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Notes from the Online World

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• A study confirms what you probably already knew: Many online security measures are a waste of time.

• The folks who make Facebook apps need to learn the difference between ugly viral and pretty viral.

• The courts are still figuring out whether the First Amendment protects student activities in MySpace.

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  1. The best way to get your friends to help you build your barn is to create fake friends. People have whole lists of phony names that help them in their Mafia War, Farm or whatever schemes.

  2. The courts are still figuring out whether the First Amendment protects student activities in MySpace.

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say, “No.”

  3. And, as I said on the NJ teachers thread, if a student put that lame “Mister Shickelgruber is my FAVORITE gym teacher” joke on his MySpace page, the shop steward for the teachers union would be trying to get him jailed for HateSpeech.

    1. And, as I said on the NJ teachers thread, if a student put that lame “Mister Shickelgruber is my FAVORITE gym teacher” joke on his MySpace page

      I’m intrigued. What is this joke?

      1. Hitler was born Adolf Shickelgruber. I’m thinking if he had kept his birth name then German history might have turned out a wee bit different.

        1. Yeah. It was actually a pretty close call as to which name he would take as a child. Somehow Heil Schickelgruber just doesn’t really work.

          1. He was legally recognized by Hitler, senior, when he was about 6 or so. Many of his political opponents tried to stick the “Shickelgruber” tag on him once he started gaining in popularity, but it didn’t take.

            1. If you mean “didn’t take” as in “died in horrible, instructive ways that warned others”, then sure.

  4. A study confirms what you probably already knew

    Ha! I *knew* it!

    1. You are good!

  5. The other case decided the same day by a different three-judge panel from the same circuit went against a 14-year-old Pennsylvania junior high student. She mocked her principal with a fake MySpace profile. The 2007 profile insinuated the principal was a sex addict and pedophile. Without comment, the court is also vacating that ruling.

    Looks to me that libel and defamation law should suffice in this instance.

  6. Looks to me that libel and defamation law should suffice in this instance.

    That’s my take too.

    I don’t see how the school has a right to suspend someone for what students post on websites on their own time.

    If they are posting false and malicious things about an entity then that entity should sue in civil court for damages etc. but the school itself shouldn’t be suspending students for their speech outside of school.

    I don’t understand why it’s a discussion and why any courts would allow schools to punish students for any speech that happen in students personal lives.

    1. Indeed, but libel lawyers are expensive and the principal has shiny fun powers

    2. “I don’t see how the school has a right to suspend someone for what students post on websites on their own time.”

      MORSE et al. v. FREDERICK

      1. MORSE et al. v. FREDERICK

        The Bong Hits 4 Jesus case was a school supervised event.

        I may not have agreed with the ruling in that case (and if the plaintiff had claimed his speech was meant as political I believe it would have went the other way as that was one of the reasons cited by some justices as to why his speech wasn’t protected) but the fact that it happened at an event where the students were supervised by school staff makes a world of difference.

        Comments on a blog on the students own time completely separated from the school have to be protected speech. If the school can punish a kid for something they post on a website, then they can punish that student for writing a letter to the editor of a newspaper or any other expression/speech.

  7. Seems pretty reasonable to me dude.

    Lou
    http://www.security-tools.us.tc

  8. ChiTom-

    The “joke” runs roughly along the lines of:

    Dear God:
    This year, you took my favorite singer, *X* away to heaven. Likewise, my favorite actor/ rodeo clown/ economist…

    I just wanted to let you know; Mister Shickelgruber is my FAVORITE gym teacher.

    1. Nice, inclusive reference to “rodeo clown”, PB

    2. Oh. Maybe this is two jokes combined or something.

    3. Ahh thanks.

      I’d heard the joke before (wasn’t there a thread recently where someone equated the joke with a threat?)

      I’d never heard it with that name before.

      1. Yes, ironically it was a teachers union saying it inserting a certain NJ public official in the last part.

  9. SEC charges Goldman Sachs with fraud over its handling of subprime mortgages. Check your favorite financial website and the story will be on the front page.

  10. a) No shit. Read the always thoughtful Bruce Schneier for security. Most security, online or off, is worthless except as a means to make people feel good.

    b)Facebook apps are their own punishment. If you aren’t bright enough to realize none of your friends give a damn about FarmVille, et al., you’ll figure it out soon enough when they block you.

    c) The little miscreants have no rights. Didn’t Bong Hits 4 Jesus establish this?

