Facebook Scandal

Although I am a huge fan of the ability to easily publish things on the internet–maybe I’m more into free culture than I realized–I’ve also wondered how many problems crop up. I’ve looked occasionally at ratemyprofessor.com, and though I’ve never been rated (either my students don’t love me enough or don’t hate me enough to rate me, though actually I think it has more to do with the lack of technological know-how among El Paso community college students), I’ve frequently wondered what I would do or how I would feel if one of my students wrote a bad comment about me. The New York Times today has an interesting article about what happened when some teachers at a very elite private school in New York City├é┬áprivately logged on to Facebook and found some hate groups directed at themselves. Scandals like these lead to questions about what “free speech” really is and really means, what privacy is and what it means, and whether posting something on a supposedly “private” site like Facebook (which is still accessed by millions of people) is actually “private” or whether it’s “publication” and thus subject to defamation claims.

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