.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;} <$BlogRSDUrl$>




Ontario Empoblog

Ontario Emperor Blog
("yup, its random!")
This blog has been superseded by the mrontemp blog


Home
Archives

October 2003   November 2003   December 2003   January 2004   February 2004   March 2004   April 2004   May 2004   June 2004   July 2004   August 2004   September 2004   October 2004   November 2004   December 2004   January 2005   February 2005   March 2005   April 2005   May 2005   June 2005   July 2005   August 2005   September 2005   October 2005   November 2005   December 2005   January 2006   February 2006   March 2006   April 2006   May 2006   June 2006   July 2006   August 2006   September 2006   October 2006   November 2006   December 2006   January 2007   February 2007  


The Breast Cancer Site
Fund free mammograms at no cost to yourself by clicking on the link, then on the pink button.


Hall of Shame (NoteUnworthy Blog Posts)
Other Blogs (sorted regionally)
Ontario Emperor Selected del.icio.us Tags

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Listed on BlogShares

;

pkblogs.com


Who Links Here

Click for Ontario, California Forecast

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Anyone can read what I'm writing right now. 


Warning - I'm going to come off very fatherly and old and geezerly in this post. Deal with it.

Buerba.net references an article about an Illinois school district. The city in question is named Libertyville.


The board of Community High School District 128 voted unanimously on Monday to require that all students participating in extracurricular activities sign a pledge agreeing that evidence of "illegal or inappropriate" behavior posted on the Internet could be grounds for disciplinary action....

District officials won't regularly search students' sites, but will monitor them if they get a worrisome tip from another student, a parent or a community member.



Some parents think that the school district is acting like Big Brother here:


Mary Greenberg of Lake Bluff, who has a son at Libertyville High School, argued the district is overstepping its bounds.

"I don't think they need to police what students are doing online," she said. "That's my job."



The school district disagrees.


Associate Superintendent Prentiss Lea rebuffed that criticism.

"The concept that searching a blog site is an invasion of privacy is almost an oxymoron," he said. "It is called the World Wide Web."



The article then veers into everybody's favorite villain, MySpace...although, frankly, the school district rule is not specific to MySpace, or even to blogs in general. You can engage in illegal or inappropriate behavior anywhere. The question is - what exactly is inappropriate? As a for example, take this post that I wrote in a KFI message board (on MySpace, natch) which quotes another message and (in the response to me) gets into the whole topic of inappropriate behavior:


I recently received the following message:

-------
From: KFI Tribute Page

Date: May 20, 2006 8:55 PM
Subject: Racist...let's get this guy off MySpace
Body: Please report the following link to the MySpace moderators. I did, but this guy is still on, for some reason. Perhaps you guys can help.

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=78475763

I appreciate anyone who reports it. We don't need people like him on MySpace. Thanks...
-------

Agreed that the person's views are terrible, but why should such people be banned from MySpace? Are we suddenly going to force people to conform to politically approved views before they can speak?

That would be like KFI itself forcing its on-air talent to retract their views under pressure - oh wait, they already did that to Bill Handel. (I wrote about this previously in a blog post entitled "KFI - More Hypocritical Talk Radio," about the period when KFI was promoting its free spech concepts in its advertising, even as they were forcing Handel to apologize.)

Are there other KFI listeners who believe that shutting up dissent is a GOOD thing?

P.S. If you haven't heard about the judge who's trying to shut down a blogger, read about it here.



Here's the response that I received regarding why the Hitler wannabe should be banned:


...I'd just like to say that I DO agree with you in that people shouldn't be forced to conform to politically approved views before they can speak, and that shutting up dissent is a BAD thing. But in "Hitlar"'s case, dissent was not the issue. The fact of the matter was that "Hitlar" violated MySpace.com's Terms of Use Agreement.

Prohibited Content includes, but is not limited to Content that:

1. Is patently offensive and promotes racism, bigotry, hatred or physical harm of any kind against any group or individual;

7. Promotes information that you know is false or misleading or promotes illegal activities or conduct that is abusive, threatening, obscene, defamatory or libelous;

9. Involves the transmission of "junk mail, " "chain letters, " or unsolicited mass mailing, instant messaging, "spimming, " or "spamming"

"Hitlar" was responsible for violating these policies. If you, Ontario, have a problem with MySpace's Terms of Use Agreement, I suggest you contact MySpace.

I personally believe that MySpace's Terms of Use should be enforced, as MySpace would be one hell of a disaster if it weren't for it's strictly enforced policies. (Look at how Xanga turned out. It's a bloody mess!).

And apparently, many loyal KFI listeners strongly oppose racial discrimination, as I received literally dozens of supportful messages after posting that bulletin.



There are several issues with Hitlar here - one being spamming, and the other being Hitlar's views, which are characterized as racist, bigoted, and hateful. If you want to see for yourself, go to Hitlar's profile:


Invalid Friend ID.
This user has either cancelled their membership, or their account has been deleted.



Well, it's a moot point in this instance, although if we could find the theoretical Nazi that DIDN'T spam, perhaps this topic could be addressed again.

