Facebook Background Checks

Gun Purchase: DENIED. 

What if you couldn’t buy a gun because of your Facebook posts?

While I normally like to post about technology innovation, I am captivated by the impact of technologies as well.  Recent articles have brought attention to the impact side of technologies – particular the use of data that we are knowingly posting on the internet.

It may be stating the obvious, but what we share with the public is information that can be analyzed by anyone.  And, not just public information about your interests, demographics, or buying power, but potentially data that can assist mental health professionals in assessing your mental well being.  The NRA might have a hissy-fit on this revelation.  Or not?

Mashable recently posted an article, “Your Facebook Profile Could Determine Mental Illness” on studies that have been conducted in controlled environments, but how long before retailers or the government might want to assess your posts?


For now, we don’t think we have someone trying to make these connections.  Questions that come up around your rights as a Facebook user, an Internet user or even an American citizen.  But how soon before your internet posts are viewed as a way that can help determine your mental health?  How soon before it is data that is used to inform mental health professionals?  How soon before mental health professionals or others are allowed to access this data?  Is it too early to be paranoid?

Personal accountability of our posts will be the first step to the protection of our identity and security.   The next step is laws and/or lawsuits.  We need to take action on the former before the latter is invoked.

The Huff Post writer, Craig Kanalley, suggests that some of us may want to go on a Facebook Diet.  If we think of our usage as consumption, maybe the suggestion has merit in the article, “Addicted To Facebook? It May Be Time To Rethink Your Priorities, Consider A “Facebook Diet””.

When I think of the posts that I’ve made since joining Facebook, I think they are relatively benign.  Others might not think so, but I do.  That said, I’m trying to be more responsible in 2013.  We’ll see if that pans out.   One thing is certain, I hardly think it’s possible to post without going overboard or appearing crazy to at least 1 of my “friends”.


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