Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Facebook and Privacy - Athletes this time

"Student athletes at various universities are finding out that they have no expectation of privacy with regards to their use of social media. A recent revision in the handbook of the University of North Carolina states:
 “Each team must identify at least one coach or administrator who is responsible for having access to and regularly monitoring the content of team members’ social networking sites and postings. The athletics department also reserves the right to have other staff members monitor athletes’ posts.”
I say, "So what?" Yes, it's an invasion of privacy. Yes, it raises First Amendment questions. No, the college has no right to look at what the student posts on Facebook. Why shouldn't we scream about it?

The student should have two Facebook accounts and two twitter accounts, two of everything that the coach feels like monitoring.

One, under the student's real name: nice and shiny and clean and sanitized - posts about squeaky clean and honest living, the thrill of academics, and messages to parents and family. Use this one to set up future job prospects and post photos showing one in a good light. Dutifully give this information to the goody-two-shoes compliance officer and don't forget to friend the coach and his flunkies.

The second account, set up under a pseudonym such as "Attila the Bunny Rabbit" is the one that has all of the true friends, the honesty and the fun.

For me, this is the difference between the Math Curmudgeon and my real life. Plausible Deniability.

Article Source.


  1. This may very well be an issue of the university working to remain in compliance with NCAA rules. Note this story:


    The author of the article you cite also seems to be unaware that the risk of NCAA rules violations may be at the root of these initiatives by universities like UNC.

  2. I had a colleague clutch her pearls over the fact that I had a Facebook and she didn't seem to comprehend that I have two accounts -- one under my full, real name, one using a nickname that is only accessible to a few.

    And FWIW, I've had handles on the Internet since 1995. People are still figuring this out?