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Monrovia Schools May Listen In on Student Social Media Posts


At its Sept. 24 meeting, the Monrovia School Board (agenda: http://goo.gl/6RkakF ) will consider, among other things, contracting with a company called Geo Listening to listen in on what students are saying on social media sites and report back to the school postings involving "bullying, cyber bullying, despair, hate, harm, crime, vandalism, substance abuse, and truancy."
 
The staff report ( http://goo.gl/nbNOqe ) says the company monitors "public social network postings within the perimeter of a school. They do not migrate into the personal or private settings of any social network subscriber."

Comment: Hmmmm. If you understand this to mean that the company just monitors postings made "within the perimeter of a school" - perhaps by using the geolocation service on a cell phone - that is incorrect. The company's service brochure ( http://goo.gl/IvEUns ) says it searches "public social media activity for customized keywords, phrases, and pictures, and align to specific school locations." So if someone posts about Monrovia schools from Wyoming, it'll record it. I'm of two minds on this. First, it seems rather intrusive, but on the other hand, I suppose if you post publicly what you say is fair game and I can understand how it could be helpful. I'm curious what you think. You can post comments below.

- Brad Haugaard

3 comments:

  1. I think this is a TERRIBLE idea. The Fourth Amendment applies to young people, also.

    I think if this happens, a fair percentage of parents will decide to homeschool their kids, as I would have if if I knew my child was being spied on.

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  2. How about just not allowing cell phones to be used on campus? But, I don't think a single family will leave the school and home school their kids because of this. What happened in South Pasadena can happen here. Seems reasonable to me to monitor public posts.

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  3. This is a horrible, terrible, rotten idea. When I was a kid in school, this is the kind of thing we were warned the Soviet Union and Communist China did. I can't even imagine it's being considered, except this is the way of America now.

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