Some attorneys advise that Social Media Background Checks must be conducted on every applicant (and perhaps contractors and employee promotions too) to avoid charges of “Negligent Hiring” or “Negligent Retention.”  Others advise just the opposite, in warning that firms conducting this research internally are exposed to charges of discrimination.

My opinion is that it is irresponsible to NOT do at least some social-media research.  Witness the Sony hack attack in late 2014 around the movie “The Interview,” where many say it was an inside job which maybe could have been precluded had Sony been looking for hackers in advance.  Or the April 2015 splash where a Florida man landed a helicopter on the White House lawn, after tirelessly promoting his plans in advance on the web.

Sure, there are some legal risks, but these are manageable.