Monday, February 11, 2008

Think Before You Post

TeacherTube is hosting a short PSA from the Ad Council with a message to teens about posting pictures of themselves online. I have embedded the video below. It is an important topic to discuss with students because some do not realize that pictures or videos of themselves can be viewed, copied, printed, saved, altered, and shared by just about anyone. Take a look at this article in which half a million images were stolen from MySpace and then shared in a file online. According to the article, some of these photos were even from users who had set their profiles to 'private' so that only their friends were supposed to view them. Apparently, the person who stole the photos exploited a security hole on the website, which has since been fixed. Still, it goes to show that even when you set our profile on 'private' some hackers can find their way into them.

The other aspect of this PSA that is a good discussion starter with students is that fact that what they post online can be monitored by school officials, college admission officers, perspective employers and even law enforcement. Last month, students in South Burlington, VT were disciplined after photos of them in possession of alchohol were posted on Facebook. It is an interesting article because it also states that last June, students were issued citations for underage drinking after photos of them surfaced on Facebook.

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