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Warning: Your Facebook and MySpace Pages May Be Monitored

News from today’s Inside Higher Ed indicates that campuses are considering scouring students’ Facebook and MySpace pages for potentially harmful material, including drug references, foul language, and anything else that may hurt a college’s reputation.

Of course, the new technologies (including a product called YouDiligence, which is described in this story) that colleges may acquire to do this monitoring are raising questions among freedom of speech advocates, as well as the specter that “Big Brother” really is watching.

But in my experience, students are way too blasé about the content of their personal pages. References to drinking and drugs abound, foul language is common, and students routinely add widgets and applications without a thought as to how their personal information could be used by marketers or more nefarious individuals.

Further, students do not realize that technologically hip admissions officers are routinely looking at your Facebook and MySpace pages to see if there is anything that raises red flags about a particular applicant. Better safe than sorry: if you wouldn’t want your mom to see what you’re posting on those pages, better not to put it up there.

Mark Montgomery
Montgomery Educational Consulting

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  1. YouDiligence will be releasing in October of this year a website that allows parents to monitor their child’s social networking activity.

    There are so many reasons for parents to use a product such as YouDiligence. The reasons you mentioned are just a start.

    I was reading about a kid (I think his story was also in a version of Hard Copy) in Florida who was brutally teased in multiple ways including online in social networking sites. Kids often don’t like to share this, but parents can only start to fix such situations when they know about it. YouDiligence will help parents become aware of such troubling situations.

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