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Book 'em, Danno.

I hadn't used FaceBook until this week. Most of my friends aren't affiliated with the U, so it isn’t very useful to me. I was looking at it once, and found my old dentist-in-training from the U's student clinic, and so could see where he's practicing now. Which I suppose is good if I wanted to track him down, although if I’d found pictures of him doing things I found distasteful, I probably wouldn't want his hands in my mouth anymore.

I've chosen to put relatively little information on my profile, and no picture of myself, and I'll more than likely delete it after this week. I've had momentary profiles on other sites, but generally nothing with my real name or anything that identifies me personally.

I don't think schools should feel they need to protect students from themselves. In the real (non-college) world, cops investigate and prosecute law-breakers, employers look for dirt, and people stalk each other. That’s how we learn how to act— by experiencing the consequences of our words and actions. I think schools are developing policies and “Thoughts? largely for legal and business reasons. If a college can show that students were given fair warning about the perils of FaceBook, they stand less of a chance of being sued by someone who didn’t get the job they wanted because of their online history. Since the student body reflects on the school, it’s in the best interest of any institution to keep their image as shiny and respectable as possible— that way, parents will want to send their kids there and alumni will want to keep making donations.

I agree with Mitrano’s statement in Cornell’s “Thoughts on FaceBook?: “On FaceBook, you have absolutely no expectation of privacy.?(Section IV) To me, FaceBook is a business, and doesn't have any responsibility to do anything but make money. It doesn't pretend to be truly concerned with serving its users while taking nothing in return; Facebook makes money off of our willingness to give up information about ourselves. Users get a social networking opportunity, and advertisers get a captive audience of young, educated consumers. “Young adults are the primary trend drivers in our society. Marketing to young adults on their own terms is critical for success. Facebook offers relevant and integrated advertising opportunities to engage the tech-savvy youth audience. We can help you develop the ideal Facebook advertising solution that reaches an active audience of youth trend-setters and influencers. “(From FaceBook’s ‘advertise’ section)

Comments

I completely agree with your views on the nature of facebook as a business. It is very true that they are nothing but another social networking site out there to make money of Americans starved for attention. At least that's the case now. Facebook started off as a college only service offering accounts only to student of selected universities. While this should be self-explanatory to most, some people don't pay attention to or pick pick up on the fact that the facebook is not the relatively safe place it once was. Those who got into it early on knew it was something only students could use use and saw that as their security blanket. I think the real danger to people based on what they post is the simple fact of how quickly things become popular and saturate the market these days. Hopefully America's young adults will eventually recognize these changes and change their ways accordingly.

Your opening paragraph is really funny about the dentist. It's true, if you find someone online and you find out that they are doing things distasteful, you would think twice about what you would put on your own profile. I agree with you that schools don't need to regulate us from what we post online. We are adults and should know the difference about what is appropriate and what is not.