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Schools, cops and employers policing MySpace, Facebook, Xanga, LiveJournal, etc.

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/in...-myspace_x.htm

Personally I feel that, as long as it isn't illegal or considered slander or hateful discrimination, it's no one's business what anyone says on these sites. Underage drinking, posing with firearms...those things are bad and SHOULD be followed up on.

But writing negative comments about a professor or a school or a teammate? Honestly, you'd have to make some salnderous comment or comment attacking race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity or a special need for this to be considered something terrible. Because, in all honesty, I don't think my University does a good job and many of the professors I've had are not qualified, and I could list competent reasons why I think that. But does my school have a right to kick me out or not renew my financial aid just because I have criticized them? Does an employer have a right to not employ me because they don't agree with some of the causes I've volunteered for? I think it's out of hand on both sides.
post #2 of 23
Yes and no.

No in the fact that these sites should not be treated like big brother and employers should not nit-pick over individuals. For example, a potential employer using the sites to research whether or not the candidate drinks.

Yes in the idea that if you're on a football team, for example, you're a part of a team. You're suppose to get a long with your teammates. If you put a blog up saying "My teammate is so stupid..." that's not being part of the team.

Also in the cases of universities, IMO, why would you apply someplace that you made fun of or complained about on your site? Just because its more common to go to a college or university in this day and age doesn't mean its now a right. Colleges and Universities are still considered priviledges. I think the Uni had every right to deny that person.

Plus if I were hiring someone, i would take the time to look them up. The competition is high out there and I would want to see what the last of my candidates were like. If they didn't like my company or refered to the company in a negative context then I wouldn't hire them. Companies as well as universities, do not want negative people representing their business or school.
post #3 of 23
I think those online journals and websites etc. should be banned to anyone under the age of 18. People older than that should know better than to post things in a public forum where everyone and their mother can read it. As far as I am concerned, typing something on a myspace website is no different that saying something out loud. People are going to hear it, or read it in this case.
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunasmom
Also in the cases of universities, IMO, why would you apply someplace that you made fun of or complained about on your site? Just because its more common to go to a college or university in this day and age doesn't mean its now a right. Colleges and Universities are still considered priviledges. I think the Uni had every right to deny that person.
Well, here's my case, as an example: I'm a music student. And not just any music student, I'm a performance major. Meaning that I'm basically in something that is like trade school crossed with boot camp. But my ingenius University wants us to be well-rounded, so even though we've made this huge lifestyle choice to be in music (it's WAY more than a major), we have to Liberal Arts classes. Fine. Whatever. It might be interesting, even if its a total waste of my time.

Well, it isn't interesting. The students and prfessors alike are simply not qualified to do that they do. Students have trouble writing competent paragraphs, cannot identify thesis statements (let alone write them), have little vocab and horrendous reading skills. On the math front, many of them cannot answer simple questions like the difference between absolute and relative quantities, so it goes without saying that they can't do basic algebra. The professors rely on things like taking attendance 3 times per class and worksheets and participation points as teaching methods. Hello? Am I still in high school? These prfessors, also, are generally not published. That really irks me. How can I make sure they are experts in their field? Although, I did go quite bonkers and I took a quantun physics class with a teacher who was widely published and a total GENIUS and it was SO AWESOME, like what I always dreamed college should be. This professor has since moved on to bigger and better things. Like it's that hard to do.

Now, I went to a rigorous college prep high school, was in a top honors programs, graduated in the top 5% of my class, was in National Honor Society and was a National Merit Scholar. I'm no idiot. But when I can have a 4 point without doing ANY reading for any of the classes I've taken outside of the music school (despite the all-too-common "reading quiz"), there has GOT to be something wrong. IMO, if you can't do basic math and reading and writing, you should have never graduated high school, let alone been admitted to a fairly well-known and well-regarded institution of higher learning. Sure, I could have gone to Princeton...I got in. But they don't have a music school. The thing about us pesky music students is that we come to a particular place for one reason and one reason only: our applied teacher. And at most Universities, music students aren't really expected to do more than dabble in classes outside our home School.

Now, should my University revoke my full-ride just because I think they need to be tougher on admissions and I think they need to hire professors that are at least published in a journal in their field, if not a book?
post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by lionessrampant
Well, here's my case, as an example: I'm a music student. And not just any music student, I'm a performance major. Meaning that I'm basically in something that is like trade school crossed with boot camp. But my ingenius University wants us to be well-rounded, so even though we've made this huge lifestyle choice to be in music (it's WAY more than a major), we have to Liberal Arts classes. Fine. Whatever. It might be interesting, even if its a total waste of my time.

