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Repairing / Establishing Online Reputation? 564

illini1022 writes "I'm currently a senior nearing graduation from college. With studies focusing on power and energy I believe I have set myself up extremely well for post-graduation employment. I have one concern. The top search result on Google for my full name is a blog posting regarding an article about a pedophile that happens to bear the same name as myself. The blog also originates from a city I lived in during one summer (specified on my resume). Upon closer inspection, it would become quickly apparent that the subject in question is not me. The person of interest was in the military, and I have never been. However, I fear this unfortunate coincidence might cost me chances at employment with companies I'm now applying to. I have absolutely no issue with any employer finding anything I've put on the Internet; I have been careful to protect my reputation. My concern is with an employer mistaking me for someone else, and disqualifying me from recruitment. I've attempted to contact the blog owner to no avail. What are my options? Am I overreacting? Should I attempt to set up my own site that would steal the top Google search from this blog posting? I appreciate any insight/advice."
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Repairing / Establishing Online Reputation?

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  • by the0 ( 1035328 ) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:06PM (#26891097)
    Put "I HATE KIDDIE PORN" You can also add this optional statement "REGULAR PORN IS FINE, LOL". That'll tell them outright that you're not the pedo that Google brings up.

    That'll be no charge. =)
  • by plover ( 150551 ) * on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:09PM (#26891163) Homepage Journal

    Now if you google for illini1022 and pedophile, you'll get this story. I don't think there's much you can do, other than provide people with google queries that help isolate you.

    Tell your future boss to google for "John Smith -pedophile". That will assure him you're a good person.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:10PM (#26891199)

    Find the other you and kill them. I'm sure the stories about John Doe killing John Doe over his online reputation will shoot to the top. And, if you're killing a pedophile, I'm sure the judge will go lightly on you and just give you a life sentence. Okay, that last part isn't perfect, but it's a start.

  • by Ecuador ( 740021 ) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:12PM (#26891235) Homepage

    As a member of the North American Marlon Brando Look Alikes, I feel your pain...
    I would advise you to join our group for some moral support, but I somehow doubt that would help you...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:12PM (#26891249)

    hink of this as an IQ test of a potential employer. If one brings it up, point out to them, in detail, how easy it would have been to determine this wasn't you, then walk out of the interview and be thankful you've dodged a bullet.

    Be sure to tell them you don't want to work for a goatse. They're bound to run and google it and click a link.

  • by exp(pi*sqrt(163)) ( 613870 ) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:13PM (#26891259) Journal

    ...and I'll say it a million times more. The primary function of giving someone a name is to allow you to single out one person from a collection of people. If you call someone John or David or some other common name then you are failing in that one simple task.

    Names should be unique identifiers. For some strange reason, the one segment of American society that understands this issue are vilified for using "black-sounding names". What's so hard for people to get? Stories like this are the inevitable consequence of selfish parents copying names from people around them. Frankly, I think anyone who calls their kid John should be guilty of child abuse.

    The only thing I can suggest is suing your parents.

  • by PMuse ( 320639 ) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:15PM (#26891307)

    Nothing will bury search results like filing to run for office.

    (Nothing will dig up your dirty laundry as fast, either.)

  • by jollyreaper ( 513215 ) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:16PM (#26891321)

    Now you know why notorious killers and assassins are always referred to by their full names. Lee Michael Oswald can flatly deny having anything to do with assassinating Kennedy. John Wayne can point out his last name isn't Gacy and he never owned a clown costume. I guess when it isn't a matter of national notoriety, middle names get dropped.

    I suppose you could always introduce yourself as such: "Hello, I'm John Doe. No, not the pedophile, though I get that a lot." Somehow I imagine you saying that with "Hi, I'm a PC's" voice.

    Of course, you could always try making yourself more infamous so that you'll be the one everyone thinks of when they hear your name. Then the other guy will say "No, I'm John Doe the pedophile. Please don't confuse me with the other guy. I have my standards."

  • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:25PM (#26891505) Homepage

    Good idea -- they should do something to get noticed. You know, perhaps they could find some super-popular tech-related website. Explain their problem. Get posted in the front page for doing so, you know that sort of stuff.

    And use their real name and a link to their website.... doh, blew that chance!

    Better luck next time, "illini1022"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:27PM (#26891531)

    Well said!


  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:27PM (#26891543)

    Please-- having the name that your parents gave you slandered on the internet is no laughing matter. I too have suffered this misfortune, and I'll thank you not to make light of it.