But back to the World Wide Web. It's world wide. And it's a web. And RockStarSuzie didn't like that:


There Once Was A Disney Princess Named Rockstar Suzie Who Had An Amazing Myspace With The Bestest Friends Ever

Rockstar Suzie Had Some Nosy Parents Who Stalked Her Myspace

Rockstar Suzie Didnt Like The Idea Of Her Parents Knowing What She Does

So Rockstar Suzie Made A New Myspace



And Gone is gone:


I am officially out of this myspace Ive had it MYSPACE IS A PLACE WHERE TEENS CAN BE FAKES THATS RIGHT FAKES ARE YOU LISTENING PARENTS? YOUVE JUST HAD US TEENS FORBIDDEN TO EVER SEE GOOD FRIENDS YA BELIEVE IT OR NOT GOOD FRIENDS NONE OF MY FRIENDS DO DRUGS YOU STUPID PARENTS WE DONT DRINK WE ARE ALL STRAIGHTEDGE ARE YOU KIDDING? WHY WOULD I HANG OUT WITH KIDS THAT DO DRUGS? YOU OBVIOUSLY DONT KNOW ME WELL ENOUGH I THOUGHT YOU WERE MY PARENTS OH MY GOSH YOU REALLY DONT KNOW ME I DONT HANG WITH KIDS THAT WOULD BRING ME DOWN I HANG OUT WITH PEOPLE THAT ARE TRUE TO ME AND ARE GREAT FRIENDS WETHER YOU BELIEVE IT OR NOT YEP THATS RIGHT ON THIS MYSPACE IVE LIED ALOT - I DONT HAVE A LIPRING - I AM NOT BI - I DONT SMOKE - I DONT DRINK I LIED ALOT AND IM SORRY IF YOU GUYS EVER BELIEVED ME BUT THATS WHY MYSPACE IS SO ADDICTING BECAUSE YOU CAN LIE AND BE SOMEONE ELSE THAT YOUR NOT WELL NOW THAT YOU STUPID PARENTS KNOW THIS MYSPACE IS OVER YOU PARENTS MADE ME FEEL HORRIBLE AND IM SICK OF IT


Let's follow the logic. I made up all this terrible stuff about myself, Mom and Dad found out, and now it's Mom and Dad's fault that I feel really horrible at the moment. But let's see what one of Gone's friends says in the comments area:


Saruhhh

11/15/2005 3:43 PM

Love!

I heard about the parents situation.

It's complete bullshit.

I completely agree with EVERYTHING you said in your "About Me" section. Myspace is where teens can be completely fake. Half of the shit kids say on here isn't true.

Parents should know that.

And Rae's parents, if you read this, Mili is NOT a bad influence, nor are most of the kids in Bethel Park. I've known Mili for a long time and he's my best friend. Neither of us do drugs, smoke, or drink. They're all stupid. Rae is friends with some of the nicest people you'd ever meet, but on myspace they make themselves out to be like they're hard. But they're DEFINATELY not. I also think that if you met Mili, you'd see what a nice kid he is. He may have the image of a "druggie" or a "stupid punk" but I'm sticking up for him because I know he's definately not at all like that.

Rae I love you! <3



The above was written by a 93 year old female. I'm "definately" suspicious of that claim. Betcha she's at least 97.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

Comments:
I read about the school board decision. Against my libertarian tendencies, I admit that I agree with their decision. Yes, parents should be the ones determining what their children and can't do on the internet, but they aren't. Much like parents should be the ones to explain sex to their children, but they aren't. Like it or not, in this day, in this society, the school has more input and control than parents. And everyone, including children, should be held accountable for what they write. That won't be the popular stance, but I'm okay with that.
 
I can't understand Mary Greenberg's stance that the schools SHOULDN'T be checking the online activity of students. The schools need to legally protect themselves, since if kid A blogs that classmate B should be subject to activity X at school Y, classmate B's parents will sue school Y in a heartbeat.

Come to think of it, did any parents sue the high school district in which Columbine was located? Ask THOSE parents if the Illinois school district is overstepping its bounds.
 
I've been surfing some blogs on this topic, and notice that at least two blogs (sorry, didn't bookmark 'em) claimed that a "right of privacy" was being violated. As the title of this post indicates, there is no right of privacy involved here.

Others agree that "illegal" behavior should be monitored, but are uncomfortable about the definition (if any) of "inappropriate." I'm wondering if the school district DID have such a definition, but it just didn't make the paper.

And Backyard Conservative has a good point:

So we can assume then, that the district would be equally open to letting a parent question the curriculum or behavior of a teacher or administrator engaged in inappropriate behaviour or the advocacy of it in the classroom?

The difference? Students aren't unionized...
 
I've blogged about this one myself (http://scott101.typepad.com/blog/2006/05/libertyville_th.html) but the short of it is that schools have no right to punish a student for "inappropriate" material published online.

For one, whether or not the parents really are doing their job, it's their job and not the school's. The schools are not morality police. Children are raised and guided by their parents who may have a different idea of "inappropriate" than the school. What the school is saying here is that the parents have no say in this.

For another, does anybody but me see how this can get out of hand? A student posts a nude painting that he made. Oops, the principal of the school finds that offensive - student suspended. Where's the oversight? Where did the parents who believe the painting is art get a say in this? Or what happens when the student doesn't get suspended for this but another parent brings it before the school board furious that he wasn't?

The school is definitely overstepping their bounds. If they want to protect themselves from a Columbine-esque lawsuit, fine - monitor for ILLEGAL activity. There is no reason, however, for them to monitor for "inappropriate" material.
 
Followup here, including a quote from Scott's blog post.
 
Post a Comment


Links to this post:

Create a Link