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Published in: Uncategorized on April 19, 2007 at 12:43 am  Comments (1)  

Conclusion

Over the course of the semester I have looked at a few articles that have dealt with MySpace censorship and how MySpace is affecting schools.  Beginning the topic, I was not too sure what to think or expect.  I have never used MySpace and did not know how it worked and only had a vague idea of what it was used for.  I learned quite a bit about MySpace and the different affects it has on school.  As far as MySpace censorship goes, I have no problem with MySpace censoring people who are using MySpace.  MySpace is a privately owned Internet site and as such the owner has the right to sensor what he wants.  Having said that, I also think that MySpace needs to be consistent with what they censure and also should provide warning and a time limit of cleaning ones account before that account is banned.

When it comes to MySpace in school, I think that the only way MySpace should be allowed is if authorized by a teacher and parents give their consent.  Otherwise, MySpace should be limited to when the student is at home an kept out of the school.  Also, students have their freedom of speech, but when it comes to them bashing their school and the faculty, the school should be allowed to step in and force the student to remove what is written or else face suspension.  As one of my posts says, the schools property rights trumps the students freedom of speech.

As far as RSS Technology goes, I could take it or leave it.  While useful when placed in the right teachers hand, I think that using RSS Technology can sometimes cause a lot more problems than it is really worth.  While I enjoyed the experience of using it, I do not foresee myself using it in the classroom.  But, like I said, placed in the right teacher’s hand, using RSS Technology is a great new method of teaching students that could get them excited.

Published in: Uncategorized on April 17, 2007 at 7:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

Schools Pull the Plug on MySpace

There are many different ways to handle kids using MySpace while at school.  One way is to just get rid of it.  Block student access to the site and then you do not have to worry about it.  That is exactly what a few schools in the Eastern Michigan area are doing.  One reason for this is because teachers and administrators are afraid that teens will give too much information away. 

Officials with many schools have concerns over whether students might give too much personal information to strangers on the Internet, partly spurred by a Thumb-area teen who briefly went missing by going to the Middle East to meet up with a man she met on MySpace

Some schools are not going to extreme of a measure but instead are educating the students on proper internet protocol. 

That means assemblies and visits by Novi police officers, sharing the dangers of telling too much about yourself online.

I personally have no problem with banning MySpace use while at school.  But, I think that schools need to ban it for the right reasons.  Banning MySpace because you think that students are putting too much information on the internet is not going to solve the problem.  What’s preventing them from going home and placing that information?  If that is the problem with MySpace, then schools need to follow in the footsteps of what other schools are doing and educate the students on the proper use of MySpace and other Internet sites. Personally, I think that MySpace has no business being used while at school.  Unless used for a class assignment with adult supervision (teachers and parents consent) there is absolutely no reason to allow access to MySpace while at school.  If the students want to use MySpace while at home then they may certainly go right ahead and do it.  While they are at school though, they are there to learn.  The schools resources should be used for educational purposes, not in supplying the students with access for online socializing.  Even if a school bans MySpace, it is always a good idea to inform the students about what should and should not be placed on the internet.  You can never be too safe.

Schools Pull the Plug on MySpace

March 28, 2007

by Kristofer Karol

Complete Article

Published in: Uncategorized on April 17, 2007 at 6:56 pm  Comments (2)  

Man Sues After Schools Fire Him Over MySpace Page

A man lost his job as a part-time bus driver and was also asked to leave the Volunteer Fire Department where he was a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician.  The man believes that it is due to his MySpace page, while the school board and the fire department say that it is for personal reasons.  The man believes 

that the school system and the fire department used his page as an excuse.  He alleges that the real reason he was asked to leave both places is because he practices Wicca, a pagan religion that emphasizes nature.

The school says they fired him because of because of personal issues and because he has  

damaged his position to be a role model for [the high school] and in the school community.

The fire department say that they fired him  

for conduct unbecoming a member of the department.  The fire department told [the man] that his wife had a blog on the page that solicited sex.

If the school board and the fire department did fire the man because of his religion, then they have no right to do so.  The constitution allows us the freedom of religion and we may not be discriminated against because of it.  Both reasons for firing the man are really kind of vague and could possibly mean that he was fired due to his religion.  Also, he should not be fired for something that his wife does on the internet.  Whether or not she did solicit sex should have no bearing on the man’s job status.  Now if the man explicitly mentioned the school or fire department in any manner that would degrade their name or reputation on his MySpace account, then maybe they would have a case against firing him.  Otherwise, the man deserves his job back if he still wants it.

