Tagged with " facebook"
Aug 3, 2011 - education, technology    No Comments

Missouri’s Facebook Law

Have you heard about this? Missouri has created a law that prevents teachers from interacting with students via social media.   My first thought was that I went back to the conversation my ED307 students and I had about social media and boundaries, where they all very strongly agreed that teachers shouldn’t friend students, but when presented with more real life situations, they realized that area gets gray, really quickly.  What about the student that is a family friend? Or the parent friending a teacher? Or the parent that is also a teacher? (My mom was a teacher in my school; would she have been allowed to friend me on Facebook?)

The law is part of the Amy Hestir Student Protection Act, which is named for a student who was sexually abused by a teacher…. decades ago. Which brings back my mantra “the internet is real life.” Will banning teacher/student interaction via social media stop sexual abuse? Nope. Will it create a false sense of ‘safety’ for some people? Yep.

I DO think it’s a good idea for teachers to be professional in their use of social media, and think that the idea of a fan page for a teacher is a great one. But I think this law is a little short-sighted, because it didn’t take Facebook/social media to create an environment for abuse for Amy Hestir, and it won’t prevent it in the future.

Jul 12, 2011 - technology    No Comments

How business goes wrong with Facebook

I love social media, and I love connecting with business on social media. However, there are way too many businesses who are operating under a Facebook profile, and not a Facebook page. Generally, my thought is “well, they just don’t know better,” and I sigh, loudly, and move on, because I won’t friend a business. 

But, the internet is real life! It sure is. And just as I don’t invite door-to-door salesman into my home, I won’t invite a business into my Facebook. I don’t have anything to hide, but it makes me question their motives. After a recent conversation where I learned that, actually, there are several businesses that prefer the profile, just to have access to their client’s pages, I’m even more committed to trying to right these wrongs.

Firstly, it’s against Facebook policy to represent a business or organization via a profile. No, really, it is.  There’s even a way for an average user to report it, over on the left of their profile, scroll down to “Report/Block this Person” and a menu comes up. Choose: “This profile is pretending to be someone or is fake,” and then “Represents a Business or an Organization.”

Or, if you are realizing that you yourself are committing this faux pas, you can easily roll your business profile to a Facebook Page following these steps:

Convert your Facebook profile to a page

Or let’s try it the nice way. Fill out this form and let businesses know WHY this is bad, and why this isn’t winning them any friends. I can think of a half dozen businesses that I’d love to see in my news feed, but I won’t make them my friend. Are you in the same boat? Let them know. I’d love to email the businesses doing this with the instructions above, and solid reasons as to why it isn’t working for the rest of us when they operate this way.