Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Some Social Networking in the News

There are many posts that I have been meaning to write about Social Networking for a little while now. Since I haven't been able to keep up with them, here are the articles that I wanted to share with a small synopsis about each.

Study of Risky Behavior of Teens on MySpace

The first article is about a study done by two doctors about risky behaviors exhibited by teenagers in MySpace. According to the results of the study, over half of the teenagers profiles contained mention of a risky behavior such as violence, substance abuse, or sexual activity. What I found most interesting, however, was the results of the follow up study. In the follow up study, one of the doctors sent a message to half of 190 of the teenagers that they found on MySpace who publicly displayed a risky behavior on their profile. The email to those teenagers warned tham about displaying that type of information online. As a result of the email, 42% of those teenagers withdrew references to their risky behaviors from their profiles. Educating students about the type of information they publicly display about themselves online is becoming more and more important.

Teen Sues Facebook and Ex-Classmates

This is an unfortunate, but all too familiar story about how social networks can be used as a tool to hurt other teenagers. A student from New York is suing former classmates for defamation over a Facebook page that was created about her. The Facebook page allegedly included defamatory statements about the teen and caused her much emotional distress. These types of online defamation lawsuits are increasing, but what makes this one particularly interesting is that Facebook is also being sued by the teen. It will be very interesting to follow this case and see if Facebook is held responsible for any of the content their users post about others.

Facebook Advice for Parents

This next resource is a blog post with some Facebook advice for parents. This blog posts raises an interesting question for parents, should you create a profile on the social network you child has a profile on to monitor them? I see two arguments, one being that these online spaces are for teenagers to talk, share, create and parents that go on them to keep tabs on their children are invading on privacy. The other argument is that it is a parent's responsibility to know what their child is posting online, what pictures and information they are making public, and who they are talking to. A good parent would monitor who their children's friends are in real life, right? This article provides some tips for those parents who want to become one of their child's online friends.

Cool Facebook Story

The next blog post offers a positive about using social networking. This is from David Warlick's blog, 2¢Worth, which is a great blog about educational technology integration. David's title to this blog post is "A Very Cool Story", to which I concur, it is a very cool story and demonstrates the enormous potential that social networking can have in gathering information and problem solving.

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