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RUSH: Last night on the CBS Evening News, they had a correspondent there named Vladimir Duthiers. He was reporting how employers are using social media to screen potential recruits. Now, I don’t know if a recruit is a job applicant. I assume that it is. The point of this little sound bite here is that employers are now using social media research to find out about the people who are applying for jobs and to learn about them and make decisions on whether or not to hire people based on social media research. That’s what this report is about. It was on the CBS Evening News last night.


DUTHIERS: Stanford Professor Michal Kosinski uses a computer model to predict personality traits by analyzing what someone likes on Facebook.

KOSINSKI: The surprising thing is that when you combine you liking Lady Gaga, you like some books and movies and maybe comments made by your friends, then actually I can extract much more information from that.


DUTHIERS: Based on the 86,000 Facebook users who participated in the study, the model concluded people who like Shakespeare and 2001: A Space Odyssey were more artistic. People who liked Ford Motor or Rush Limbaugh were more conventional. Liking boxing was a sign of being organized. People who liked vampires were more spontaneous.

RUSH: Do you get this? Did I adequately set this up now that you’ve heard the bite? Do you know what this guy, Stanford Professor Michal Kosinski is selling a service of his, obviously to American companies. He’s telling them that he has research that they can buy from him, his service, and that he can filter every job applicant they have through his formulaic analysis of what people say they like on Facebook, and I guess Twitter. From that he can then tell the employer more information about the prospective employee than the employee will admit or own up to.


So if you go apply for a job that this guy is hired by, XYZ Widget Company hires Stanford Professor Michal Kosinski to analyze a series of applicants, he’s going to find out what they like or don’t like on Facebook, run it through his own formula he’s set up, and he’s going to tell the employer, “Okay, candidate A, here is XY and Z because this candidate likes Lady Gaga.” It’s another little warning here that all of this stuff that you put on Facebook or Twitter or whatever social media, all of this stuff about yourself that you just vomit, that you just announce to everybody, it’s now going to be used either for or against you in ways you never even dreamed. Even down to whether or not you get hired.

So the next time you’re putting down likes, dislikes, thumbs up, thumbs down on Facebook, you better think about it. You better think about what it means if you say you like Jay-Z. No, if you don’t like Jay-Z, what that might tell a future employer, if this guy is hired to analyze applicants that include you. I didn’t play the bite because I’m in it. Because I’m in everything. That’s not why I did it. Although I do find it fascinating, people who liked Ford Motor or Rush Limbaugh are more conventional. That’s good. That’s good, isn’t it? I mean for now. I’m glad I’m not unconventional. (interruption) If you’re from an art company? Well, they can find unconventional.

That’s the point. There’s conventional, there’s the unconventional, there’s the risque, there’s the risk taker. People that are organized. People that are spontaneous, but the point it’s what this guy says it means. And you’ll never know. No, you’ll never know why you’re hired or not. You’ll never know. You’ll never know, for example. You might not get hired because you put down you like Lady Gaga and that might tell the employer XY and Z about you that he doesn’t want to deal with. And you’ll never know. I warned everybody about this. I warned everybody this quest for fame, this desire for everybody to know everything about them.

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