Sunday, April 22, 2007

Facebook posting

Over the weekend, I was exploring facebook. (I know I am late to the web 2.0 party). I started to explore a bit around schools that I went to, and schools that I worked at. I came across this group page (registration required) published by last year's grads of the school I worked at last year. The page describes all sorts of parties and all sorts of rules that they had broken over the course of their time at the school. It also takes a nasty turn and singles out particular staff members for ridicule and abuse.

I did 2 things, I brought this page to attention of the administrators at the school. They basically shrugged it off as not being within their realm. I also brought it up for discussion with my computer literacy class. They too believed that the school should do nothing.

I am still not convinced. It seems to me that we as a school did not do a good job of preparing these grads, especially one in particular for ethical use of new technologies. It also seems that if the poster is still in the country, he could be called in and basically shamed into modifying the comments. I believe that if you post things in a public space, you should be prepared to stand by them, and you should not post things about other people that you would not want them to read.

On the other hand, these comments represent immediate feedback about the experience that these students had at the school. Certain teachers did have a reputation for not being effective in the classroom. Certain secretaries were unpleasant to deal with. The school policy was to delete email accounts in the fall following graduation. I can't help but thinking however that to air this on facebook is inappropriate. There are alternative methods to get one's message across, and ones that are not as hurtful. What do you think? Should the school intervene in this case?

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