Social Media

California School District Hires Company to Monitor Students' Social Media Presence

Glendale

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what's a lol???
Reason

It's not just the federal government that wants to monitor data available online to figure out what Americans are doing. One school district in California wants to monitor its students that way too.

From CBS Los Angeles:

The Glendale Unified School District has hired a Hermosa Beach company to monitor public social media posts made by its students to find out when teens are in trouble or causing it.

Superintendent Richard Sheehan said Geo Listening is analyzing the posts of 13,000 students at eight Glendale middle and high schools.

The goal is to give school administrators critical information as soon as possible.

"The whole purpose is student safety," said Sheehan. "Basically, it just monitors for keywords where if a student is considering harming themselves, harming someone else."

Setting aside for a moment that it's the job of parents, not schools, to supervise their children online, adults can also often be woefully illiterate when it comes to social networking. For example, a teenager in Texas spent months in jail after a woman in Canada reported a Facebook comment he made about shooting up a school that was obviously sarcastic and even followed by a "jk" and "lol" to stress that point. Young people use social media to exercise free expression. Glendale's efforts to police students' social media presence appears to be part of a wider discomfort with Constitutional protections many "education experts" often have.

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  1. If the twitter and facebook privacy settings are done properly, these nitwits can’t monitor anything without violating federal law. I suppose they could demand students give up their passwords. But that would certainly bring a lawsuit.

    This is up to the parents. Either they want to be free or they don’t. If they are in capable of telling these nitwits to fuck off, then they really don’t deserve their freedoms.

    1. I wonder if this is part of the reason they contract with an outside company. Aside from obviously being better at it since it’s their jobs, this allows scenarios where the student accepts a friend request from some random person who works for the outside company rather than someone who represents the school then this random person reports back to school. Granted, this may still involve myriad legal issues.

      1. That would be violation of federal law. Basically any sort of use of a computer system under false pretenses or beyond the authorized use is a crime. The company wouldn’t have sovereign immunity. I can’t believe any company would agree to do that

        1. That would be violation of federal law. Basically any sort of use of a computer system under false pretenses or beyond the authorized use is a crime.

          So, if someone, like a parent, makes up an identity and “friends” their kid to check on him it’s a crime? I know it’s against the Facebook user agreement, but a federal crime? Where does one find the “authorized uses” for their “computer system” apart from software EULA’s?

          1. Technically yes. Federal law is written that broadly and that bad. You can repost copyrighted material from a newspaper in violation of a user agreement you agreed to to get access and be committing a federal crime. It is fucking horrible.

            1. Having a facebook account that is not in your legal name is now a felony.

          2. Where does one find the “authorized uses” for their “computer system” apart from software EULA’s?

            Violating EULAs is a federal crime. IIRC, that’s basically what they were railroading that Aaron Swartz guy for when he offed himself. And of course, virtually everyone at some point violates those things, so we’re all criminals, it’s just a matter of whether or not the government has a reason to come after you. We’re that fucked.

            1. This just makes it all even more juicy. Since it appears that this contracted company will only be only be able to troll only the willing sheeple, the most likely outcome of all this is public money just going out the door to a company who will merely say periodically, “yep, all’s well on the social media front!”

        2. The company wouldn’t have sovereign immunity. I can’t believe any company would agree to do that

          “Hey Dave, did we run this idea by Legal at any point? Dave?”

        3. It could always be used without false pretenses.

          Don’t forget that basically the entire premise of the show Catfish requires that some people on Facebook accept invitations from absolutely random people. People at the company could use entirely legitimate Facebook accounts and just let dumbass kids accept their friend requests.

  2. No need for this; just ask NSA for the info:
    “Governments made 38,000 requests to Facebook”
    From the link:
    “”As we have made clear in recent weeks, we have stringent processes in place to handle all government data requests,” Stretch wrote.”
    And then, they turn the info over anyhow! Nice little business you have there…
    http://www.sfgate.com/technolo…..765857.php

    1. “”As we have made clear in recent weeks, we have stringent processes in place to handle all government data requests,” Stretch wrote.”
      And then, they turn the info over anyhow!

      Of course they do, what else do you think they’re talking about when they say “stringent processes”?

      1. “When the government asks, we say yes. And we viciously punish any employee who moves slowly to comply. So you can see, we’re quite stringent about it.”

    2. Well, the person’s name is Stretch.

  3. I love how it is always about safety with these tyrants. The crazy bitch who made her students bow to her in her presence claimed that it was about “safety”.

    1. It was a dude, actually.

      1. The name was “Dana” so I assumed it was a woman. Most elementary school principals are.

        1. The name was “Dana” so I assumed it was a woman. Most elementary school principals are.

          Especially the kinds of asshats who insist on being bowed to.

    2. I heard some more about that. Apparently what he did was when the kids came in from recess had them all take a knee and chill out for a minute to get from “Playing Outside” mode to “Learning Inside” mode.

      So we should probably drop that from our rotation of outrageous educrat shit.

      1. Oh for the love of God. Is there anything the media won’t lie about? They made it sound like he made them bow whenever they were in his presence.

        1. Less narcissistic, but still stupid.

          1. No it really isn’t. Transition activities are a huge thing in youth centered environments for a reason. It really helps some kids.

            1. Fuck that!

              If a principal tried that on me, I would have spit on his shoes and kept walking.

    3. Of course it’s about safety! It has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with school administrators being petty little tyrants who want their subjects to obey at all times. No, no, that would be absurd. It’s all about safety.