Man Sues after Schools Fire Him Over MySpace Page

March 24, 2007

by Michael Hewlett

Complete Article

Published in: Uncategorized on April 17, 2007 at 4:10 pm  Comments (1)  

MySpace Prank Gone Bad Leaves to Misuse of School Resources, Multiple Lawsuits

The previous article that I posted was an example of an excellent way in which a school can handle the student’s misuse of the internet, here specifically MySpace.  Unfortunately, schools do not always get it right and here is an example of that.  In December of 2005 several students from a Pennsylvania High School posted fake MySpace profiles about their principal. 

All of the posts were mean-spirited; they accused [the principal] of using steroids, marijuana, and alcohol; suggested that he had sex with students; and said that his interests included ‘Transgender, Appreciators of Alcoholic Beverages’

What the students did here is completely inexcusable, and of course they should be punished for it.  But, the school, specifically the principal, did not handle it very well either.  The school tried to block MySpace, but the students found a way around the block.  The principal then cancelled all the computer programming classes as well as denied access to the computers for research for class projects.  Finally, the principal discovered who one of the culprits was and 

suspended him for 10 days and said that he would be placed in an ‘Alternative Education Program’ when he returned to school.

You would think that that would be the end of it.  Unfortunately it only gets worse.  Soon, the lawsuits started coming.  The student filed suit against the principal for putting his academic future into jeopardy.  When that did not work, the family then sued the school for violating the student’s civil rights.  Now, the principal himself has filed suit against the students involved 

Arguing that his reputation was damaged and his earning potential was affected 

I don’t even know where to begin with this one.  Clearly the student needs to be punished and I have no problem with suspending the student.  However, denying access to the computers to the entire school is not the answer.  Catch the culprits and punish them but leave the rest of the school out of it.  Also, placing the student in a different program when he returns does nothing in punishing the student, it only jeopardizes him.  A completely different issue would be the stupidity of all of the lawsuits that are being thrown around.  Stupid things like this should just be thrown out of the court without even given the time of day. An easy solution to the problem would be to punish the culprits, but also educate the entire student body on why this is wrong (even though they should know why) and instruct them on how to properly use the internet; not as a means of hurting other individuals but as an educational tool.

MySpace Prank Gone Bad Leads to Misuse of School Resources, Multiple Lawsuits

April 10, 2007 at 12:43pm CT

by Nate Anderson

Complete Article

Published in: Uncategorized on April 17, 2007 at 3:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

MySpace: Web Site Causing Problems for Many Teenagers

Practicing internet safety is an important practice that everyone should follow.  Of course one of the knocks against MySpace is that it is full of sexual predators who are always hovering around ready to swoop in when an adolescent leaves the window open.  While MySpace is in fact just as safe a place on the internet as any other, practicing safe internet usage should still be maintained.  Justin Wilkes, a teacher at Novi Middle School, feels the same way.  Wilkes suspected that his eighth graders had MySpace accounts and were revealing too much information on them.  When Wilkes checked it out, his suspicions were deemed accurate. 

Telephone numbers, the city in which they reside, their actual ages of 14 and 15, and some would go so far as to put their full addresses.

Instead of creating a fuss about the kids using MySpace, Wilkes went to the principal and with the Novi Schools Superintendent  

developed an internet safety program that would involve an assembly for the eighth grade class and also an evening session for parents.  Both sessions were facilitated by Novi Police Department Detective Erick Zinser.

I think what the Wilkes and the Novi School system did hear was the right way to handle the situation and I commend them on how they handled it.  Instead of freaking out about the kids having MySpace accounts, they instructed them on how to properly use MySpace.  The best part of all was that they involved the parents as well.  Parents can be completely clueless about what is going on, and it is important to keep them informed.  Instead of banning the kids from using MySpace, they taught them the proper way to use it.  Instructing the students on proper internet use the best way to teach the kids because that way they do not make the mistakes they made hear later on in life. 

MySpace: Web site causing problems for many teenagers. 

April 12, 2007

by Renee Gates

Complete Article

Published in: Uncategorized on April 17, 2007 at 1:29 am  Comments (2)  

MySpace Censorship Hits Kids in Toronto?

