Should law students delete their MySpace.com page? Like any good law student would say: “It depends.”
If you have a MySpace page, there are some very important questions you should consider to protect your career and privacy.
Employers May See Your MySpace Page. More and more employers are doing internet searches or hiring search firms to do background checks on employees. This probably includes law firms.
MySpace Pages May Be Embarrassing. I’ve seen law students with MySpace.com pages showing drunk pictures or sexually suggestive photos. These student may not realize that by listing their law school, using their full name, or using their e-mail address, anyone can search MySpace and find their page.
Your MySpace Page May Be Archived. The fact that the web page is archived on the WayBackMachine for all eternity means that deleting the MySpace page may not delete all copies of it. The WayBackMachine seeks to make copies of all web pages so people can see what was posted on a web page at a certain point in time. Fortunately, the WayBackMachine does not archive MySpace. But other services, such as Google’s cache, may maintain a copy of your MySpace page even after you change the content.
Because of the importance of reputation in the legal field, law students must be especially careful. Normally information posted on a MySpace page is personal, and not intended for a professional audience. If this includes you, here are a few suggestions.
If you must have a MySpace page, then do this:
- Delete your current MySpace page
- Open a new MySpace account under a new e-mail address that you use only for MySpace, so that no one can use your current e-mail address to look you up.
- Do not put your full name on your MySpace page.
- Do not put on your MySpace page what schools you have attended.
- Do not put on your MySpace page any photos or words you wouldn’t want an employer to see.
You could also consider setting your MySpace page to “private.”
Conclusion. Many students don’t realize their MySpace page could come back to haunt them. It may be unfortunate, but this is the reality in our new Internet era. If your MySpace page has photos or comments you wouldn’t want a potential employer or potential client to see, take the action listed above.