure how the ASCA Leadership will respond to it, but as a ASCA Member I have no problem with it. We need to clean up our sport. We are told as coaches to have a professional online and personal life. We are to be role models, and we need to live our lives as one. I do social networking and I am a blogger, but I do it in the same way that live my life as a swim coach, morally and ethically correct to the best of my abilities.

High standards is how I'd liked to be measured.

Is it a perfect solution? No, but like you said, at least they are making an effort to get rid of most of the bad apples.