Would you like to confirm Facebook as your friend? Confirm Reject Canisius College Dan Norton Colleen Smith Erica Tebbetts
What is Facebook? • According to the Facebook website: “Facebook is an online directory that connects people through social networks at schools. “ • The “social network” is intended for students, but anyone that has an .edu e-mail address can have access to the site. • “The most visited site for 18-24-year-olds.”
History • Facebook was founded as Thefacebook in February 2004. • Facebook (online) replaced the paper edition of Facebook that students used to receive when entering college. • Originally started at Harvard College by students. • In the beginning, Facebook was intended only for Ivy league schools and top schools in the nation. • Founders were Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes.
Facebook Statistics • Over 2,500 Colleges and Universities use Facebook. • Over 22,000 High Schools use Facebook. • Over 12.4 Million Members, and growing daily (12/2005). • Ranked ninth in terms of overall hits on the Internet behind fellow online network Myspace.com. • 60% of students log in daily, 85% log in at least once a week, and 93% log in at least once a month.
Why Facebook? • Students use Facebook to… • To seek dates, new friends, activity partners, or business networking current contacts. • To keep in contact with various friends and acquaintances (without trying to memorize email addresses, etc.). • Ever heard of six degrees of separation? These sites operate under the notion that everybody knows each other through five other people. • To look up profiles and thereby catch up/spy on long-lost enemies from elementary school and see how they indirectly link to you through your current network. • To join common interest groups/communities within the network. • No other reason than being told by their friends to join. • To assess one’s own popularity. • To procrastinate. • Facebook co-founder cites Facebook’s “versatility and student's curiosity about their peers as main reasons for the site’s rapid growth in popularity. It’s useful and fun to use.”
Personnel Information Displayed • Personal information is voluntarily supplied by the user. • Information that the user may display in personal profile can include: • City Gender • Concentration Birthday • Hometown and State High School • Relationship Status Sexual Orientation • ("Interested in") • Political Views Interests • Favorite Music Favorite TV Shows • Favorite Movies Favorite Books • Favorite Quotes • "About Me": A short description of the user
PHOTOS!! Adding more to a text profile • On October 27, 2005, the “My Photos” feature came into existence, allowing users to post pictures in photo albums for friends to view. • Photographs on site are being used in cases where a student may already have been brought up on similar charges with the college’s judicial system. • People see not only the pictures students upload, but friends and others can “tag” (link pictures to) anyone (whether that person is actually in the photo or not)
Comparable University Statistics • University at Buffalo • 2,809 Pictures posted and1,640 Pokes on a single day • University of Massachusetts • 3,354 Pictures posted and 2,497 Pokes on a single day • Iowa State • 25,741 total enrolment, 20,247 registered Facebook users (~79%)
If it wasn’t Facebook, it would be… • CampusNetwork • ConnectU • Echo • Myspace • Yahoo groups • Google: Orkut • Friendster • Xanga Other online communities that college administrators need to be aware of. All of these sites need to also be addressed to student affairs administrators.
Student Affairs and Facebook • “Facebook has truly taken on a life of its own, and the implications are significant. The Facebook was used on our campus for a (successful) student government campaign. It has also been used to pursue violations of our code of student conduct based on photographs posted by students.” • – Student Affairs Administrator
Student Affairs and Facebook • “There have been several instances where during the course of a mediation or roommate conflict, students have brought to my attention, or to the RAs attention, statements or pictures of students behavior that is related to their conflict or problem.” • -Resident Director at John Carroll University
Facebook Issues for Student Affairs Administrators • Privacy • Addiction • Safety • Judicial Implications • To discipline or not to disciple? • Legal • First Amendment • Harassment • Stalking • Racism • Sexism • Heterosexism • Student reputation • Public knowledge • Future employment
“Online networks like Facebook allow high levels of surveillance…and not just for marketers. College administrators are known to troll the profiles on Facebook for evidence of illegal behavior by students…students might think they are merely crafting and surfing a vast network of peers, but because their Facebook profile is, in essence, a public diary, there is nothing to stop anyone else—from marketers, to parents, to college officials—from reading it.” • – A Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center
Addiction • “Many students find it addictive, as evidenced by discussion groups with names like "Addicted to the Facebook,” which boasts 330 members at Iowa State, and “Facebook, the internet crack…”. • Nationwide, “Facebook tallies 250 million hits every day and ranks ninth in overall traffic on the Internet.” • This means we need to collaborate with Counseling Center and other administrators on campus to set up group counseling for Facebook Addicts and increase student activities and programs at peak Facebook times.
Safety • Students must remember to log off of their online community groups in public computer labs, because the next user could easily access their profile/messages/etc. • Students need to be cautious about where they leave their passwords because they could be victims of identity theft. • If left by computer, it is easy to find them. • Users should avoid using passwords that can be easily guessed. • Mother’s maiden name, pets name, birthday, etc.
