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Using Facebook to Discipline Students

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by cody hill on 17 November 2009

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Transcript of Using Facebook to Discipline Students

0 [ ] ( ) Disciplining Students Using Facebook Potential Ethical Issues With Facebook There have been many instances where colleges and universities have found student posts that violate codes of conduct or laws.
Should administrators monitor students's posts and discipline them for their actions?
Several schools now using facebook to monitor their student's behavior: Conducts searches of student's Facebook and Myspace pages for "up to 500 objectional words and phrases, ranging from profanity to slang used to describe drugs."
Targeted specifically at college athletic departments Legal Concerns
There are some legal ramifications for some of the information students post on Facebook pages. Fined students for activities found to break student code of conduct by emailing them fines of up to $210. Oxford began the policy in 2004.
Types of Facebook Monitoring Intentionally searching Can create distrust between students and administrators
Gives a bad image
Portrays the university as "Big Brother"
Students may use decoys to decieve those monitoring.
University of Oxford
University of Texas
Syracuse University YouDiligence Facebook Tracking Software Tanna Bartlett | Cody Hill Coaches routinely scan athletes Facebook pages for illicit activities and conduct unbecoming. George Washington University Dismissed a sophomore football player after finding a racially-charged comment about President Barack Obama on his Facebook page. University of Texas University of Oxford Intentionally searching
Unintentionally
Investigating reports History of Facebook Unintentionally Investigating Reports Around 40% of faculty and 65% of students are Facebook friends. This can lead to a good deal of "accidental" viewing creating possible discipline issues.
"Friending" student could create professional issues for administrators such as "We are friends on Facebook, so I'll let this issue slide."
If caught and disciplined, a student might view it as an invasion of their privacy.
This is used when someone has brought to administrators' attention a possible situation and Facebook is used a means of investigating this report.
In this case, pictures, notes, statuses, or any part of Facebook may be used (In accordance with the person in question's right to privacy, meaning an administrator could not demand a student's password in order to access the information.).
Policy Key Players In terms of who has an interest in social networking sites on college campuses, the answer is almost everyone.
Rights Approach The ethical action is the one that most dutifully respect the rights of all affected.

Social networking Web sites are used as an avenue for freedom of speech and expression.

Universities should only intervene or discipline when something is brought to their attention, not intentionally search for illegal actions.

Actions should be treated just as if it were being done in person, not virtually.

This is the only way to ensure everyone
is treated equally, not on a case by
case basis. Application of Decision Making MOdel Institutions will not intentionally search.
If evidence is found on accident or reported, the student will be disciplined accordingly, just as if it had happened in person. Because social networking is such a new avenue, many universities have not yet created or started enforcing polices regarding these types of Web sites.
Some schools, such as Oxford, have led the forefront with their own internal policies. Counseling Services Public Safety Greek Life Residence Life Judicial Boards ) ( Social networking Web site
Launched in February 2004
Over 300 million active users (have returned to the site in the last 30 days)
Over 86% of College Students have an active facebook account. Anderson, L. (2009, November 16). To friend or not to friend?
College admissions in the age of Facebook. USA Today.
Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2009-09-
16-facebook-admissions_N.htm?csp=usat.me
Associated Press. (2007, July 17). Oxford using Facebook to discipline
students. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/
2007/07/17/facebook-oxford.html
Buczek, N. (2006, February 22). Schools discipline students over
Internet content. Retrieved from http://www.thefire.org/article/
6855.html
Creeley, W. (2008, January 14). New Facebook Monitoring Software
Raises Troubling Questions. Retrieved from http://www.thefire.
org/article/8817.html
DeBolt, D. (2008, November 11). U. of Texas Kicks Football Player
Off Team for Anti-Obama Comment on Facebook. The Chronicle
of Higher Education. Retrieved from http://chronicle.com/blog
Post/U-of-Texas-Kicks-Football-/4371/
Facebook Statistics (2009). Retrieved from http://www.facebook.
com/facebook?ref=pf#/press/info.php?statistics
Read, Brock (2007, January 29). College Coaches Keep Tabs on
Facebook. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from
http://chronicle.com/blogPost/College-Coaches-Keep-Tabs-o/2804/
Sturgeon, C.M., and Walker, C. (2009). Faculty on Facebook:
Confirm or Deny? Fourteenth Annual Instructional Technology
Conference, Murfreesboro, TN. http://www.mtsu.edu/itconf/
proceedings/09/Faculty.on.Facebook.Sturgeon-Walker03_29_09.pdf
Velasquez, M., Moberg, D. Meyer, M.J., Shanks, T., McLean, M.R.,
DeCosse, D., André, C., and Hanson, K.O. (1988). Framework for
Thinking Ethically. Ethics, 1(2). Retrieved from Blackboard Course
Server.

More than 2 billion photos uploaded to the site each month
More than 14 million videos uploaded each month
More than 3 million events created each month
More than 8 billion minutes are spent on Facebook each day (worldwide)
More than 45 million status updates each day
The fastest growing demographic is those 35 years old and older.


Facebook Statistics (Facebook Statistics, 2009) (Facebook Statistics, 2009 and Anderson, 2009) (Creeley, 2008) (Read, 2007) (Associated Press, 2007) (DeBolt, 2008) (Sturgeon & Walker, 2009) (Velasquez, et al., 1998) References Posting evidence of underage drinking
Posting evidence about possessing/consuming alcohol on a dry campus
Posting evidence illegal drug use on or off campus
Posting information detailing suicidal tendencies
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