How To Clean Up Your Filthy Social Media Presence

by Stephanie Hayes

If you're a recent college graduate or a rising senior, you may have noticed that many of your Facebook friends seem to have miraculously disappeared lately. Your search for one friend yielded no results. So you tried her nickname, then her middle name, then (in desperation) the name of her beloved childhood pet...still nothing. Suddenly, you realize that your friends haven't all abandoned you, they've simply taken pseudonyms, adopted bizarre spellings, or borrowed their mother's maiden names in an attempt to hide their shameful social media past from future employers. When it's time to find a job, people get social media serious.

Spotting this trend, three men began Social Sweepster, a company that promises to tidy up peoples' social media presence...for a small fee. Targeted towards high-school students applying for college or individuals applying for their first job, Social Sweepster uses a combination of "patent-pending computer vision and language processing" (whatever that means) to "identify pictures of you partying or profane content and allow you to take action." While they currently only work with Facebook and Twitter, they plan to expand to Instagram and Tumblr in due course, and are happy to take suggestions for other social media sites that need tidying.

Unlike other similar services such as SimpleWash and Socially Clean, which focus on keyword searches, Social Sweepster emphasizes scanning photos to remove undesirable visual content. If any regrettable photos are found, users are encourage dto untag, delete, or ask a friend to remove them. After all, a raunchy picture could be worth a thousand profane words...

Vague description aside, I'm wondering why would you pay for something you could do yourself or even have a kind (yet critical) friend do for you? Identifying red SOLO cups and swear words doesn't sound like the most difficult of tasks. Furthermore, I personally don't plan on taking professional tips from a company whose website team includes Tom "the business" McGrath, Tod "Optimus Prime" Curtis, and Ken "It's pronounced Schwarzenegger" Schweikert...and whose website features photos of the staff's faces superimposed onto cartoon bodies. Cute, but no thanks.

I will, however, admit that their blog provides links to a handy collection of articles related to cleansing one's social media presence or the consequences of failing to do so. In case you're looking for quick tips, make sure your Facebook and Twitter follow the guidelines of G-rated movie: no nudity, drug use, sex, or strong language. That means no red cups, weed, or excess skin. Then, remove any immature or inflammatory comments and you should be good to go.