  11. These kid free speech cases get it wrong. It is not about the kid versus the government. It is about the parent versus the government. When my kid is in school, the school certainly has a right to control his rights. I cede that right to them by sending him to school. But when the kid comes home, his rights belong to me as a parent. When schools try to control a child outside of the school, they are effectively trying to control parents. Could the schools tell a parent what they could put up on a myspace page about a teacher? No. Then they should not be able to tell kids either.

    1. Overall I agree with the sentiment, but to pick a small nit…

      I cede that right to them by sending him to school.

      Do you really cede that right? I mean school attendance is mandatory and parents can be punished for the truancy of their children. It isn’t really a voluntary choice.

      es I know home school or private school is an option, but choosing to send a child to school

      1. Damnit…hit the wrong button..

        That last like should read :

        Yes I know home school or private school is an option, but choosing to send a child to school isn’t something I would consider voluntary

      2. I think you cede some rights. When my kid is at school, the teacher has a right to tell him to shut up and listen. They have a right to say, “no you can’t dress like that it disrupts school” or “you have to be in this class at this time and do this work”. What I mean they can take away his rights to the extent necessary to run the school properly. But once he steps out of school, his rights become my rights.

        1. You don’t cede rights when you walk into school. The government removed them when they forced children to go to public education institutions. Essentially schools and parents lost the right to freedom of association by force of law.

        2. But once he steps out of school, his rights become my rights.
          Actually thats not true in CA, the schools authority extends to while he is going to or from school and the time he is suppose to be at school.

      3. Do you really cede that right? I mean school attendance is mandatory and parents can be punished for the truancy of their children. It isn’t really a voluntary choice.

        Attendance at that particular school is not mandatory, or any school for that matter — home schooling is an option.

        So, by sending kids to a particular public school, you are relinquishing some (but not all) rights, subject to you yanking that permission at any time.

  12. Facebook apps are their own punishment.

    Amen to that.

    1. Don’t care about my farm or my mafia gang Jesse?

      1. Didn’t CRACKED have a “really worthwhile online pranks” article that showed a Farmville? (I’m assuming, I’ve been on Facebook twice in my life) – all the chickens and rabbits had their heads cut off, and the farm was on fire. The farmer was standing there with a sad look on his face.

        It was pretty funny, even without context.

    2. Yes, I will admit it, I hate farmers. At least on Facebook.

      *blocks application*

  13. The guy who wrote the Facebook article is DREAMING if he thinks “ugly viral” is going away.

    You know why?

    Because “pretty viral” will never make anyone a dime.

    Do you know why when you see ads on the internet [for those of you who haven’t devised ways to block all ads] that they all seem to be for acai berry scams? Because those ads actually make money. Nice ads that try to respectfully sell valuable products that aren’t overpriced don’t make any money.

    Since the consumer will not respond to ads that don’t fuck them in the ass and steal their money and time, ads that don’t do that don’t exist. If app developers start putting out Facebook apps that don’t force you to get all your friends to join, those apps will languish in obscurity while the apps that exploit people thrive.

    Sorry. That’s just the way it is.

    1. If I sell a product that is not a ripoff and fills a need, I don’t need to put out pop up ads. Word of mouth from my customers will be all the advertising I need. Also, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. If only scam products advertise via pop up ads, then non scam products will avoid that form of advertising so as not to be associated with the scams.

  14. Like ChiTom said, I would think the Bong hits 4 Jesus case – while wrongly decided – is the most recent and relevent precendent for Facebook student activities.

  15. Court opinions on the issue cite a 1969 high court ruling saying student expression may not be suppressed unless school officials reasonably conclude that it will “materially and substantially disrupt the work and discipline of the school.”

    How about “student expression may not be suppressed outside the classroom unless it’s libel or slander”?

    Yeah, I think teenagers have the right to free speech without government agents approval. I’m a radical that way.

    1. I’d remove the “unless it’s libel or slander”. Principals cannot use their government delegated powers to settle personal disputes. By their nature, those powers are to maintain order within the school. Libel and Slander outside of school does not necessarily affect that.

      The principals and students can fight that out in civil court. Any principal that allows personal character attacks outside of school to affect his job should be reeducated as to his role.

  16. SEC charges Goldman Sachs with fraud over its handling of subprime mortgages.

    They’re doing God’s Work, dammit!

  17. A study confirms what you probably already knew: Many online security measures are a waste of time.

    Ha! Take that, anonymity bot!

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