Frequently asked questions

What social media platforms do you support?

We currently support Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok as well as web and news articles.

How do you score the subjects?

Our scoring algorithm takes into consideration sentiment, risk triggers and proportion of flagged posts to number of overall posts. The following is the score color key: Please note that the score is NOT an indicator of a candidate's risk to the organization, if hired. The score is used to represent the sentiment and flag composition of the candidate's posts and should only be used to compare two or more candidates in a uniform and consistent manner. The user assumes responsibility for analyzing the subject's posts and ultimately making a risk determination based on their own criteria.

If my subject has very few posts, is their score impacted?

The score is based on the number of flagged posts to the overall number of posts analyzed. So it's possible that a lower number of total posts could impact the score, depending upon how many of these are flagged as a risk factor.

Can I run a background check on a subject multiple times?

Yes, you can run a full background check as many times as you want. We also offer continuous screening which allows you to automatically run screens at daily, weekly, monthly, semi-annual and annual frequencies.

Can I add multiple subjects and run background checks on all of them at once?

Yes, you can add as many subjects as you want as long as you have at least one credit and you can submit up to 5 simultaneous background checks at one time for the BASIC plan, and up to 100 background checks for both PROFESSIONAL and ENTERPRISE plans.

Who can I run a background check on?

You are limited on who you can run a background check on to the following based on the FCRA: All users must have a permissible purpose under the FCRA to obtain a consumer report. Section 604 contains a list of the permissible purposes under the law. These are:

  • As ordered by a court or a federal grand jury subpoena. Section 604(a)(1)
  • As instructed by the consumer in writing. Section 604(a)(2)
  • For the extension of credit as a result of an application from a consumer, or the review or collection ofa consumer’s account. Section 604(a)(3)(A)
  • For employment purposes, including hiring and promotion decisions, where the consumer has given written permission. Sections 604(a)(3)(B) and 604(b)
  • For the underwriting of insurance as a result of an application from a consumer. Section 604(a)(3)(C) When there is a legitimate business need, in connection with a business transaction that his initiated by the consumer, Section 604(a)(3)(F)(i)
  • To review a consumer’s account to determine whether the consumer continues to meet the terms of the account. Section 604(a)(3)(F)(ii)
  • To determine a consumer’s eligibility for a license or other benefit granted by a governmentalinstrumentality required by law to consider an applicant’s financial responsibility or status. Section 604(a)(3)(D)
  • For use by a potential investor or services, or current insurer, in a valuation or assessment of the credit or prepayment risks associated with an existing credit obligation. Section 604(a)(3)(E)
  • For use by state and local officials in connection with the determination of child support payments, or modifications and enforcement thereof, Section 604(a)(4) and 604(a)(5)

If I choose one of your basic pricing packages, can I add additional background checks to my account later and at what price?

You can choose any package to start with to signup and register your account. You can then add additional background checks in any quantity from either the website or the application at any time. Your price will depend upon the number of credits you purchase. Enterprise agreements are available as annual subscriptions. Please contact for more information.

Does this work for posts in foreign languages?

While we do support translations of posts with support for over 80 languages, currently our machine learning algorithm only supports US english text. You can also enter keywords in any language. We will be adding new languages in the near future.

What browsers do you support?

We support most modern browsers including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera. You can run the application on both mobile devices and desktops.

Do you have a native application for iPhone or Android?

We currently do not have mobile native apps but we plan to release on both of these mobile platforms in the near future.

Do you analyze private posts?

Absolutely not. We only analyze publicly available posts. These would be posts anyone can see without being logged into the social media platform or having to be "connected" to that individual as dictated by the platform.

What type of information do you pull about the subject?

We analyze original posts, retweets, replies, likes and images the subject has posted. We do not look at who they follow, who follows them. Note, for Facebook and Instagram, likes are private and therefore we do not analyze these posts.

How much history to you analyze?

We will go back as far as 7 years of social media history for FCRA background checks and up to 10 years for non-FCRA background checks. Note depending upon the social media platform, there may be caps on total number of posts Ferretly is able to access. Therefore, we may not be able to access all 7 years of history in certain instances where subject has a larger volume of posts. We analyze original posts, comments, reposts, replies, and likes if available on the social media platform.

How many social media profiles can i add per subject?

You can add up to 10 profiles (two on each of Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and TikTok).

Can I resell Ferretly background search services?

Yes. Please refer to the website here. We offer both referral and reseller partnerships. Becoming a reseller allows you to white label the reports, e.g., the background report with your own logo and company information. For more information regarding becoming a Ferretly Partner visit the Partner FAQ page.

What are the benefits of outsourcing my social media background screening to Ferretly?

There are many reasons why you should always outsource your social media background screening in general, with the primary reason being to avoid being sued based on using protected class information in your hiring decisions. In addition, by using Ferretly, you get the added beneifits as outlined below: 1. We provide you with the ability to maintain strict controls over what information you see on your report such as, only post insights and score and not the actual posts if you so choose. 2. Ferretly allows you to incorporate a thorough and unbiased approach to assessing your candidate's social media history. 3. Ultimately, Ferretly saves you time, provides consistent results and reduces your overall risk of hiring the wrong candidate.

What is Ferretly?

Ferretly is a web-based application which allows you to efficiently perform social media background checks on candidates, employees, or other classes of individuals allowed under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). We pull individual subject's posts from the major social media platforms and also pull web and news posts for up to the past 7 years of history for FCRA uses and 10 years for non-FCRA uses. Every post and image from this history is run through our machine learning algorithm to identify potential risks such as toxic language, threat of violence, or explicit images. We then provide an overall score in addition to post insights that can be easily reviewed in a background report or from our dashboard.

Will I be anonymous?

Yes. The subject will not know that you viewed their public posts. However, you will be required under the FCRA to obtain approval from the subject prior to running a background check on them.

Do you offer an API?

Yes, we have a full REST API for integration to third-party applications. Please contact to learn more.

Is Social Media Background Screening Legal?

Yes. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently granted the right to scan an applicant’s social media history to companies which conduct background checks on behalf of prospective employers. Ferretly and similar companies are only permitted to scan information that is publically available online. While publically available information can be viewed, employers should not make any attempts to scan private photos or posts. Some employers have attempted to do so by requiring access to an applicant’s social media passwords, or by requiring an applicant to “friend” the employer to open access to personal information. Such practices should be explicitly avoided as it could violate state social media privacy laws.