Simply put, it is when information derived from social media, rumor, and our connections are used as a sole or major reason for making a decision, without substantiating it.
I had a friend of mine who is very very good at his job. He also got good reviews, was a top performer, and according to everyone I know, is considered as good as it gets. He interviewed with a company, but not only did he not get the job, but he was told he was not the right fit for the company. I was curious what had happened, so I contacted someone I knew in the HR department at the company, to see what happened.
I came to find that someone checked out my friend’s Linkedin profile and noticed one of the companies my friend worked at in the past was a company he knew a lot of people who also had worked there. So he decided to contact a few to see what they knew. He contacted five. Gour of them came back great, but the one that did not said some pretty bad things. These things were shared with the hiring manager, and, well, there you go.
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The interesting thing is all of the bad things that were said were wrong, and actually a lie. The person who said them was someone who got fired, and my friend was involved. The person got fired for stealing and falsifying information and my friend had to write a statement about what he knew. The statement was pretty incriminating.
This is an example of social media used wrong. Someone contacted someone, asked a question, and took the answers as gospel instead of thinking for themselves or asking the candidate for an explanation, or looking into it at all. Instead they took what was said as gospel, and lost out on a great candidate.