General Question

warpling's avatar

How would a college check a facebook account?

Asked by warpling (849points) February 4th, 2009

I am a senior at a highschool where at least a quarter of those online have changed their facebook full names, so that they are harder to find with a simple search.

I have always watched my privacy settings carefully, and think the name change is stupid considering most people use the same email to register that they use with colleges…

I feel there must be something I’m missing… With all your privacy settings locked down so the most someone who didn’t know you could see was a picture and a name, what is the worry? Why do I see this in the news time and time again? Do they take advantage of peoples “regional settings” and create accounts for each persons home city?

Any discussion or input is appreciated.

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4 Answers

eponymoushipster's avatar

You can lockdown facebook so only friends, whom you’ve approved, can see your profile, aside from the photo and your name (i think school and networks as well). you can also control who can view photos that have you linked to them, so only friends can see those as well.

of course, the best course is to not get involved in anything that might shoot your college aspirations in the foot. or say anything disparaging re: possible future schools you might attend.

cwilbur's avatar

People are stupid. They don’t set their privacy settings appropriately, or they post drunk pictures in places that don’t have privacy settings (such as public blogs).

The best policy overall is to not do anything stupid that will cause a college to deny you admission. The second best policy is, once you have done something that stupid, not to post pictures of it all over the Internet.

dynamicduo's avatar

Yup, it’s the privacy settings. If they have it set so that anyone in their network can see their profile, it’s very easy for a college recruiter to create an account at that high school and peek in to one’s life, even without being friends with the person. There may even be a network of college recruiters who share regional accounts with each other. I know if I had their job, that’s what I would do.

There’s also the fact that even if your privacy settings are tight, if someone else uploads a compromising picture of you and that person doesn’t have iron-clad privacy settings, the picture can be seen.

As cwilbur says, the best policy is discretion. If you wouldn’t want your mum seeing or reading these items regarding you, don’t put them online, and insist that your friends do not put you online either. I’ve had to enforce a 5 picture limit with my sister because she doesn’t realize that 75 pictures of people drinking on one night isn’t interesting, let alone what I want to see representing me on Facebook.

Facebook itself is a very interesting method of communication. But many people (young ones) haven’t realized that discretion is a wise avenue to go down. They’ll learn, eventually, or they won’t. Doesn’t matter much to me.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

The media and college counselors just look for things to work themselves into a spasm about. A lot of them barely understand how the internet works, and have no conception of what facebook is. In my HUMMBLE opinion, most of the people who try to scare you into changing something about your facebook or other internet accounts are either ignorant or just plain stupid, (and they’re mostly henny penny the sky is falling types too) so I wouldn’t worry about it. I feel sorry for your peers who fell for that BS. I got into a top 20 university in the US (in fact, i got into every school i applied to) without lifting a finger on any of my internet accounts (most high schoolers weren’t on facebook then – that makes me kinda old, huh?)

You said you feel you must be missing something? You’re not. They are.

The only thing I would do, is just google search your name the way it will appear on your app, and browse the pages that come up. Usually it’s just random stuff. Some might actually be related to you, some not. As long as none of it is along the lines of “Streaker breaks $3000 library window and his hip” you’re good to go! (Yes, someone I know really can look forward to that being one of the headlines that his name will elicit from google when he applies for jobs – SWEET!)

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