    Sincerely yours,
    Stephen A. Twogirlsonecup

  • Play it up (Score:5, Funny)

    by StikyPad ( 445176 ) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:42PM (#26891787) Homepage

    In the interview, just mention that there happens to be a child molester out there with the same name as you, but that it's definitely not you. After that, say something like this, "I certainly haven't been discovered, yet, but if I don't get this job, I know a certain someone's kids who just might get molested! Hahahaha." The humor will set the interviewer at ease, while at the same time making him think, "Hmmm, this SOB might actually molest my kids."

  • by Applekid ( 993327 ) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:44PM (#26891849)

    Checking the social networking sites for pictures and video you've posted showing yourself street racing and smoking crystal meth? Fair game.

    It came in quite handy when I applied to be a crystal meth smuggler.

  • by dogdick ( 1290032 ) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:47PM (#26891885)
    Is that the one you get the most! Oh snap, jk jk.
  • by gardyloo ( 512791 ) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:49PM (#26891955)

    That is why I named my son hjretgwjsdfk. I was sure he would be the only one. I heard that his friends call him John. Don't understand why...

          The 'r' is obviously silent.

  • by LunarEffect ( 1309467 ) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:56PM (#26892093)
    <title>John Doe (not the pedophile, the honest guy looking for a job)</title>
  • by eln ( 21727 ) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @04:07PM (#26892343)

    Checking the social networking sites for pictures and video you've posted showing yourself street racing and smoking crystal meth? Fair game.

    It came in quite handy when I applied to be a crystal meth smuggler.

    Man, you're lucky...I've been trying to get into the meth trade, but the first person to show up when you Google my name is a decorated police officer. It sucks.

  • Actually... (Score:4, Funny)

    by TiggertheMad ( 556308 ) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @04:25PM (#26892749) Homepage Journal
    "illini1022" *is* his real name. He had hacker parents.

    Me, I'm naming my kids 1AAAAAAA and 1AAAAAAB. They will probably be teased and get funny looks throughout life, but they will always be at the front of any line in elementary school. This will ensure that they always get a hot lunch in the cafeteria.
  • by Zenaku ( 821866 ) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @04:36PM (#26892951)

    I worry about this kind of thing too, because though I too have a not-very common name, there is another guy with my name who grew up in the same town that I did, at the same time. He was about 8 years younger than me, and it still resulted in confusion more than once when I was living there. For example, people would ask my sister if she were related to {my name}, and she would say yes, not realizing that they were talking about the other guy with my name.

    Fortunately, the kid's kept his nose clean as far as I know. But I'll still never forgive him for getting his drawing of a ninja turtle published in the kid's section of the local paper when I was 16. That was a rough day of high school, let me tell you.

  • by Perf ( 14203 ) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @04:57PM (#26893303)

    The only solution is to change your name to "John Smith" so it's impossible to google you.

    "John Smith" -- Oh, yeah. John Smith took advantage of an under aged Native American girl over 400 years ago.
    Sorry, no job. You might be a pedophile.


  • Old joke... (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @05:34PM (#26893929)

    A lady shows up at the welfare office to have some issue sorted out. The officer attending her looks at her file, and notices that she has 10 children. He is astonished by this.

    "You have 10 children? What are their names?"

    "Oh, they're all called Bob."

    "Um, what? Wouldn't it be better for each of them to have a different name?

    "No way! This way, when some of them are getting in trouble or doing something bad, I just have to yell: 'STOP THAT RIGHT NOW, BOB!' Instead of having to call each of them by their name."

    "But what if you need to call only one of them? What do you do then?"

    "Oh, then I just use their last names!"

  • by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @05:57PM (#26894311)

    Be careful if you change your name... remember what happened with poor Bobby Tables. []

    -- Terry

  • by billcopc ( 196330 ) <> on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @06:26PM (#26894757) Homepage

    And your advice is what? If the company's HR monkeys are as incompetent as always and solely responsible for the embarrasing lack of skill in U.S. technical positions, then the whole company is fucked in the head, and don't deserve him??

    There, fixed it for you.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @07:34PM (#26895719)

    David Brent understood recruitment:

    Avoid employing unlucky people - throw half of the pile of CVs in the bin without reading them.

  • by Kingrames ( 858416 ) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @08:11PM (#26896141)
    Easy for me. I have a topless picture of myself on myspace. if my employer bothers reading my personal info and browsing my personal websites, it'll scar him for life.
  • by Kagura ( 843695 ) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @08:16PM (#26896187)

    Just avoid the problem entirely - change your name. It's not expensive. Hell, its the same anyone else would do if someone else started using your email address, isn't it?

    Why should I have to change my name? He's the one who sucks.

  • by uhlume ( 597871 ) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @02:27AM (#26899139) Homepage

    A lousy job may be preferable to no job & living like a parasite (living off the Dole).

    ...Bob? Elizabeth?

When a fellow says, "It ain't the money but the principle of the thing," it's the money. -- Kim Hubbard