Clarifications: Reuters Coverage on Facebook News Release

Thursday, May 8, 2008 0 No tags Permalink 0

Yesterday I was interviewed by Reuters on our recent news release. As with most interviews related to polling results, there are some things that get a little lost in translation and edited.

Please note the following clarifications on their article “Facebook users willing to let employers see profiles” by Claire Sibonney.


Almost half of 1,200 people questioned in an online survey said they would be comfortable sharing their personal profile with their current employer, while two in five would consider letting prospective employers look at their Facebook account in addition to their resume.

Clarification: Poll was population representative of 1,200 online Canadians. Of which, 51% were Facebook members. It is this 51% that these findings apply to.


The poll showed that out of Facebook’s 9 million Canadian members, almost 9 in 10 adults aged 18 to 34 use the site. Singh suggested that more people are censoring potentially embarrassing information.

Clarification: Based on Facebook membership stats, when proxied against the Canadian population (2006 Census) yields the estimate of “almost 9 in 10 adults aged 18 to 34 use the site.” Our survey indicates 74% of those 18 to 34 years are members of Facebook. Assuming that there may be persons with multiple profiles and that there may be some small concerns with the reporting sample, the truth may be somewhere in between.

The “censoring” reference relates this quote:

“The days of getting drunk and getting all your pictures posted online, that’s gone,” he said.

What I said: Almost two-thirds of Facebook users feel that their profile is an accurate representation of who they are. While there may be a time in their youth that their profile may contain the usual silliness of pictures getting drunk, people are savvy about employers searching for their profiles and related postings online. So when these member enter the working world, they would likely tailor their profile to be more professional but still reflective of their personality. I also noted that Facebook has sophisticated privacy settings should a member want to limit access to who views their profile.

Everything else was accurate.

Fact remains, Facebook is great tool for screening and attracting talent (and getting a sense of a candidate’s personality and organization fit), and presents great platform for building a vibrant company culture (with ample examples of companies who have done so already).

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