Well, it isn't interesting. The students and prfessors alike are simply not qualified to do that they do. Students have trouble writing competent paragraphs, cannot identify thesis statements (let alone write them), have little vocab and horrendous reading skills. On the math front, many of them cannot answer simple questions like the difference between absolute and relative quantities, so it goes without saying that they can't do basic algebra. The professors rely on things like taking attendance 3 times per class and worksheets and participation points as teaching methods. Hello? Am I still in high school? These prfessors, also, are generally not published. That really irks me. How can I make sure they are experts in their field? Although, I did go quite bonkers and I took a quantun physics class with a teacher who was widely published and a total GENIUS and it was SO AWESOME, like what I always dreamed college should be. This professor has since moved on to bigger and better things. Like it's that hard to do.

Now, I went to a rigorous college prep high school, was in a top honors programs, graduated in the top 5% of my class, was in National Honor Society and was a National Merit Scholar. I'm no idiot. But when I can have a 4 point without doing ANY reading for any of the classes I've taken outside of the music school (despite the all-too-common "reading quiz"), there has GOT to be something wrong. IMO, if you can't do basic math and reading and writing, you should have never graduated high school, let alone been admitted to a fairly well-known and well-regarded institution of higher learning. Sure, I could have gone to Princeton...I got in. But they don't have a music school. The thing about us pesky music students is that we come to a particular place for one reason and one reason only: our applied teacher. And at most Universities, music students aren't really expected to do more than dabble in classes outside our home School.

Now, should my University revoke my full-ride just because I think they need to be tougher on admissions and I think they need to hire professors that are at least published in a journal in their field, if not a book?
I do see your point. It is quite silly to be required to take aliberal arts class when you're an Art major. However did you know about the lack of teaching in the basic studies area prior to applying? Most likely not. You obviously went there for the music performance degree. I did the same when I first left for college. Loved my cello teacher. When I decided that music wasn't for me and I changed majors I wound up helping the teacher during class most of the time. The concepts were easy to grasp for me. Unfortunately they weren't for my classmates. If i had known I wasn't going to be in music and had the money I would've changed schools.

However I think in the article the example they were referring to was probably a 17/18 year old that posted something on mySpace something to the effect of "Reed College professors suck. I would never go to Reed" and then went and applied there.

In your case you obsviously want to be challenged academically. If you were to post this on a site with your first and last name and mentioned the Uni's name, then complained, I don't think you should be revoked, but if i were an administer, I would definitely sit down and speak with you in a proactive manner.
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by lionessrampant
Now, should my University revoke my full-ride just because I think they need to be tougher on admissions and I think they need to hire professors that are at least published in a journal in their field, if not a book?
Quite frankly, if one is airing one's thoughts about it on a website that can be read by anybody, in a manner which clearly identifies the university, yes. Why should the school give a free ride to anybody who causes it to lose "business"?
The "forum" on which such grievances should be discussed is the university itself; publishing them on the Internet without taking them to one's academic adviser, department head, and dean first is simply griping about a situation the student himself or herself is ultimately responsible for. Who chose to enroll at that particular university? Did he/she do enough research on the academic standards before doing so?
Why not transfer to another school, and enable somebody for whom the current one is a better "fit" the opportunity of that free ride?
post #7 of 23
The problem is that so many people seem to think that the internet is private. It isn't - not even close! Then they get upset when someone sees their public words. Well, the easy solution is to watch what you say in public. We often forget that here as well. As much of a tight knit communit as we have here, at any given time there are 2-3 times as many unregistered users viewing the forum. Some are bots for search engines and spammers, some are looking for answers to particular kitty questions or are just lurking and deciding whether or not to join , and some are snooping for information. That information may be general - how many kids post here, how many easy victims are there here, how popular is the forum, how would this forum be for my advertising dollars - or about a specific person - checking up on a wife or girlfriend, employers who caught their employee on the site and seeing what they are writing, schools of kids checking to see if this website is appropriate, parents checking up on their kids.

Most of the examples that were given in the article are understandable. Many did include illegal activities (minors drinking or doing drugs, threats against a person or institution) or basic unacceptable behavior (racist remarks, threats based on racism). Or it was a private institution that, as they stated, members thereof voluntarily agree to their standards. (Why would a gay man go to a Christian college that expects him to disavow his sexuality?)

