Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Should universities censor students on social media?

Date:
June 24, 2014
Source:
Taylor & Francis
Summary:
Huge increases in the use of social media by students have posed difficult ethical questions for Universities. Comments posted on sites such as Facebook are often ‘stream of consciousness’ thoughts, expressed with little regard to their potential impact. Sometimes, they constitute serious transgressions, including racism, homophobia, violent threats and admissions of plagiarism. Do Universities have a duty of care to intervene for staff and student well-being? Should freedom of speech be upheld?

Huge increases in the use of social media by students have posed difficult ethical questions for Universities. Comments posted on sites such as Facebook are often 'stream of consciousness' thoughts, expressed with little regard to their potential impact. Sometimes, they constitute serious transgressions, including racism, homophobia, violent threats and admissions of plagiarism. Do Universities have a duty of care to intervene for staff and student well-being? Should freedom of speech be upheld?

John Rowe's latest research offers a concise summary of the ethical problems faced by universities trying to protect their staff, students, and reputation. Rowe also proposes a practical method for categorising online comments about teachers, students, classes, and institutions.

Students and teachers were shown a number of social media posts of varying degrees of offensiveness. These were real posts from real university-related student-run sites:

"Did u c that toby did the assignment already? He said he'd do mine as well if I want! Score!"

"That Chinese chick in our group is so lame. She is just freeloading on us cos she can't speak English. Stupid b****."

"I wish Gina would die!! Aaaargh! I think I might kill her tomorrow!"

They were asked to rank them from 1-4 (trivial to serious) and write what they thought the university should do about each.

There was a wide consensus that the most serious comments were about cheating and plagiarism and those that threatened violence, and/or were racist, sexist, and/or homophobic.

However, 'no' remained the definite answer when asked whether universities should monitor student-run sites.

Comments of this nature can seriously threaten the well-being of students and staff at university. So what can be done to protect them, while maintaining freedom of speech?


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Taylor & Francis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. John Rowe. Student use of social media: when should the university intervene? Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 2014; 36 (3): 241 DOI: 10.1080/01587919.2014.899054

Cite This Page:

Taylor & Francis. "Should universities censor students on social media?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140624105848.htm>.
Taylor & Francis. (2014, June 24). Should universities censor students on social media?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140624105848.htm
Taylor & Francis. "Should universities censor students on social media?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140624105848.htm (accessed August 29, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Friday, August 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 28, 2014) The World Health Organisation has called for the regulation of electronic cigarettes as both tobacco and medical products. Ciara Lee looks at the impact of the move on the tobacco industry. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
JPMorgan Chase Confirms Possible Cyber Attack

JPMorgan Chase Confirms Possible Cyber Attack

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 28, 2014) Attackers stole checking and savings account information and lots of other data from JPMorgan Chase, according to the New York Times. Other banks are believed to be victims as well. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) CDC director Tom Frieden says the Ebola outbreak is even worse than he feared. But he also said there's still hope to contain it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Ebola Cases Could Eventually Reach 20,000

UN: Ebola Cases Could Eventually Reach 20,000

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) The Ebola outbreak in West Africa eventually could exceed 20,000 cases, more than six times as many as are known now, the World Health Organization said as the US announced plans to test an experimental Ebola vaccine. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins