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Klout Caught in Kerfuffle Over Harvested Facebook Data

Not all of us are social media mavens. Some people visit Facebook on the rare occasion when they have a photo to share or big news to tell. But to Klout and other networks, one visit is as good as an addiction because one visit is all it takes to leave a footprint behind.

The New York Times has a feature story up about Maggie McGary, a mom who makes her living as a social media manager. She was upset when she discovered a Klout profile for her under-aged son. Klout built the profile because the boy was Facebook friends with his mom, which made him fair game. Klout pulled his info and set up a profile without asking for permission and with no regard to the fact that he was a young teen.

Caught, Klout has discontinued that practice but that doesn’t mean the social media world is now safe. It’s not. It turns out that social media is like a giant game of Crack the Whip. Friending or following a person is like grabbing hold of the person in front of you. then your friends grab on to you and their friends to them and so on. Now, where the head goes, the body and tail go, too, like it or not.

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I saw this process first hand over the weekend thanks to my husband. He’s a novice social media player with a Facebook account and nothing more. On Sunday, I woke up to him pounding away on his keyboard in frustration. He had forgotten his LinkedIn login information and so he couldn’t accept his friend’s link request.

Huh. Why do you have a LinkedIn account, I asked. Because people I know keep sending email invites asking me to follow them, he responded. Why do they do that?

Good question. The way people throw around social media invites, you’d think there was a prize for reaching your quota by month’s end. A lot of these interactions occur because of that old “suggestibility” gene. They suggest you invite a friend based on your Facebook interactions and so you do. The only “gain” is a hike in your social media worth. More friends and followers on Klout means a higher Klout score. And since some companies use Klout scores to determine the power of a blogger or potential employee, it could be a number worth fighting for.

The moral of this story is that it’s not just what you put online, but who you follow that could get you in trouble. We are now in an age where a consumer may or may not decide to hire you based on who and what they see on your social media pages.

If your Uncle Rupert is posting inflammatory remarks on a daily basis, it’s time to cut the family ties before his remarks come back to haunt you.

  • http://www.garious.com/ Aaron Eden

    Now, this reminds me of the ‘three blind mice’ .. and we are blindly following everyone without thinking that we don’t really own these social networking sites, and other free social media platforms out there. The news you’ve shared is quite intriguing and profiling a person these days is just as easy as a speed of type – all you have to do is type in a search for the name and you’ll be amazed at what might actually pop up. Your last statement is quite hilarious ( and it rings a bell ): “If your Uncle Rupert is posting inflammatory remarks on a daily basis, it’s time to cut the family ties before his remarks come back to haunt you.” But then again, I think the Social Web has become a megaphone for our personal rants and raves..

  • http://www.trpartner.com Jason

    hi cynthia boris
    how are you
    all you have to do is type in a search for the name and you’ll be amazed at what might actually pop up.