While I don't think that Big Brother should track everything you say and punish you if you get out of line, the internet is a public access place. It's going to be more and more common for admissions/employers to check online for perspectives into a person who is applying. Would the Beef Council want to hire someone who is a radical vegan and active in PETA? Probably not. At the same time, a shelter looking at a slew of resumes might look up a person and be very happy to see how much they already help people with animal issues on a site like TCS.
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
The problem is that so many people seem to think that the internet is private. It isn't - not even close! Then they get upset when someone sees their public words. Well, the easy solution is to watch what you say in public. <snip>

Most of the examples that were given in the article are understandable. Many did include illegal activities (minors drinking or doing drugs, threats against a person or institution) or basic unacceptable behavior (racist remarks, threats based on racism). Or it was a private institution that, as they stated, members thereof voluntarily agree to their standards. (Why would a gay man go to a Christian college that expects him to disavow his sexuality?)
Exactly.

An interesting thought this raises: I wonder how often people end up with problems due to someone maliciously impersonating an individual and making statements designed to cause problems for the victim?

There was a case here recently where a high school student opened up a page on my space in the name of a teacher and posted doctored photographs of the teacher, along with statements intended to make the teacher appear unprofessional and unethical.

I would hope that any business or individual doing Internet reasearch on someone who finds something that appears incriminating would make the effort to find out whether or not the information was actually posted by that individual.
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
Quite frankly, if one is airing one's thoughts about it on a website that can be read by anybody, in a manner which clearly identifies the university, yes. Why should the school give a free ride to anybody who causes it to lose "business"?
The "forum" on which such grievances should be discussed is the university itself; publishing them on the Internet without taking them to one's academic adviser, department head, and dean first is simply griping about a situation the student himself or herself is ultimately responsible for. Who chose to enroll at that particular university? Did he/she do enough research on the academic standards before doing so?
Why not transfer to another school, and enable somebody for whom the current one is a better "fit" the opportunity of that free ride?
Well, the problem with me is that the music school IS a perfect fit for me...I love it there. It's just those other classes.

This U caters to spoiled suburbanites (I am one, I'll admit it, but I'm a hard-working and well-educated one) and they're trying to do so much with capital improvements that they're in a position where it behooves them to accept anyone who applies and doesn't need or doesn't have a resume which warrants financial aid, more or less. They like having kids like me so that they can brag about us and our high ACT/SAT scores (32 and 1410 here) and statistically, music students are higher achieving in every academic field than non-music students. Almost all of us have handsome academic scholarships. Also, they are a Vincentian/Catholic run school...therefore, reaching out to everyone and individualizing educational needs for EVERYONE is important. Which I can understands. This is all coming from a discussion I had with someone when I was filing a complaint against one of my professors who was, quite frankly, disresectful and mean to the class.

But, here's how I feel: I'm saying this all in a well-thought out, articulate and respectful way. I never named specific names or said anything disparaging or mean about the school or anyone. It is my opinion and provided that I'm not being obscene or slanderous or offensive, I can say whatever I want in this country. So why should anyone have a right to make a judgemnt call of any kind based on my opinions?

I mean, look at how popular the blog culture is. Are we going to start judging everyone based on their opinions and beliefs? THAT would throw us back several years. I say, as long as you're tactful and respectful (and within the law), there's nothing any of these people can do or say.
post #10 of 23
You personally haven't named the school here, so I would assume you also wouldn't do so on other sites, but I imagine there are a lot of people who wouldn't think of discretion, and could end up with legal problems and/or losing their scholarships. Higher education is a business, whether we like it or not. (I teach at a junior college).

To go OT, and address your situation: I'm not aware of any U.S. colleges/universities that don't have GERs (the situation is a bit different in Europe). Wouldn't your university accept accelerated high school courses and/or equivalency exams in lieu of the very basic GERs? Mine allowed me to enroll with credits for 2/3 of the GERS (three decades ago), and my niece started out in the second semester of sophomore year last August, because she took AP classes and exams in her junior and senior years of high school.

As to GERs: A well-rounded education permits more flexibility, particularly for those who can't find jobs in their chosen fields, or don't remain in the field for personal reasons or because they get sick of it after a time (my b-in-l has a doctorate in geology, and works at the central bank; my husband has changed his career three times since starting out).
post #11 of 23
A friend of mine was fired from his job for criticizing his employer in his blog.

Personally, I'm pretty paranoid about what I post in mine. I wouldn't want someone airing their grievances about me in public without talking to me first and I don't think I have the right to do it either, even in a semi-anonymous setting.