Judicial Implications: To discipline or not discipline based on a “Facebook incident” • “Colleges and universities have admitted to taking actions against students for incriminating pictures and comments.” • Photos are used. • “At Penn State University, 50 students were disciplined by campus police after being tagged in photos of a group.” • Content of profile is used. • “A first year student was investigated by the Secret Service after posting the comment, ‘ We could all donate a dollar and raise millions of dollars to hire an assassin to kill the president and replace him with a monkey.’”
Legal Issues • “It is always helpful to law enforcement when people breaking the law document their criminal activity.” (i.e. Photos of underage drinking) • If there is a legitimate request from a law enforcement agency, administrators typically hand over Facebook profiles. • Legal issues that are involved in Facebook are contractual agreements, First Amendment issues, libel, harassment, and stalking. • In order to make a claim/case against Facebook, a student would have to go to California, which is where the Facebook headquarters are located.
First Amendment Issues • Students demand First Amendment rights to speech. • Online content is protected under the First Amendment, just as long as the message is content-neutral. • There are, however, limitations of the First Amendment that will not be protected: • Limitations are: hate speech, offensive material, incitement to inflict lawlessness, defamation, etc. • Private colleges and Universities are not bound to the First Amendment.
Harassment/Stalking • To avoid being a victim of harassment, cyberstalking, and stalking, students are advised to: • Avoid posting residential address information. • Avoid posting phone numbers. • Be selective with the content of personal information that is being posted. • Be aware that information posted is available to anyone with Internet access. • (Taken from letter to all students at the University of Virginia from the UV Police Department and the Vice President for Student Affairs)
In Facebook’s Defense… • “Facebook prides itself in being a positive environment for peers to safely interact. Unfortunately, however, sometimes people abuse our site by posting inappropriate content or harassing others.” • Facebook allows users to contact them directly if they come into these problems: • “You’re receiving unwanted messages.” • “You’re receiving unwanted wall postings.” • “You find an explicit, hateful, or otherwise objectionable profile on Facebook.” • “You find an explicit, hateful, or otherwise objectionable group on Facebook.” • “Someone has posted an objectionable photo on Facebook.” • “Someone has identified you as being in a photo that you’re not in.” • “You find an explicit, hateful, or otherwise objectionable ad on Facebook.”
Racism, Sexism, Heterosexism…isms • Facebook policy prohibits any messages, content or images that are racist, sexist, heterosexist, etc. • Certain messages can be deemed offensive to other users and could potentially lead to: • Violent crimes • Increased conflict
Students on Display • A student’s Facebook profile becomes a representation of a student’s reputation. • A student’s profile is accessible and becomes public knowledge. • The content of a student’s profile could affect future employment.
The Public Record • Media response to news stories. • Pictures from profile is used in aftermath of crime/incident. • Information listed on Facebook isn’t protected as a confidential student record. • Facebook representatives have made it clear that any information posted on the site is public and students can implicate themselves with photos and comments.
Future Employment • “Human resource departments already Google candidates routinely, to say that it (Facebook) won’t affect employment prospects is naïve.” • Facebook profiles are “easy, cheap, and available to employers conducting routine background checks.” • Career Services and other administrators should warn students to remove any questionable material from their profile if job searching. • Perspective employers may consult Facebook before making hiring decisions.
Future “Face” of Facebook • As Facebook increases (even more) in popularity, the following is a list of what other features/issues will impact student affairs: • More International Schools becoming Facebook members. • File Sharing? • High schools- will Facebook affect Admissions processes? • Instant messaging through the site? • Advertising • “The site makes money on advertisements from big brands like Apply and Tiffany’s because of the huge volume of students logging on each day.” • More of a main stream medium for our future students
Pros Comfort Level Common Interest Social Networking Increased involvement/community building Increased engagement and awareness Opportunity to address developmental issues with residents Cons No clear way for administrators to monitor Facebook material Can be perceived as a popularity contest Increased organization of campus dissent Controversial- allows too much “openness” for students Pros and Cons of Facebook: A Quick Summary
In Favor of Facebook… • “From the beginning Facebook wanted to be ‘gay-friendly.’” • Student affairs administrators have an “inside look” at what student interests are, which makes it easier to program for students. • Teachable moments for students about online etiquette. (“netiquette”)
Opponents of Facebook… • Facebook is too controversial - It opens up a host of issues that can’t be monitored efficiently by student affairs administrators. • Students are exposing too much of their personal lives to anyone and everyone that want to have access to it.
Impact on Student Affairs Administrators • “College administrators have embraced technology as a means of furthering education, but they have failed to realize that the younger generation views technology largely as a means of delivering entertainment – be it music, video games, Internet access, or television – and secondarily, as a means of communicating.” • -A Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington D.C.,
Student Affairs Concerns • “Facebook is changing how students interact with each other but also how student affairs professionals interact with students.” • “The impact of student development and learning.” • “A students persistence and success.” • Difference between monitoring and addressing Facebook. • Campus safety, residence hall staff, and deans of students are creating Facebook profiles.
