Social Media – the Fear & Ignorance Factors

Here is an interesting article about new social networking policies adopted by the Franklin School Board in New Hampshire.  The school board approved a policy that states that board members and employees also “shall not post any school district data, documents, photographs or other district owned or created information on any website.”

Too broad:

What about photos of “Back to School” night or a band concert? Couldn’t they craft a more nuanced policy providing for exceptions to photos and data relative to public events?  The school board is likely to find this policy unenforceable.

What about privacy settings?

To so broadly restrict individuals from posting about their work seems a likely First Amendment violation particularly since the harm – the publication of sensitive photos, information and opinions – can be avoided by restricting public access.  That why these websites have privacy setting which the school board appears not to know.

Take – Away

There is an inherent fear involved with social networking that because anyone can post anything that it opens up Pandora’s box to all kinds of dangers.  The first step in crafting any policy involving technology is to understand what the technology can and cannot do – otherwise people end up like the Franklin School District – shooting themselves in the foot.

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