How your online reputation can kill a job for you. After reading a few articles related to this topic, I can understand how it's fair game by companies searching for someone that will be safe for their image.
If you're a company whom lives by the reputation of having a professional staff by image and often sell that image as part of your success, why not be overly cautious and do simple background checks. It's free data provided by the individual. Most companies currently do background checks using several organizations that make it their business to gather as much history as possible.
If you're a banking institution, you certainly don't want to hire a person whom has a record of being a thief or scam artist. Company also view credit history and scores to see how reliable individual are in there finances.
The internet is a powerful snooping tool, I often use it myself to find out whose living around me and shhhhhh, what kind of dirt can I find on my kids new soccer coach. In this day and time, it's very difficult to trust.
Even though you seldom find enough information to draw a conclusion, I agree it takes only one item available for public viewing that can help paint a very bad picture.
In this time of cyber reputation, there have been many company created to search and undo what is consider to be damaging. Several of these companies boast about having a 100% success rate. Don't know what they could possible correct about a bad photo except maybe putting some famous celebrity head on my body and calling it "some other Charles Smith web page". Hey if that works, I'll never use my ugly mug again.
The company I currently work for is a fine example of creating and maintain a clean reputation, we sell Church Insurance.
Check out this link for those in the business world whom have our best interest at heart. This was a great article on PC World.http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/216399/how_to_clean_up_your_online_reputation.html