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December 14, 2007

Have risque info or photos online? It could cost you


The campaign also maintains a website,, that is available on the SUCO campus now and will be publicly accessible in the spring.

The website provides Internet links to news stories documenting the phenomenon.

It's not just college students who are finding that what they posted on the Internet is coming back to haunt them.

A 29-year-old police officer from Ohio was fired from his department after he posted photos of evidence from criminal cases and of the speedometer of a police car going 100 mph on MySpace; he was the subject of a recent ABC News story.

People across the country have been fired for "not living up to the moral code of the company," Elderbroom said.

Facebook and MySpace have 162 million users who post roughly 14 million photos daily, Elio said.

Employers use Google and other search engines and have caught on to the use of Facebook and MySpace as a way to weed out potential employees by looking for incriminating photos or messages, he added.

MySpace is owned by Google.

Employers aren't the only ones perusing those websites for reasons other than social networking.

Cam Allison, a former detective with the Oneonta Police Department who is the undersheriff for Otsego County, said the sites can be an important tool for law enforcement.

"We've used them in the past for numerous investigations," Allison said.

Postings on the websites can even affect presidential campaigns.

The students pointed to the national headlines made by Rudolph Giuliani's daughter's support for Barack Obama as referenced on her Facebook page.

Specialty websites such as make it easier to find someone on the Internet, Guadagno said.

Rapleaf is a service anyone can use to track a person's e-mail address to determine if that activity that address was used for on the Internet.

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