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    FacebookandMySpace FacebookandMySpace Presentation Transcript

    • Facebook & MySpace Understanding the Issues
    • What is Facebook & MySpace?
      • Social networking websites providing interactive:
        • Blogs
        • User profiles
        • Groups
        • Photos
        • Internal email capability
    • MySpace
      • Started as a home to various bands trying to attract attention. Now many celebrities and musicians have pages.
      • Purchased by Rupert Murdoch for $580 million.
      • Anyone over 14 may register for an account.
      • You do not need an account to browse profiles.
    • MySpace – What is the big deal?
      • MySpace has 95 million registered users. 500,000 new members are registering each day. 78% are over 18 years of age.
      • MySpace is the world’s 4 th most popular English language website and the 8 th most popular in the world.
    • Facebook
      • Founded by three Harvard students in 2004 as a replacement for the traditional “facebook.”
      • Initially, facebook required an .edu email address. Recently, it expanded to other organizations.
    • Facebook
      • Users can create profiles and upload pictures.
      • Users can search for “friends” by favorite music, residence, high school, etc.
      • Users can create groups for others to join.
      • Requires an account to access.
    • Facebook – What’s the big deal?
      • Facebook is the 7 th most visited site on the internet.
      • Approximately 85% of students at supported colleges have accounts.
      • 60% of students log onto their account daily.
    • The Bad . . .
    • The Bad . . .
    • The Bad . . .
    • What can we do?
      • First Amendment Issues
        • Three cases form the basis of review when evaluating student speech.
        • There is no direct law involving facebook & myspace, but these cases have been used to evaluate personal websites.
    • What can we do?
      • Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District
        • Schools may regulate speech:
          • When the speech “materially & substantially interferes with the requirements of appropriate discipline in the operation of the school.”
            • “unqualified fear of disruption” does not meet the material interference standard.
    • What can we do?
      • Tinker con’d:
        • May regulate speech that interferes with “the rights of other students to be secure and left alone.”
      • Bethel School District v. Fraser:
        • Schools may prohibit offensive language that undermines the “basic educational mission” of the school at school events.
    • What can we do?
      • Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeir:
        • Schools may regulate student sponsored publications as long as the regulations relate to “legitimate pedagogical concerns.”
      • Problems with Tinker, Bethel, & Hazelwood.
    • What can we do?
      • J.S. v. Bethlehem Area School District
        • Court found that school district has not violated student’s 1 st Amendment rights when they expelled him for creating a website called “Teacher Sux.” The website contained threats against the teacher, a picture of the teacher with “her head cut off, blood dripping from her neck, and her face morphing into Hitler’s face.”
    • What can we do?
      • Evaluate content of site
      • Use issues as a “teachable moment.”
    • What should we do?
      • Do we have a duty to review Facebook/MySpace accounts?
      • What if we want to review Facebook/MySpace accounts?
      • Do we need to inform students that we may view their account?
    • Questions/Comments
      • Angi Smith
      • Director, Office of Student Judicial Affairs
      • University of Tennessee
      • 409 Student Services Building
      • Knoxville, TN 37996
      • 865.974.3171
      • [email_address]
    • Disclaimer: This presentation is informational only and is not meant to serve as legal advice. Please contact your General Counsel or Attorney for legal advice.