The Importance Of Social Media Vetting
July 25, 2018

The Importance Of Social Media Vetting

Disney’s decision last week to fire “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn, after offensive Tweets he posted several years ago were unearthed, sent shockwaves through Hollywood. While fans and industry insiders are still trying to process the news, to opposition researchers, this was just another example of companies – even ones of Disney’s stature – failing to do their due diligence.

By now, basic background checks are routine at most companies. Checking professional histories, criminal records, and financial disclosures is usually standard operating procedure. But at Definers, we go beyond the traditional process. We conduct campaign-style research vetting that often catches red flags and vulnerabilities that standard vetting can overlook. This includes a full and thorough scrub of social media profiles. In an age where the pervasive influence of social media is virtually inescapable, we’re seeing now just how critical it is to the overall vetting process.

A campaign-style mentality also sees angles that the traditional vetting process at companies might not deem significant. We’re not just looking for controversial posts or offensive statements a person has directly made. Who does this person follow? What posts have they liked, shared, or retweeted? What pictures have they made public?

Yes, this usually means scrolling down through feeds and pages for hours on end. But I’m sure companies would agree that it’s all worth it if it means saving them from public criticism, negative press, and potentially millions in lost revenue down the road.

For public figures and executives alike, the cause of their downfall may no longer just be skeletons in the closet. It might be right there in the open.

All anyone has to do is keep scrolling.