The article “MySpace Censorship Hits Kids in Toronto? is a blog that deals with the MySpace censorship controversy.  In the article, a queer arts rock group Kids On TV had an account on MySpace, but without even being notified as to why, their account was deleted from MySpace.  They were sent a very non-descriptive letter as to the reason for their account being deleted.  According to the lead singer of KOTV, John Caffery, MySpace deleted their account because MySpace is against homosexuals. 

However we have a theory that recently (and in the past) MySpace has been deleting accounts simply because they represent radical views, and express those views in images, video, and music.

Because Rupert Murdoch, the owner of MySpace, once said that homosexuality is wrong, it is now believed that that view is being carried over into his company policies.  Because Murdoch is homophobic, now MySpace is homophobic.  I have a hard time buying it.  First of all, I think that it is well within Murdoch’s right to censor whomever and whatever he wants.  He owns it, it is his property rights to censor it.  That being said, I also think that MySpace should warn those who they are going to censor before hand.  MySpace should let their users know what they are doing wrong and give them a chance to fix it before they go ahead and delete their account.  If the user does not fix it, then MySpace may certainly go ahead and delete their account.

To call Murdoch homophobic is one thing, but to call MySpace homophobic is a completely different thing.  Now maybe it is my naivety, but I would think that it is extremely hard to enforce homophobic rules in an organization as large as MySpace.  While Murdoch may be homophobic, he is still a businessman and I would think that he has the ability to separate his personal feelings from business policies.  But then again this may just be me.

MySpace Censorship Hits Kids in Toronto?

March 17, 2007

by Matt Thomas

Complete Article

Published in: Uncategorized on April 17, 2007 at 1:24 am  Comments (2)  

School’s Rights Trump Free Speech

MySpace censorship gets a little tricky when it begins to enter the school atmosphere.  When does the schools influence come into play and when does it infringe on the students rights to free speech?  I think that one of the leading problems with the MySpace controversy and schools has to do with free speech.  Students believe that schools are infringing on their freedom of speech when the schools punish them for what they say or post on their MySpace pages.  This article, while does not directly deal with MySpace, I do think that it does a good job of explaining where free speech starts and where it stops in the school.

 

Robert Johnson wrote this article in response to an incident that occurred at Princeton High School.  The principal of the school removed a students article from the school’s magazine because the article was critical of the school’s football team.  School administrators were accused of censorship and were not allowing the student his right of free speech.  In response to this Johnson writes,

 

In the midst of all of this fustigation, a critical conceptual element was not mentioned: property rights.  It is their right to property that allows them to determine what goes into the magazine and what does not.  In this case, the school board’s property rights were properly exercised.

 

I completely agree with what Johnson says.  Students obviously have the right to free speech, but that right is only secondary to the schools property rights.  The school provides the means to keep the magazine running and because of this the school gets to decide what is allowed in the magazine and what is not.  If the student does not like it, then go print the article somewhere else.  The school does not stop the student from writing what he wants, just where the student is printing it.

The right of free speech means that individuals have the right to express their ideas without danger of suppression, interference, or punitive action by the government.  It does not mean that others must provide them with the actual means through which to express their ideas.

When students use the schools resources to express their ideas that is when the school is allowed to step in and infringe on the students freedom of speech.   

School’s rights trump free speech

February 21, 2007 at 2:25 pm

by Robert Johnson

Complete Article

Published in: Uncategorized on April 17, 2007 at 1:15 am  Comments (1)  

MySpace Censorship; the loss of freedom of e-speech?

MySpace censorship is a hot topic.  An article by Paul Joseph Watson and Alex Jones on Prison Planet.com brings it to a whole new level.  According to them, MySpace censorship is just the beginning of a much larger problem, the extermination of the freedom of e-speech.  The censorship that Rupert Murdoch places on MySpace is due to the fact that

the media elite [is] losing their monopoly to the rapid and free spread of new communication technologies.  Murdoch stressed the need to regain control of these outlets in order to prevent the establishment media empire from crumbling.

The media empire is losing its control over what is being said and needs to regain that control back.  With the use of the Internet, people are capable of saying whatever they want.  Using social networking sites such as MySpace, people can criticize anything and anybody.  The media empire no longer has the monopoly on what goes public.  Paul and Alex seem to think that the media empire wants that control back, and MySpace is only the beginning of that battle.