Plus, many of my friends read my blog, everyone from the (now-grown) kids I used to babysit to my ex-boyfriend. So I definitely have to watch my mouth...err..fingers.

As for employers and whatnot checking out blogs, I don't know what to think of it. On the one hand, I feel like it's an invasion of privacy. On the other hand, information posted on the internet is not meant to be private.

Besides, I'd be lying if I said I've never Googled anyone I'm about to meet. If I Google a prospective employer it's only fair to expect they'll do the same to me.
post #12 of 23
Well and it goes back to what squirtle said: "posting something online is just like saying something outloud."

I mean, say you're an immigration firm or work for the immigration agency and have the power to grant or deny (or help) someones green card. You happen to log in and find a picture of this person with a blog stating "I hate <insert your country>. The people there are all stupid". At that point would you want to give him a green card (or equivilent -not sure what they're called outside the US)? Plus would you want this person living next to you? I personally wouldn't. My thought towards that person would be "Why come and request perminant residence if you're only going to complain about us?"

As long as you're descrete you'll be fine. Unless your full name is really "Lioness Rampant" and you start naming stuff I wouldn't put too much thought into it.

As for you classes, just keep taking the good grades. Hate to say but when I was an undergrade in order for me to take a Math class either I had to schedule for a test that would grant me to the level of math the Uni deemed OR I could start all the way back to 1 + 1 =2. Yup. Undergrad courses are really about catching everyone up...even those that may have cheated their way through a private school. Heck I remember sitting through HS government and College Government. It was the same...only the college government course was taught by a hottie! I was awake and attended every class!
It is redundent, but necessary. If you decide to go for your Masters then you don't need to worry about basic courses and can focus even more on your playing.
post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat

Wouldn't your university accept accelerated high school courses and/or equivalency exams in lieu of the very basic GERs? Mine allowed me to enroll with credits for 2/3 of the GERS (three decades ago), and my niece started out in the second semester of sophomore year last August, because she took AP classes and exams in her junior and senior years of high school.
Yeah, I AP'd out of 28 hours, or 7 classes. So I'm effectively done after my history class, which has to be a class dealing with Asia or Africa ( which I'm not sure there's an AP test for...)
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
Quite frankly, if one is airing one's thoughts about it on a website that can be read by anybody, in a manner which clearly identifies the university, yes. Why should the school give a free ride to anybody who causes it to lose "business"?
The "forum" on which such grievances should be discussed is the university itself; publishing them on the Internet without taking them to one's academic adviser, department head, and dean first is simply griping about a situation the student himself or herself is ultimately responsible for. Who chose to enroll at that particular university? Did he/she do enough research on the academic standards before doing so?
Why not transfer to another school, and enable somebody for whom the current one is a better "fit" the opportunity of that free ride?


I have to ask a fairly stupid question here but I would like a sincere answer... Why on earth would one post ones thoughts on things on the WORLD WIDE WEB unless they wanted the WORLD to read them??? I just dont get it ... I would like to add in a few years you will understand the need for "well roundedness" at your age I to thought a science major who passed out of anatomy and phisiology shouldnt have to take a art music or culture class but I am so glad I did ... That class left a huge impression on me and I use the knowledge aquired to this day.
post #15 of 23
The only way you can get on facebook is if you have a valid college e-mail address. If not you can't get on. My space is a different story. Anyone can get on there, that's why I'm not.

I don't think anyone but those who have signed up for those things have any buisness being on there.
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by eburgess
The only way you can get on facebook is if you have a valid college e-mail address. If not you can't get on. My space is a different story. Anyone can get on there, that's why I'm not.

I don't think anyone but those who have signed up for those things have any buisness being on there.
Why not? It's public domain. Do only members have a right to look at this forum? I'm not trying to be snippy, I just don't see why anything posted on a public and free website should not be available for anyone to see. A pay site I would understand, and there are plenty of forums where you have to be a member and/or pay to view the content. But not a public, free space on the net. I'm sure it is stated clearly when you sign up for a page on any of those sites that it isn't a private website.

To answer sharky's question about why they think it's private...well, because every example they posted are high school or college students with little or no real world experience. Growing up is a process, and until you are really out in the big, bad world it's difficult to understand the impact that words can have and the consequences of their words. Just like kids think that their rooms are their private domain and that what happens there, stays there. It isn't and it doesn't.
post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eburgess
The only way you can get on facebook is if you have a valid college e-mail address. If not you can't get on. My space is a different story. Anyone can get on there, that's why I'm not.

