TikTok users Saber (@sabercierra) and Say Katzby (@saykatzby4) delineated how they use simple Google searches and the website True People to find out details about a person’s personal life.
In Saber’s video, she says she does a Google search on every single person that she meets. She says folks should take this precaution if they’re entertaining dating someone.
“I was talking to this guy at work the other day and I told him that I have Googled everybody I’ve ever met’s record, which is a fact, I do that,” Saber says in the video. “As soon as I meet you I Google your record because I wanna know what you’re up to and who you are as a person. And he immediately, immediately was like, ‘Oh, did you look up mine?’ And I was like, ‘Yes,’ obviously that’s what I just said. And he was like, ‘Well, what did you find?’ And I said ‘well what did you do?’ And then he walked away.”
Saber says she found in her search that the guy previously hit a girlfriend. “I need you guys to look up everybody’s record that you meet, especially if you’re planning on dating them,” she says. “The fact that he was so ashamed as he walked away. I was like, ‘Yeah, thought so,'” she says.
In the caption, Saber writes, “people’s records are public information.”
@sabercierra people's records are public information #fyp #foryou #public #records ♬ original sound – saber
Katzby is another TikTok user who says that says you should do a bit of research into potential dating partners. She recommends plugging a guy’s phone number into True People to find out the value of the home they grew up in and look at their sports statistics to see how tall they are. Getting a bunch of qualifiers about potential matches is just what being a girl is all about, she says.
Katzby’s post seems more focused on guys women may potentially want to date, and she rapidly explains her searching protocol for potential relationship prospects in a breathless, rapid-fire explication recorded on a city street.
“We’re girls, we’re gonna get your number and look you up on TruePeople and then see your addres, where you grew up, and then we’re gonna look it up on Zillow and see how much it costs,” she says. “And we’re gonna look at your street and the pictures on Google Maps and then we’re gonna look you up on LinkedIn and find your last name and find your job and then up your stats from high school, what sport you played.”
“We’re girls,” she says, chuckling at the end of the clip.
There were several folks who responded to the posts who said that they, too, were shocked by some of the finds they made while searching up the names of folks they either met, dated, or became romantically involved with.
One person wrote: “i did this — found out he had domestic violence charges from his ex wife. he admitted it and acted like it was no biggie. like, SIR….block.”
Another woman said that she began dating someone with a questionable criminal past. “I dated a guy that had a kidnapping charge didn’t know til after he moved in. ALWAYS check their record,” she wrote.
Someone else said, “I googled a guy from Hinge and he had domestic violence and stalking charge.”
Another person agreed women should Google every potential partner’s name. “the person that assaulted me just went viral on here and i’m like y’all plzzzzz google his name,” they wrote.
However, one user cautioned, “i dnt recommend that u TELL THEM u look’d them up. If u do a case search on them just keep the data 2 urself and just avoid whomever.”
Another user wrote, “Can’t always trust records, cops are shady AF.”
If the idea of someone being able to search you and all of your personal information online seems like a severe invasion of privacy, there are ways to “delete” yourself from the internet if you want. The aptly named service Delete Me will scrub mentions and personal identifiers from the web, for a fee, and keep them from popping up.
CNBC has also published a handy guide that’ll instruct folks on the best ways they can have their name and personal information opted out of Google searches, other outlets like Wired and Crazy Egg have also put out step-by-step tutorials on how to get yourself out of that Google’s search engine. It could be a tedious and long-winded process, but it all begins with hitting the Start Removal Request button on this page.
As for deleting yourself from True People’s search engine, it appears that the web service has a page dedicated to removing entries, which users can access here.
If you were convicted of a crime in a state that grants unfettered access to a person’s legal records, however, then there’s really not much you can do to have mentions of that scrubbed from the internet. That is good news for anyone who wants to make sure they aren’t becoming chummy with someone who has a past of demonstrably violent, predatory, and/or gnarly behavior.
The Daily Dot reached out to Saber and Katzy via TikTok comment for further information.