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Social media cleansing refers to a person’s attempt to clean up his or her social media presence online, often for the purposes of helping them get a job. Employers often check out potential employees online. Therefore, potential employees who have posted pictures, comments or text that could prevent candidates from making a favorable impression on an employer may look to clean up their profiles.
According to a CareerBuilder survey taken in 2009, 45 percent of employers use social media sites to screen potential employees. In addition, most of the surveyed employers reported finding more negative information about potential hires than positive. The process of vetting candidates through social media is referred to as social media snooping, and it can cost candidates who may have posted embarrassing or unprofessional content on social media sites to miss out on a job. As such, job seekers may engage in social media cleansing by updating privacy settings, removing embarrassing photos and running searches on their names to turn up other areas where damaging information about them may appear online.