Friday, June 23, 2006

KSU Athletes Banned from Facebook

Unbelievable. Kent State University administrators are banning their student athletes from Facebook (read the Columbus Dispatch article for more information).

My questions are:
  1. According to the article, "The move to ban the site came from students and coaches expressing concern over safety and privacy issues." What about the safety and privacy of the rest of the student population?
  2. Instead of banning them from a network that lets them connect with friends, why not do more to educate the entire campus on the dangers of Facebook and the etiquette one should use? Based on the extreme popularity of social networks (according to a News story I saw on TV last night, MySpace has 83 million users), I highly doubt they are going to go away anytime soon.
  3. Everyone is always so concerned about stalking, but is there any evidence to prove that stalking is on the rise as a result of Facebook? I haven't heard of any. As one of my students pointed out, stalkers will stalk regardless of Facebook, and it does not seem that Facebook will create stalkers out of people who would not normally be ones.
I find this particular statement in the article extremely hard to believe: "Most students have responded to the ban positively" - unless, of course, they are just turning to MySpace instead.

Plus, it's not like these students are doing things they haven't already been doing, it's just that now there is documented (writing, photographs, etc) evidence of it. The answer is user education, not banning them from Facebook altogether. Colleges need not function in loco parentis.

For starters, here's a rule of thumb: Don't put anything on a social network that you wouldn't want your mom, grandmother, pastor, future employer, etc to see.

So let's do what we do best, shall we? Educate!!


paul said...

One of the other interns at Disney pointed me to this article. It was on slashdot; I guess you get the word much faster these days. ;)

Anyway, I was going to basically write what you just wrote ... then I noticed you wrote it. Um, so, good job! My thoughts exactly.

*high five*

Librarians rock.

Kat said...

Thanks, Paul! I'd have to agree, librarians do rock! Spread the word. Maybe more students will come to the library. :)

Glad you agree with my ramblings about the technique KSU is employing for Facebook. It's good to know I'm not the only one!