Is Your Babysitter a Bad Person or (Gasp) Just Bad at Instagram? This Site Tells You

Look, we get it: Finding a babysitter at all is hard enough, let alone a good (read: not sketchy) one. Interviews and internet creeping can only tell you so much, right? That’s where this new online technology wants to help. It’s called Predictim, and it’s kind of like an in-depth babysitter background check…utilizing social media.

The online tool uses “advanced artificial intelligence” to scan your recruit’s Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for what it deems “bad behavior.” (Think bullying or drug use.) According to the website, Predictim “analyzes their digital footprint to accurately assess their level of risk, giving you a complete picture of them that can’t be achieved with only a standard background check.” The ratings are based on four “personality features:” bullying and harassment; disrespectfulness or bad attitude; explicit content; and drug abuse.

If it all sounds too good to be true, well…we kinda think it is. Of course we want to know if Sheila—who looks phenomenal on paper—is actually a grifting drug abuser who loves a topless Instagram post…but there are major downsides. For one, the online tool doesn’t explain why a person is flagged beyond a simple numerical system. So if a candidate is flagged for displaying “disrespectful behavior,” you don’t get to see how that determination was made. You’re putting your trust in an algorithm-based system that only sees black and white. Think about it: What teen hasn’t retweeted a, ahem, disrespectful joke every so often? What if they’re just, like, really bad at the internet?

Skepticism aside, the entire process does require your candidate’s consent, along with their name and email address (so no, you can’t just stalk in secret). And according to the company, the ratings are meant to act more as a companion to your own better judgment.

Extra peace of mind or extra super icky? We’ll let you decide.

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Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...