Thursday, July 12, 2012

Students and Social Media - Delaware gets Smart

It's not signed by the Governor yet, but Delaware may institute intelligence ...
Both chambers of the Delaware Legislature have now given unanimous approval to a bill that would keep schools from taking even a single peek at their students’ social media profiles. The prohibition applies to all the state’s students, regardless of whether they are enrolled in a public or a private school. The measure, HB 309, is one of a pair dealing with social media privacy. The other, HB 308, addresses the kind of access employers may demand of their current or potential employees, and is still being debated by lawmakers.
About freaking time. Until it happens, though, my long-standing advice to students who are required to "friend" a school employee: make a new account.

The student should have two Facebook accounts and two Twitter accounts, two of everything that the school 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. Use this one to help your grandmother get on Facebook. "Friend" your seven-year-old nephew and be a positive influence. 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.

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