MySpace is Rupert Murdoch’s trojan horse for destroying free speech on the Internet.  It is a foundational keystone of the first wave of the state’s backlash to the damage that a free and open Internet has done to their organs of propaganda.  By first, making it cool, trendy and culturally elite for millions to flock to establishment controlled Internet backbones like MySpace, Murdock is preparing the groundwork for the day when it will stop being voluntary and become mandatory to use government and corporate monopoly controlled Internet hubs.

The loss of the freedom of e-speech would be a terrible thing.  The Internet is public domain, and as such must remain open to the public being able to post or say whatever they want on their own sites.  While an interesting thought, I think that this article would fall under conspiracy paranoia and is hardly a reality.  The idea that the internet would become accessible only through government and corporate hubs to me seems hardly like reality.

As for the censorship the Rupert Murdoch places on MySpace, I do not think that the freedom of e-speech apply’s here.  Rupert Murdoch owns MySpace, he can control what is or is not said on MySpace.  The freedom of speech or here e-speech is protection from the government.  The First Amendment protects us from government encroachment on our lives.  Rupert Murdoch is not the government.  He is the private owner of MySpace, and as such can determine what he wants on MySpace.  If you do not like it, then don’t use MySpace.  It’s that simple.  Create your own website or use a different networking site.  Unless the government starts stepping in and censoring what is said, then it is not the loss of the freedom of e-speech.  The loss of the freedom of e-speech or any type of speech would be a terrible thing, but the MySpace censorship is not that loss.  If you don’t like the fact that MySpace is censored, then don’t use it.

MySpace Is the Trojan Horse of Internet Censorship

March 16, 2006

by Paul Joseph Watson and Alex Jones

Complete Article

Published in: Uncategorized on March 7, 2007 at 9:54 pm  Comments (7)  

Campuses Using Social Netwoking Sites

People all over the place are using social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook to contact and keep up with each other.  What five years ago was hardly ever heard of, now has exploded into one of the most popular things to do.  If you don’t have a site in MySpace or Facebook, then you are completely out of it.  Now, the College campuses have decided to tap into this phenomenon.  According to an article in the USA Today, colleges such as Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA, and Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey have set up social networking sites.  According to Steve Jones, communications professor at the University of Illinois, Chicago the reason that colleges are using social networking sites is obvious.

This has become such a familiar mode of communication for teenagers; it’s basically meeting them on their own turf.  It makes it more comfortable to get information they might not otherwise get.  In a year or two virtually every college will have something like this.

Administrators say that the purpose of using such sites is to

market their schools to potential students and to put freshman at ease.

While I have never used a social networking site, I think that this is a great idea and very useful way for College’s to help incoming students and also to keep people active in the campus community.  One problem though that could arise from using the social networking sites is what to do with those postings that criticize the College or University?  Should the postings be censored, or is the network free domain to the students?  Michael Bugeja, director of the Greenlee school of Journalism and Communication at Iowa State University in Ames says that,

If we exercise prior review or censorship, we’re going to invite a whole new  series of litigations.

If the Colleges or University’s do censor the networking sites, is that infringement on free speech?  If the College is going to offer a networking site, shouldn’t the students be able to say what they want?  Cheryl Brown, director of undergraduate admissions for Binghamton University says that,

If you want the authenticity and true voice of the students, you have to be willing to take the bad with the good.  On occasion, something sneaks in where we go, ‘gulp.’ And so far we have been pretty open about letting our students’ comments stand as is.

I would agree with Cheryl.  Colleges and University’s should want to preserve the authenticity and true voice of their students and by not censoring the students posts that is one way in which they can achieve that.  While the college should allow the student to voice his opinion, the student also needs to be cogniscant of the fact that what they post is a reflection on the college and should be mindful of what they post.  Just because the college gives them relativley free reigns to post what they want, doesn’t meen that they should go ahead and do that.  The student needs to be aware of what they should or should not post.  Unfortunalty it is the select few who abuse the privelage that forces the college’s to censure what they do.

Campuses Connect Students Online

August 15, 2006 at 9:40 PM ET

by Janet Kornblum, USA TODAY

Complete Article

Published in: Uncategorized on March 6, 2007 at 1:58 am  Leave a Comment