Social networks are often described as “objectionable” and “age inappropriate” in terms of young people.
Your role as an intellectual freedom advocate: Help all patrons distinguish between hype and concern about social technologies. Rather than labeling a technology as inappropriate, help people to make informed decisions about them.
While school and public libraries must adhere to laws such as CIPA, COPPA, and DOPA, these laws tend to restrict access based on technology rather than content.
Your role as an intellectual freedom advocate: Comply with the laws, but review your institution’s use policies and filtering software to examine how to best use social networks to educate instead of simply limiting access.
When young people participate in online communities, they may come into contact with strangers who have malicious intent.
Your role as an intellectual freedom advocate: Instruct young people about how to balance the desire for interaction with the importance of personal safety. Help students makes distinction between information they might post on private and public sites.
The best practice for addressing harassment and bullying of young people is not to further restrict their intellectual freedom by applying filters to technology, but rather to advise them on how to be mindful of the consequences of statements and behaviors online.
When awareness of cyber-bullying and online predators is recognized by young people, their curiosity will be a first step to prevention.
References American Library Association, (2006). ALA Podcast Script: Online Social Networks. Retrieved October 17, 2010, from American Library Association Web site: http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/oif/ifissues/issuesrelatedlinks/podcastnetworking.cfm Barnes, S.B. (2006). A Privacy Paradox: Social Networking in the United States. Retrieved from http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/ fm/article/viewArticle/1394/1312%23note4 Hamilton, S. (2003). Freedom of access to information and freedom of expression: the Internet as a tool for global social inclusion. Library Management , 24(8/9), 407-416. Retrieved October 17, 2010 from Emerald Gate Database. Hinduja, S., Patchin, J.W. (2010). Changes in adolescent online social networking behaviors from 2006 to 2009 Computers in Human Behavior. Retrieved from Google Scholar.
References Lamb, A. (2007). Intellectual freedom for youth: social technology and social networks. Knowledge Quest, 36 (2), 38-45. Mezrich, Ben. (2009). Friends and foes: The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal. The Economist, Retrieved November 1, 2010 from, http://www.economist.com/node/14164433 . Mitchell, K.J., Finkelhor, D., Jones, L.M., Wolak, J. (2010). Use of Social Networking Sites in Online Sex Crimes Against Minors: An Examination of National Incidence and Means of Utilization. Journal of Adolescent Health, 47, 183-190. Pempek, Tiffany. (2009). College students' social networking experiences on Facebook. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology , 30, 227-238. Retrieved October 17, 2010 from, doi:10.1016/j.appdev.2008.12.010.
References Smith, William P, Deborah L. Kidder. (2009). You’ve been tagged! (Then again, maybe not): Employers and Facebook . Business Horizons, 53, 491-499. Retrieved October 17, 2010 from Science Direct Database. Snow, G.M. (2010). Online Privacy, Social Networking and Crime Victimization. Testimony before the FDCH Congressional. Retrieved from MasterFILE Premier. Young Adult Library Services Association (2006). DOPA Information Packet: A Resource for Librarians and Library Workers. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org /ala/mgrps/divs/yalsa/profdev/DOPAInfoPacket.pdf