I don't think anyone but those who have signed up for those things have any buisness being on there.
Ian works for the Uni as a grad assistant (even though he's a junior...again, let's be thinking about skill level) and his boss, who's a professor, kept trying to get Ian to let her look at the facebook. Not thinking anything of it, he let her. You know, facebook is just fun and games like that. But she looked up her class roster for the quarter with it. And when she called role the first day, she kept saying things like "Oh, Jonh Smith, you're the one whose favorite hobbies are pot and beer!"

Can't be good to start off a quarter with something like THAT hanging over your head.

But on the flip side, I AM on the facebook, and it's been absolutely wonderful in helping me keep track of teh people I otherwise would have lost touch with after gradution. I got to see one of my band friends get married, even, thanks to facebook! I also found my best friend from junior high who had moved before our freshman year and this girl who lived on my block when we were kids. So it IS a useful tool in many respects. I think that as long as you sort of filter what you post, there's nothing they can do. Illegal activities are a definite no-no.
post #18 of 23
IMO, if you post a photo of yourself and comment about others, its the same thing as if you were wearing that comment on yout tee shirt.
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by lionessrampant
But on the flip side, I AM on the facebook, and it's been absolutely wonderful in helping me keep track of teh people I otherwise would have lost touch with after gradution. I got to see one of my band friends get married, even, thanks to facebook! I also found my best friend from junior high who had moved before our freshman year and this girl who lived on my block when we were kids. So it IS a useful tool in many respects. I think that as long as you sort of filter what you post, there's nothing they can do. Illegal activities are a definite no-no.
It's also a very useful tool for stalkers, as I know from personal experience with a similar site.
post #20 of 23
IF everyone could read about me on the world wide web.. why arent i famous?
post #21 of 23
thanks for the info
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
anything posted on a public and free website should not be available for anyone to see.
Facebook IS NOT public. Your College or University must be registered. You're College e-mail address must be valid. You can only look up people at your own school. People at your own school can look at your profile. You can't look at someone's profile at another school unless you are a "friend" of them. You have to request to be "friends" with people and they must confirm that they want to be "friends" with you. When you do look up kids from other schools you get their picture if they have one, their name, what school they go to and what year they are. That's it. High school kids can not look up college kids and college kids can't look up high school kids.

Someone mentioned a professor going on and learning that one student enjoys pot and beer.... Is it really that professor's buisness what their students do outside of their class? If they come in high or drunk that's 100% different. As long as they show up and do the work they shouldn't care. I know my profesors didn't. heck they even said "I don't care what you do at home as long as you do the work"
post #23 of 23
Don't you guys see a difference between a private institution and a public school though? I know I do. To me, anything that is out for public viewing, a private instituion has the right to do what they want with. If your college see's that you're doing some serious bashing on a public website, then they have the right to do what they want with you. When you enter college, you sign a contract. Part of that contract is that they can terminate you at any time they want for any reason, and even if you dont remember reading that, i am sure there is something in their literature that says that. A public blogging website is no different. Free speech applies to the federal government, not a private institution. If someone is immature enough to bash a school that they haven't even been to, and then applied, i know that i wouldn't want to take them either, and that is their choice.

Same principals apply for work. They can fire you for anything that they want, except for things that are beyond your control, such as race, sex, ect. I know my lifelong goal is to own my own business, and i'd like to make it a family shop, that has a good reputation, where my employees are happy with their employment. If i found one that was blogging, where they were trashing me, i would consider it a personal insult that they didn't come to me first and work out the problem, before posting a public blog. If you are that unhappy with your job, that you need to blog about it, then it's time to find another job anyway, everyone deserves to not be miserable at work.

As for cops and whatnot, I kind of have mixed feelings. I know that I wouldn't want my daughter up on there posting naked pictures, but I also feel that it should be the parent's job to keep track of what their children are doing on the internet. Ignorance is no longer an excuse. There are so many programs and classes out there, that will show you how to monitor what your internet is doing. I have always been a big supporter of "know what your kids are doing on the net". Actually, i've always been a big supporter of "Hey, lets talk to our kids, and teach them something instead of relying on the school system to do it". But hey, thats just me.

Predators are a whole different story, and I think we can all agree that if myspace, livejournal, ect is helping catch predators, then im glad. Thats one less child molester I have to worry about when my daughter is walking to her friends house.

-Jade
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