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California school district hires firm to monitor students' social media

Rainman05

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California district hires firm to monitor students' social media - CNN.com

Los Angeles (CNN) -- A suburban Los Angeles school district is now looking at the public postings on social media by middle and high school students, searching for possible violence, drug use, bullying, truancy and suicidal threats.
The district in Glendale, California, is paying $40,500 to a firm to monitor and report on 14,000 middle and high school students' posts on Twitter, Facebook and other social media for one year.
"When the government -- and public schools are part of the government -- engages in any kind of line-crossing and to actually go and gather information about people away from school, that crosses a line," Tien said.
"People say that's not private: It's public on Facebook. I say that's just semantics. The question is what is the school doing? It's not stumbling into students -- like a teacher running across a student on the street. This is the school sending someone to watch them," Tien said.

Read the rest of the article in the link.

So I don't think this is a good idea. I mean, the only way I see this becoming a good idea is if it teaches kids that the internet is no joke and that they shouldn't post personal information online for everyone to see. And hence, the kids would delete or not make FB accounts or myspace or what naught, or if they do, get educated on not behaving in a way that would be damaging for them in the future.

But even so. You're going to have a lot of kids growing up with the idea that it's FINE for someone, a state institution, to monitor them. It's fine to have surveillance. It's the way things should be. So when these kids have to go and vote for the next congressmen and president and what naught, the fact that there were privacy scandals and surveillance laws passed won't be such a big deal if it will be a big deal at all.
 

ttwtt78640

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Yep. If the federal gov't can do it then why not a local gov't? The major problem with using the internet is that anyone can post complete BS using any identity that they choose to invent. Absent a way to associate the internet site identity to that of the one actually posting under that ID, or to determine whether the content is serious, satire or simply a joke may amount to a huge exercise in time wasting.
 

ItAin'tFree

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More big brother type stuff.

To bad they don't monitor teachers closer and get rid of the ones that can't or won't teach.
 

tererun

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Read the rest of the article in the link.

So I don't think this is a good idea. I mean, the only way I see this becoming a good idea is if it teaches kids that the internet is no joke and that they shouldn't post personal information online for everyone to see. And hence, the kids would delete or not make FB accounts or myspace or what naught, or if they do, get educated on not behaving in a way that would be damaging for them in the future.

But even so. You're going to have a lot of kids growing up with the idea that it's FINE for someone, a state institution, to monitor them. It's fine to have surveillance. It's the way things should be. So when these kids have to go and vote for the next congressmen and president and what naught, the fact that there were privacy scandals and surveillance laws passed won't be such a big deal if it will be a big deal at all.

First off, it is fine if you post something to the internet that is open for others to see to expect that it may have consequences. You do not have a legitimate expectation of privacy speaking in public. The internet is public. yes, you should expect that others will read your words when they are open, and that the government will watch. It is just like if you were to walk out onto the street and start yelling that you were selling crack. Someone might report you, a cop could hear you, and you are not being secretive. If I yell at you in the middle of the school I am going to beat the crap out of you, or I am going to get my gun and shoot up the place, I should expect the school to do something. It is just the same as if I were shouting it on the internet at you.

if it were limited to things like legitimate criminal activity i would be cool with it. The problem that actually occurs is things that are not illegal effecting your life. Things like being gay, your religion, your political views should not be used against you by the school, and I think that is what people are really nervous about. I do not think many people have a complaint the school wants to prevent an assault, drug sales on their property, intimidation, threats, or a potential shooting. Even the discussion of cheating would be relevant to the school. But we know that other things will become problematic because of the monitoring. The reality is the solution to that is not in preventing monitoring, but rather removing bigots from positions of power and helping the complete morons of society get over their irrational fear and hate of legal social things. While students should know that their public words have consequences, other people should know acting on legal behavior will be met with serious consequences also.
 

tererun

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More big brother type stuff.

To bad they don't monitor teachers closer and get rid of the ones that can't or won't teach.

Big brother is tapping into your private conversations. it is not looking at you when you shout to the world you are going to do something illegal. The expecvtation that everyone has to ignore what you say no matter how illegal on a public and open forum is absurd.
 

DiAnna

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Meh, the school district is only doing what the parents should be doing... monitoring what kids do and say in a public place, where anyone can see it. If more parents insisted on monitoring their kids' social media, then fewer parents would be stunned to find their bullied, depressed, or drug/alcohol addicted kids hanging in their closets.
 

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"We enforce the code of student conduct for every school we serve" by compiling a day-by-day report, he said. "It's up to the district to handle it."

His firm is about to expand schools' monitoring capacity with a new smartphone app that allows students and parents to anonymously report to and correspond with school officials about conduct violations.

"Honestly, we're not spying on kids. Can we focus back on the problem: The problem is we're not listening effectively," Frydrych said. "And we're shifting that."

See - What a load. It's not spying? Okay - it's stalking.

It's stalking and - apparently - it's coming back on the students via school policies (see the bolded statement above). Is he saying they're enforcing school policies on students when they conduct activity OUTSIDE of school?

What in the hell? That's some creepy crap right there. They are TRYING to be parents :roll: and the law.

All that money for them to do all that crap that they shouldn't be doing? Taxpayer's money for activities not condoned by the government, and most certainly not by the parents. They're not the law - they need to back the hell off.

Why is it that all this craziness comes from the west coast?
 

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California district hires firm to monitor students' social media - CNN.com






Read the rest of the article in the link.

So I don't think this is a good idea. I mean, the only way I see this becoming a good idea is if it teaches kids that the internet is no joke and that they shouldn't post personal information online for everyone to see. And hence, the kids would delete or not make FB accounts or myspace or what naught, or if they do, get educated on not behaving in a way that would be damaging for them in the future.

