Google v. Background Check

Today we Google everyone.  We may read lots of negative things about a person that we Google. Section 230c of the Communications Decency Act,  protects Freedom of Speech on the Internet, but it does not protect the victims of  malicious or defamatory speech.  Unless or until law catches up with this  Willful Blindness,  as a victim you may need to prove your own character by using a private investigator. This is now coming to the attention of law enforcement and in some jurisdictions and countries it is becoming legislated and can be prosecuted.  In the UK there are statutes.  Here in the United States the term CyberHate is coming of age and a push towards prosecution is under way, Hate Crimes in CyberSpace. We may read very positive things about a person that we Google.  Have you ever thought about who creates the websites that have the web ranking that rise to the top of Google’s search engines?  Google and other search engines like Google are indexes that have web crawlers. The web crawlers search for key words and take us to sites that contain information about the subjects we are searching.  There are many very powerful websites that refuse to take things down because they claim to protect people from companies or individuals that “rip people off.”  Every time someone clicks it makes advertising dollars for the websites, so there is a price attached to Shame.  Google has claimed to have algorithms that precludes them from keeping these websites from posting negative or derogatory information but in light of a recent Australian Supreme Court ruling Google and other search engine may have to address this situation Google Sued. Have we ever thought that some of the things posted could could be written by people with personal vendettas come to be known as cyberbullying Pew Study Report on Cyberbullying? Have we ever thought if any of the things posted are true?  Any person can buy a domain, have it hosted and create their own website and write glowing reviews all day to have themselves appear as if they have “halos over their heads.”  There are “reputation repair companies,” Forbes that can help anyone with a “bad reputation,” who has the money to pay for it, fix their reputation by hiring a their company to place good posts with high web ranking that will appear high up on search engines, ahead of those that show them in a bad light.    Google is great for finding restaurants, reading the news and watching YouTube videos, but if we have a legitimate need to vet someone for hiring, dating, marriage, employment, rental of your property or other important and legitimate reason, we need to go to source documents for information that is verifiable and accurate.  There are also places known to be credible sources Credible Sources  Tampa Bay Investigations can help us do this.  Tampa Bay investigators go to courthouses to retrieve documents to verify accuracy of things posted on the internet.  Tampa Bay Investigations ensure that documents posted on the internet have not been redacted, copied and pasted and or altered, Photoshopped or otherwise enhanced.  All verified and signed legal documents are filed with courthouses and are kept there and recorded in ledgers with page numbers and these are the types of source documents needed to prove backgrounds once initial recognized industry standard database research has been conducted.

Tampa Bay Investigators have seen posts  written about peoples’ businesses when they did not even own a business at that time they were being posted about.  Tampa Bay Investigators have seen people being associated with a current business so that attempts are made for them to lose current business revenue.  The allegations made could be false. The allegations could have nothing to do with them as a business owner.  Business records and corporate documents are filed with State Divisions of Corporations and all have dates that individuals have gone into and out of business, all this is verifiable.  Tampa Bay investigators know the ins and outs of finding all of this information and packaging it so that there is a comprehensive, thorough, verifiable and accurate profile of any person or business we are looking to investigate for a legitimate purpose.

If the person is a public servant, a Tampa Bay investigator can conduct a Freedom of Information (FOIA)  request that could verify facts about service of a public servant during the time of the service for that person.  If they are a business owner, a Tampa Bay investigator can do searches to validate the credibility of the business and its practices.

It is unfortunate that any individual(s) can choose to make it an endeavor to attempt to discredit someone’s name for personal agenda or gain, and those others with agendas can jump on a negative bandwagons of sensationalism to further do so. It is quite easy to threaten someone who is already a victim of character assassination in an anonymous way through the internet to attempt to harm them.  This happens quite often in the cyber world.  Tampa Bay investigators uncover it mostly with children and teenagers but it happens to adults too.

In this world and in human nature, it is unfortunate that there exists an underbelly of individuals that focus on the negative and feed off of energy that is not focused towards positive endeavors.  It is also unfortunate that there are others who prey upon unsuspecting victims.  In the entertainment world and sports world Tampa Bay investigators uncover it with the paparazzi and the manifestation of misquoting to have stories sensationalized.  Tampa Bay investigators can verify the accuracy, veracity and credibility of high profile cases through comprehensive interviewing, background checking and  source document searching.

Over the course of the many years of the aging of the internet,  posts have existed and remain on the internet and they have served to assist Tampa Bay investigators at our agency understand that they can help in the vetting of people  who could have been problematic in the lives of our clients and their businesses and or personal lives. The posts and repercussions from them can be used in a positive way to preclude people who believe negative posts on Google or other search engines as a way of eliminating those who judge without doing further research. Judging someone tells more about you than about the person you are judging.  Judging without the facts makes the endeavor worse.  It can also put you in a precarious legal circumstance if you have any assets and if you use the information you find on Google to screen out viable candidates without verifying that the information you found is true and accurate depending upon your jurisdiction and local laws and statutes.  For this you would need to consult an attorney.

Internet cyber bullying, character assassination and other falsehoods posted is a serious thing.  If you are conducting a background check, it is important that  information is obtained from a licensed professional  that passes the tests of validity and veracity.  It is important, if you are the victim of these types of crimes and these potentially civil actionable events that you find out who is perpetrating them against you.  Tampa Bay investigators can help with these searches.

As a Tampa Bay investigator assigned to cases, I have used cases like this to  illustrate the “google research method,” as case studies and in many of the classes I teach as an instructor in criminal justice programs, and it has given students a lesson in going to source documents rather than doing cursory Google searches, as many times Google is filled with links to sites that have incorrect information.  In the same way colleges do not allow “wikipedia” for a bibliography, Google and the links it takes you to, are not always credible sources that can be used for verifiable purposes.
It is due to many of the lessons I have learned in doing the appropriate research,  in my capacity as a Tampa Bay investigator that I have come to be a better investigator.  I have advised clients to do thorough searches, comprehensive background checks and fact check many of the things posted on websites and on Google by going to source documents.

Anyone can post anything on Google, and on many of the websites whose claims to fame are that they “never take anything down.” In fact, many of those websites fuel the “reputation repair,” industry that charges large sums of money to create web sites that become highly ranked to “fix” the damage done by negative posts that exist on their websites and that they refuse to remove.

I am an experienced Tampa Bay private investigator and well versed in verifying and confirming the veracity and validity of internet sites and getting to the data you need in your investigation from reliable sources of information.