Reading Oliver’sadvertorial(?) review of’s online reputation service, I could’t help but wonder how my score would turn out. I refrain from swearing and am somewhat conscious of what I put in the public view. Let’s see what their algorithms and machine learning tool makes of my behaviour.

Brand yourself happy connects to your Facebook and Twitter (needs your permission first) and does a general sweep of Google’s first three pages for your name to see what surfaces.

It then asks you to rate the entries on Google about yourself by asking if it is positive, negative or ‘not me’. I am happy to report all entries are positively mine and apart from older info I may want to update, nothing is flagged as negative. Phew.

Next up are my Tweets and although I expected a somewhat positive result, I was startled to find no less than 20 issues.

Here’s a sample, so you can make up your own mind:

The one about pr0n

Original tweet:

This was my thread on how to protect yourself and your family from pr0n and other things deemed inappropriate. It should be a positive thing but this is where Brandyourself’s AI is nowhere near ready IMO.

The One about sucking and blowing

Original tweet:

Not sure why Brandyourself’s machine believes that advertising my old hoover is a negative? It’s still available and in great working condition by the way. Offers welcome.

The Unbelievable tweet

Original tweet:

A retweet with comment on Trump’s immigration ban and attacking judges attempt to block it. Hardly a negative unless you are … let’s not go there.


However, this illustrates the fallibility of these fresh services on which naive recruiters or other professionals want to rely on to pass judgement on candidates, business partners or even clients.

We mustn’t kid ourselves into believing that these kind of AI powered services are providing anything like an accurate picture of a human being and their intentions or meaning behind social media posts and search engine rankings of information about them.

That’s why controlling your own data matters and that’s why we must urge caution and stress to people less technically inclined to be mindful of the pitfalls and shortcomings.

And remember kids: don’t post stuff online that you don’t want the world at large to know. Use encryption to protect your private conversations and don’t ruin your future chances of professional success by an ill-tempered or misjudged outburst in a public forum.