16 Ways to Raise Red Flags on a Social Media Screening Report

Photo by Zachary Keimig on Unsplash

Each week, Social Intelligence completes hundreds of social media reports for companies that are screening their potential hires or current employees. As a result, we receive loads of questions from employers and individuals alike about what kinds of posts will raise red flags on a social media report. Red flag content runs the gamut from off-color comments to video admissions of potentially serious crimes.

While we don’t tell our clients what to do with our reports once we’ve finished them, the types of posts we screen on a daily basis definitely show up in local news (and sometimes national news) outlets as content that has gotten employees fired from a range of positions and industries. To give you an illustration of what type of content might pop up on a report, we’ve compiled a list of news stories where an employee has been fired for the content they’ve posted online. To make it easy, we’ve broken it down by filter:


Consider this...

  1. Joke about police violence
  2. Joke about bombings
  3. Post of memes threatening violence
  4. Video modeling violence
  5. Statement that endorses violence

While it certainly depends on context, yes, humor and memes are absolutely something to consider when screening for social media. Humor is often a revealing insight into somebody’s personality and values. Think of it this way: if misogynist jokes made in the office raise red flags about an employee, then why wouldn’t similar jokes do the same in a different format?

Potentially illegal activity

Consider this...

  1. Post about consuming marijuana in a state where it’s still illegal
  2. Post about consuming cocaine 
  3. Post boasting about high-end shoplifting
  4. Post bragging about stealing prescription pills 
  5. Post bragging about committing unemployment fraud


Consider this...

  1. Video involving racial slurs, even if it’s in an educational context
  1. Note: This example occurred over in a live zoom session, which means that the woman wouldn’t have posted the incident herself and it would not have been found on a social media report. However, news articles or screen-grabbed footage associated with this woman’s name might have cropped up. 
  1.  Post containing openly racist comments
  2.  Post containing antisemitic comments
  3.  Post containing transphobic comments
  4.  Post containing islamophobic comments

Sexually explicit content

Consider this...

  1.  Video featuring employees with a stripper on a jobsite

Concerned about these types of content? Learn more about how preventing a hostile workplace starts with having an effective social media policy.

Concerned about your own social media? Consider adopting social media hygiene practices for a healthier personal and professional life.

Still have questions about social media screening? Get in touch!