Social media intelligence (SMI or SOCMINT) refers to the collective tools and solutions that allow organizations to analyze conversations, respond to social signals and synthesize social data points into meaningful trends and analysis, based on the clients needs. Social media intelligence allows one to utilize intelligence gathering from social media sites, using both intrusive or non-intrusive means, from open and closed social networks.
Given the dynamic evolution of social media and social media monitoring, social media monitoring creates and supports business value.
Various social media platforms on the Internet such as Twitter, Tumblr (micro-blogging websites), Facebook (a popular social networking website), YouTube (largest video sharing and hosting website) and Linkedin can being misused by extremist groups for spreading their beliefs and ideologies, promoting radicalization, recruiting members and creating online virtual communities sharing a common agenda. Popular microblogging websites such as Twitter are being used as a real-time platform for information sharing and communication during planning and mobilization of civil unrest related events.
Social media intelligence services provided by Motley Matrix refers to content generation, dissemination, and communication among online communities. Traditional verification processes are fulfilled prior to services rendered.
Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) is the collection and analysis of information that is gathered from public, or open sources. Motley Matrix defines its OSINT sources as divided up into six different categories of information flow:
Social Media Background Investigations (SMBIs)
In order to conduct effective background investigations, it is important to consider adding social media to the mix. With more than 5.4 billion users on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter, social media sites are a wealth of information about the candidates applying for jobs at your company and the employees who work for you.
Over the past five years, the reliance on social media in the background investigation process has grown exponentially. Companies filling positions routinely conduct background investigations to make sure their potential candidates do not have a criminal record or could be a danger to others in the workplace. When reviewing your pre-employment screening process, Social Media Hiring Reports should supplement a routine background investigation to mitigate risk and provide due diligence before a hiring decision is made.
A York University faculty member was fired for allegedly sharing anti-Semitic posts on his public Facebook page. If your company is trying to establish a workforce that shares a core value of integrity and tolerance toward others, screening a candidate’s social media presence can alert decision makers to a possible applicant who may not be a good fit. Screening a person before they are hired is preferable to firing someone who already works for you.
People.com reported the story of an applicant who was given a job offer and told all he had to do was pass a drug test. Shortly after, someone at the company saw his Facebook post that read, “S***! Anyone know how to pass a drug test in 24 hours?!” Needless to say, this person was fired before they were hired. Other types of illegal activity that are typically posted online include references to buying, selling or taking drugs. A simple social media scan as part of your background investigation process can avoid hiring a candidate with problematic behavior.
A postal worker announced on Facebook that she wanted to kill her boss and provided disturbing details of how she would do it. With workplace violence an ever-present danger, performing social media scans in order to conduct effective background investigations will assure your current and potential hires do not have violent tendencies and extremist, radical beliefs. Checking a candidate's online presence is an important step to make sure your company and the people who work for you are safe and your pre-employment screening process is efficient.
While it’s not appropriate for any position, some jobs demand a higher level of social responsibility. For example, a math teacher who had access to children posted near-nude photos of herself, used sexually suggestive language and tweeted about getting high. Including social media hiring reports in the background investigation process can confirm that job candidates and employees are behaving in ways that are aligned with the corporate culture. It is better to know and deal with the problem now then later when the situation could become public and rather embarrassing.
Social media hiring reports help companies protect and manage their reputation, enhance workplace safety and protect information security. The more you know about who is working for you or coming on your premises, the safer your company will be.
All searches must be conducted following EEOC and FCRA guidelines taking privacy matters into consideration with Federal and State protected classes redacted. In addition, it is important to secure appropriate consent, use a third party to conduct the research, and document all steps and searches.
Many industries have taken advantage of the trend to include social media investigations in their background checks. According to Jonathan A. Segal, contributing editor of HR Magazine, “Social Media is no longer cutting-edge; it’s mainstream. For HR to overlook it today would be like ignoring email 20 years ago.” As for current employees, it is important to proactively set social media policies that set limits on what will and won’t be tolerated so that everyone has a clear understanding of what offenses can result in termination. Having a non-discriminatory standard process for all employees and applicants is a best practice to legally conduct social media background investigations and protect your company from risk.