For Student Affairs Administrators… • Are you thinking about creating a Facebook profile? Questions to consider: • Should I fill out the entire profile? How much do students need to know about me, such as my sexual orientation, if I am in a relationship, or what my interests are? The questions should be filled out how the person represents oneself professionally. • How will I decide who my friends will be? Some students may request you to be their online friend, but some of these students will also have questionable material in their profile, such as photos of them drinking underage. How will you deal with these students? • Should I join any of the online groups? Some students may ask you to be a part of some of their groups, what might be groups made up for fun. Once again, think about how you would like to represent yourself professionally and what the advantages and disadvantages to joining these groups are. • (Taken from Wadas, The Challenges and Advantages to Facebook)
Student Response… • First year student’s reactions to having administrators on Facebook: • “Administrators should be restricted from Facebook…it’s intended for college students, not intended to bust people. It’s definitely an invasion of privacy, then again we’re stupid enough to put that type of information on the Internet.”
Initiatives • Education Programs • “If done correctly, Facebook (and all online communities) can facilitate healthy real-life relationships.” • Assessment • Monthly/yearly survey of Facebook usage • Discussions • Involve faculty in discussions because students who use computers in classrooms and labs routinely perform “a host of activities online while listening to lectures.” (i.e. checking email, sending instant messages or reading news)
Potential Policies? • It is not necessary to create online specific codes of conduct, because terrestrial polices are also applicable in the virtual realm. • Residence Life policy recommendations for student staff: • “Personal profiles should be consistent with expectations of the RA position including role modeling. You may not post items of an offensive or sexual nature. Depictions or comments alluding to policy violations are not acceptable. If you are unsure of the suitability of some material, please contact your professional staff.” • Make sure that all policies are reflective of Diversity College’s mission statement.
Stakeholders • Facebook affects everyone: • President of Diversity College • Board of trustees • Alumni • Current Students • Faculty, staff, and administration • PARENTS
We Need to Educate Students • “I think these online networks are a really good idea, but students haven’t thought through how they will use them. They need to start thinking about the long term ramifications of what they are putting online today.” • -A College Administrator
The Orientation Presentation • Departments involved: • IT, Residence Life, Counseling Center, Career Services, Faculty, Orientation, Campus Police • Scheduled events: • Separate panel discussions on online communities given to both students and parents. • Large group activity “How much is really out there?” • Small group activities with student orientation leaders. • Go over Facebook safety tips.
Large Group Activity: How much is really out there? • Supplies: Computer, Connection to large overhead screen, Internet connection. • Do a Google search on yourself, member of audience, or already determined person or topic. • Ask following questions to group about material: • Does this identify me or lead to any identifying information? • Where else does this lead/how can someone else get here? • Could this make someone feel uncomfortable or embarrassed? • Could this be used against me if I ran for public office in the future? • Would my supervisor have a problem with what I have posted? • What would someone who doesn’t know me assume about my character from only this information?
Small Group Activity I • Facebook Case Studies • Break up into small groups. • Each group has a case study/situation that involved Facebook. • Small group discuss: • What they would do in the situation? • Ethical and morale dilemmas of the situation. • How they would improve the situation? • Orientation leader as moderator.
Small Group Activity IExample Situation • A Case Study: • A young man/women approaches you at a restaurant. He/she asks you out on date, but you decline. Later that evening, the individual calls your room to say “hello.” Additionally, you now notice that he/she is always around after class to walk you to lunch or back to your room. He/she asks to be added as your Facebook “friend.” What do you do?
Small Group Activity II • Each student is asked to write their most embarrassing moment on a piece of paper. • The papers are collected by orientation leader. • Stories read out loud to small group. • Processing questions: • Where you embarrassed when this information was given? • Would you be embarrassed or upset if: • Administrator knew this. • Future employers knew this. • Your parents knew this. • A random guy or girl in your math class knew this.
Facebook Safety Tips • Do not include address, room number or phone number in your profile. • Set the “Friend” option so only confirmed friends can view your information • Make sure that no “Wall Messages” contain personal information
Facebook Safety Tips cont… • Do not post your class schedule, it advertises when you will and will not be home • Know that any pictures posted become public property • Password protect anything that you can (Facebook Safety Tips will be given to all students in IT information packet and posted in Public computer labs)
The Tutorial • Purpose: • To educate students about Facebook so they are able to use it in a healthy and safe way. • Content: • Explanation, History, Relevant Literature, Campus Resources, Quiz. • Learning Outcomes: • Students will understand the history and development of Facebook. • Students will learn the potential safety concerns of Facebook. • Students will be able to protect themselves when using online communities. • Students will be able to think critically about Facebook and make wise judgments on what they are posting in profile and what is being posted about them. • Students will be familiar with the available resources on campus that relate to Facebook. • Students will be able to manage their Facebook time appropriately. • Students will be able to develop a positive Facebook community that will benefit enriching Diversity College’s campus community as a whole.
Diversity College Facebook Tutorial Welcome to the Diversity College Internet Login Portal Before you long into the network for the first time you must complete a short tutorial and a quiz. Please login to begin. Bill Student *********** Login