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Making the Case for Social Media Screening for Government Employees

Updated: Dec 12, 2021

On February 13, 2017, Pluribus International out of Augusta, Georgia hired 25-year-old Sarah Winner, an air force veteran that spoke 4 languages. She was assigned to an NSA contract to translate documents relating to Iran’s aerospace program. Sarah possessed a top-secret clearance with the US government and passed all background checks with flying colors.

A short four months later in the same year, Ms. Winner leaked a Top Secret NSA report on Russian meddling in the 2016 election to a news outlet called “The Intercept”. By August of that year, she was found guilty of violating the espionage act and sentenced to over 5 years in federal prison.

A few months before she was hired and leading up to her hire date Sarah, known on social media as Reality Winner, posted about her disdain for President Trump and her empathy toward Iran.

What could Pluribus and the Federal Government have done to prevent such a bad hire? What if there were a tool to easily and quickly identify and flag the above posts on her social media accounts?

The answer is there exists such a solution and it’s called Ferretly

In as little as 30 minutes, the hiring managers could have run a thorough social media background check on Sarah Winner. What it would have uncovered would be many instances of political speech and sentiment trending down post the 2016 election. Two factors which would have alerted her employer to investigate this candidate more thoroughly. And quite possibly this could have saved the company from a huge hit to their brand as well as the leaking of classified documents from a US intelligence agency.

About Ferretly International, LLC

Ferretly is an AI-powered social media screening platform that allows hiring managers and investigators to perform a thorough analysis of a subject’s public posts. Ferretly incorporates 11 risk classifications using machine learning to identify undesirable behaviors such as threats of violence, political speech, hate speech, toxic language, bullying, self-harm and more. In addition, Ferretly’s built-in image content analysis can identify drug and alcohol use, violent and explicit/racy images as well as custom object detection. Ferretly generates an insightful, FCRA compliant report in under 30 minutes. Use Ferretly’s continuous screening capability to be alerted of risk factors and sentiment trends which could indicate threats to employees or your brand.

Contact us at sales@ferretly.com or www.ferretly.com to learn more.