But even so. You're going to have a lot of kids growing up with the idea that it's FINE for someone, a state institution, to monitor them. It's fine to have surveillance. It's the way things should be. So when these kids have to go and vote for the next congressmen and president and what naught, the fact that there were privacy scandals and surveillance laws passed won't be such a big deal if it will be a big deal at all.
Are they monitoring the computers at the school, or are they forcing the children to cough up their passwords etc.? I think there's a difference.
 

Aderleth

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California district hires firm to monitor students' social media - CNN.com






Read the rest of the article in the link.

So I don't think this is a good idea. I mean, the only way I see this becoming a good idea is if it teaches kids that the internet is no joke and that they shouldn't post personal information online for everyone to see. And hence, the kids would delete or not make FB accounts or myspace or what naught, or if they do, get educated on not behaving in a way that would be damaging for them in the future.

But even so. You're going to have a lot of kids growing up with the idea that it's FINE for someone, a state institution, to monitor them. It's fine to have surveillance. It's the way things should be. So when these kids have to go and vote for the next congressmen and president and what naught, the fact that there were privacy scandals and surveillance laws passed won't be such a big deal if it will be a big deal at all.

I'm not sure that entirely follows. Social media is, more or less by definition, a public forum. If you're posting anything on FB or whatever you know - unless you're spectacularly stupid - that pretty much anyone who wants to see it can see it. Even if you've got privacy settings turned way up, anyone on your friends list can re-post or otherwise disseminate whatever it is that you've posted. That's a pretty far cry from the sorts of tracking of private data flows (e.g. search engine usage, shopping history, etc) that the government has been involved with for the last several years.

Put another way, it seems like these schools are starting to monitor what kids put out into the public for consumption, rather than attempting to invade their private lives in some way.
 

Utility Man

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From the Article:

...California has reduced mental health services in schools...

...California, is paying $40,500 to a firm to monitor and report on 14,000 middle and high school students' posts on Twitter, Facebook and other social media...

:2no4:

Have to wonder if Geo Listening is affilliated with The Geo Group.
 

Rainman05

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I'm not sure that entirely follows. Social media is, more or less by definition, a public forum. If you're posting anything on FB or whatever you know - unless you're spectacularly stupid - that pretty much anyone who wants to see it can see it. Even if you've got privacy settings turned way up, anyone on your friends list can re-post or otherwise disseminate whatever it is that you've posted. That's a pretty far cry from the sorts of tracking of private data flows (e.g. search engine usage, shopping history, etc) that the government has been involved with for the last several years.

Put another way, it seems like these schools are starting to monitor what kids put out into the public for consumption, rather than attempting to invade their private lives in some way.

It is debatable whether the online medium is as public as a public forum should be. People are private individuals unless you are public individual (newsperson, politician, generally people who have a great impact on the public affairs of the country). So therefore, everything you post you do it in that quality, as a private individual regardless whether it's in a public medium or not. SO it's really an open debate if it's public information that can be used on you or not.

Are they monitoring the computers at the school, or are they forcing the children to cough up their passwords etc.? I think there's a difference.

No. They are just monitoring what they are saying on the social media and putting it in their files.
 

Aderleth

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It is debatable whether the online medium is as public as a public forum should be. People are private individuals unless you are public individual (newsperson, politician, generally people who have a great impact on the public affairs of the country). So therefore, everything you post you do it in that quality, as a private individual regardless whether it's in a public medium or not. SO it's really an open debate if it's public information that can be used on you or not.

It's not really debatable whether online social media are public fora.

It sounds to me like you're confusing two distinct issues. Yes, public figures do get treated differently by the media, and have different standards applied regarding defamation cases, but that has really very little to do with whether or not a given piece of information is public or private. The fact is, if a 16 year old posts a photo with a caption to FB, the only meaningful difference between doing so and printing out a physical photo with a caption and posting it on the wall of his or her high school (which would obviously be putting it out into the public for consumption by his social environment; teachers included) is that the FB photo is far more likely to be seen by numerous people, and almost infinitely more likely to be copied and disseminated. For all intents and purposes anything posted on FB (and especially Twitter) is something that has been voluntarily given over to the public. Again, this is a far cry from having a government agent or organization sift through legitimately private and anonymous information (e.g. phone records, search engine history, etc). Complaining about strangers checking out your FB account is about as ridiculous as me complaining that a non DP member is reading this post.
 

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California district hires firm to monitor students' social media - CNN.com






Read the rest of the article in the link.

So I don't think this is a good idea. I mean, the only way I see this becoming a good idea is if it teaches kids that the internet is no joke and that they shouldn't post personal information online for everyone to see. And hence, the kids would delete or not make FB accounts or myspace or what naught, or if they do, get educated on not behaving in a way that would be damaging for them in the future.

But even so. You're going to have a lot of kids growing up with the idea that it's FINE for someone, a state institution, to monitor them. It's fine to have surveillance. It's the way things should be. So when these kids have to go and vote for the next congressmen and president and what naught, the fact that there were privacy scandals and surveillance laws passed won't be such a big deal if it will be a big deal at all.

I completely disagree with that use of taxpayer money. We're supposed to be spending that money on education kids; not spying on them.
 

Arcana XV

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Meh, the school district is only doing what the parents should be doing... monitoring what kids do and say in a public place, where anyone can see it. If more parents insisted on monitoring their kids' social media, then fewer parents would be stunned to find their bullied, depressed, or drug/alcohol addicted kids hanging in their closets.

Exactly. That was my first thought. Why does the school feel it has to do the parents' job? Could it be because the parents are NOT doing their job? Don't get me wrong, I don't like this level of government intrusion one bit, but when parents aren't stepping up to the plate, someone else has to. And that someone else, unfortunately, is always the government. :shrug:
 
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