In today’s Quick Hits, we talk about a lawsuit intended to overturn a new law preventing teachers from “friending” students online and why Facebook and dating don’t always mix.
The Missouri State Teacher’s Association has filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s new law preventing teachers from interacting with students on Facebook and other social media websites. The law, which has been described as unconstitutional by Internet law expert Daniel Solove, was created to discourage teachers and students form having inappropriate sexual relationships, but has been criticized as overly broad by teachers’ groups. The law is set to go into effect on August 28th.
This article from The Campbell Reporter discusses how young teens are embracing “the raunchy, rude lingo of cyberspace” and what teachers are doing to help students exercise more responsibility online. Quoting the article, “Educators increasingly are joining in to challenge the crude culture of social networks, which they fear unleashes cyberbullying and sexting, heightens the social drama of puberty and teaches the wrong values.” Citing a number of examples from the San Francisco Bay Area, the article shares how digital literacy and education programs, along with anti-bullying legislation, have been proposed to help kids stay safe on the Web.
People might say and do stupid things on Facebook, but when they’re using Facebook to leave a comment on a website, they smarten up. According to Jimmy Orr at the Los Angeles Times, whose paper has been using Facebook comments and traditional anonymous comments side-by-side, the difference in the quality of discourse from Facebook commenters was “stunning.” Orr owes the improved comments to the fact that Facebook requires users to provide their real name. When individuals know that their real name and reputation is tied to their comments, they are more careful and less combative online.
Huffington Post advice columnist Michael Cohen answers three questions about the often confusing intersection of Facebook and relationships. For the most part, Cohen’s advice is to keep Facebook out of relationships, especially when dating, so as not to show off your entire life before you can even get to know your would-be date.
This interesting article from TIME explores how parents help their kids access Internet websites by lying about their age. Because of the federal law COPPA, children under the age of 13 aren’t allowed to access certain websites. However, some parents believe that there is value in giving their kids access to social networking websites like Facebook and Google+. The TIME piece discusses how Google’s efforts to keep a 10-year-old from accessing his Google+ profile led to his father setting up the boy’s account in his name.