April Fools': Academic Profiling Facebook Lifestyles

What if a consulting company really befriended college applicants in order to spy on their Facebook activities?

A company called Academic Profiling Facebook Lifestyles allegedly befriends high-school seniors on behalf of colleges looking to get dirt on applicants.

That story looked awfully convincing on a blog called Philly Burbs, until you scroll down to the bottom and click on “For more information on APFL, click here.”

That link leads you to a page devoted to April Fools’ Day pranks. Up until this point, the article is so convincing because it dances around a topic we’ve covered before: Whether college staff look at prospective students’ Facebook profiles in making admissions decisions or limit things to outreach via the social network.

The best humor all has some basis in reality, so the fact that this prank even exists says something about our fears. Perhaps a consultancy really might go into business to spy on college applicants — perhaps as soon as the next application season begins.

Readers, what do you think about the idea of a consultancy spying on college applicants via Facebook?