According to a USA Today post, schools are now looking into the idea of following what kids post on their social networks and according to dailymail, geo listening provides Glendale district officials with a daily report based on students’ post from social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and YouTube. As a student myself, I find this idea to be very intruding and disrespectful to students. After looking through other sources and thinking about the idea for a while, I started to piece together why this may be a good thing and why it might be a bad idea.
The Good: Spying has had a negative connotation since, well, forever. In fact, one of the most controversial subjects today is the idea that the government has drones flying around and skeptics say they’re spying on us to track our every move. There are a great number of who are law abiding citizens and try to follow all of the rules that are set forth before us but what about those that don’t? For example, there have been many reports that Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook shooter, posted Facebook updates leading up to the mass shooting. If the schools would have been tracking him, lives could have saved. According to Cleveland’s news net 5,
“School officials say the purpose is to protect students and is timely following two student suicides in recent years”.
The Bad: Obviously the negative connotation is still there for spying, but why? Where do we draw the line on how intrusive the school system is into kids lives? In addition to that, can we really afford to spend $45,000 a year for each school (many of whom are already in fiscal trouble) to follow these kids on social networks? We might also be able to think about the infringement on our 2nd amendment rights. We have the right to freedom of speech and freedom of the press which we’ll have on social networks no matter what but are the kids posts going to be disrupted because of the program that tracks them? Do we have complete control on who gets the information from the program? Is the school the only business that gets to see the posts and if they are, what are the chances that it gets leaked or even worse, sold to another company who can then tailor their advertisements to these kids? According to CNN,
“Sandy Russell, president of the school district’s PTA, said parents have many questions about the monitoring, a topic that will be addressed later this month when the superintendent makes his regular appearance at a PTA meeting”.
It will be interesting to see if the program will continue to be funded after the PTA meeting is held. As to me, I will keep using my social media sites but as soon as I hear that I’m being monitored by my school, I’m calling it quits and deleting every damn social media account that I have.