The Corner

Does Your Internet Background Check Say You’re Racist?

My Forbes colleague Kashmir Hill has a post up about a new background-check company called Social Intelligence, which surveys your Facebook, Twitter, and other online accounts for compromising material. So, yes, those Twitpics of you in your underwear just might catch the eye of future employers. No surprise there.

But one of Hill’s examples of Social Intelligence’s work was more insidious. A candidate who joined a Facebook group entitled, “I shouldn’t have to press 1 for English. We are in the United States. Learn the language” was designated as having “other obvious racist leaning or proclivities” by the company’s software.

Somehow I doubt that those signing up for Facebook groups supporting, say, universal health care are being designated by Social Intelligence as having “other obvious Bolshevik leaning or proclivities.”

Avik RoyMr. Roy, the president of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity, is a former policy adviser to Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and Marco Rubio.

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