  4. Loose bricks make for a dangerous wall.

  5. Well, the NSA is watching everything we do online for our own safety; why shouldn’t local school districts do the same for the children?

  6. “Superintendent Richard Sheehan said Geo Listening is analyzing the posts of 13,000 students at eight Glendale middle and high schools.”

    That’s Reason #136 to Homeshool.

    1. I need to start accumulating links to send to people every time they question why I am going to homeschool my children.

      I especially need plenty of links to counter “BUT, SOCIALIZATION!

      1. Just point out to the stupid pinheads who use that argument that there are things called “Little League” or “Pop Warner football” or “gymnastics classes” or “Taekwon-Do/ Karate” that you can get your child involved in that will put them around other children in social settings.

        1. That’s usually what I try to explain. Instead of forcing my kid to socialize with kids who merely live close by, he can interact with kids based on similar interests.

          1. Step back and think about the word “socialize”. In many ways it really does mean “teach to be a socialist”.

            Start your home schooling right now. It is a stupid waste to not be educating children when they are young and sponges. My 12 year old son is sitting behind me right now taking a college prep human anatomy class on his computer. Part of the reason he is so far ahead is that we didn’t stop teaching him after his ABC’s and counting so he could read when he was 2.

            The best answer for why you home school is “The education of my children is my personal responsibility”.

            1. My son is 20 months old, so really he is already homeschooling. Sure enough, we haven’t needed bureaucrats to teach him the many things he already knows.

              I might take your last suggestion and add a little something extra to the people who like to ask questions. “The education of my children is my personal responsibility. Oh, and fuck you.”

              1. The continuation of education makes it easier and they really do learn well in those years before public indoctrination centers begin. You will be shocked how much he will learn before he is “pre-K” age.

    2. I was worried about sending my kid to public school, but he was reading Yahoo News the other day and saw an article about the Wookie and remarked, “I am really sick of Mrs. Obama. It wasn’t enough that she ruined Happy Meals, now she made my school get rid of chocolate milk for this coming year.”

      He also became very indignant that he heard that the government reads his email.

      So we’re on target and meeting our milestones on the whole “libertarian Kwisatz Haderach” experiment.

  7. all the fat has been cut.

    1. Indeed. If American public schools were properly funded, they’d have money to do stuff like this.

  8. The whole purpose is student safety..

    Well I’m satisfied.

  9. All ur childs are belong to us

    1. Damn you, I was coming on here to make the exact same joke. STOP STEALING MY THOUGHTS!

      1. All ur thoughts are belong to P Brooks.

  10. I especially need plenty of links to counter “BUT, SOCIALIZATION!

    I cannot imagine a more effective response than, “Yes, that’s exactly what I’m afraid of.”

  11. HAAH, HAAAH.

  12. If you ever needed an example of how public schools are day prisons, here you go. Why the fuck does the school need to monitor students’ social media? Because they need to know what the prisoners are up to when they aren’t confined. They might be doing something that the warden doesn’t have total control over! Oh noes!

    1. What the hell kind of sick weirdo would want to do this? Schools really seem to attract the worst sort of people. Worse than police departments in many ways.

      1. I work with camps and youth sports and such as one of my jobs. Nothing illustrates that CS Lewis quote about being tyrannized by omnipotent moral busybodies more then the public school system.

        They fucking believe in their little Prussian Progressive mission of uniting the volk for the greater good.

        1. I substitute teach middle school kid’s at my wife’s church CCD class. It is fun. I like kids. It is more fun than I thought it would be teaching them. But the fun is that they are different and have all kinds of kooky thoughts and perspectives on things. I just can’t fathom the type of person who both wants to work with kids and enjoys crushing them into little drones.

          1. They don’t see it that way though. They believe, down to their fucking marrow, in collectivism. I don’t know what percentage of teachers are this type, this zealot. But they are not insignificant. They are there to brainwash. They don’t call it brainwashing of course. They call it educating. They believe in the mission of the public school system as formulated by Dewey so long ago.

            Don’t get me wrong, I think most teachers are there because they like kids, and don’t really want to work summers. The ones who are there to produce socialists are a minority, but they are a disciplined and active one, and there is no countervailing individualist minority pushing back in the schools.

            There’s a reason 70% of 18-24 year olds voted Obama.

      2. I always thought of using social networks to track kids that you don’t know is the kind of thing that would end up with you on To Catch a Predator, not a government payroll.

  13. The students should turn it around and make “demands” to monitor all of their teachers, supervisors, administrators and monitors Social Media. The students could claim it was for the students own safety.

    1. Considering how many kiddie diddlers work in schools, they’d have a valid argument.

    2. This.

      Moreover, they should demand that all these adults post their driving records and drug usage.

      If it saves just one child’s life ….

    3. We need to make sure that none of them are sex offenders or victimizing students. How many teacher student sex scandals do we have to have before we do something?

    4. This could be the student body president’s ‘rand paul filibuster’ moment

  14. Send your children to public school.

    Where else are they going to learn how to RESPECT AUTHORITAH?

  15. I remember a group of kids from my old high school made a memes page on Facebook about that school. A lot of it was about teachers I didn’t know because I’d graduated 3 years previous, but oh, the ones about the shitty football team were not only the best, but riled up the most people. “This is disrespectful! Take this down!” “My dad, the coach, blah blah blah whoever made these memes is a coward!” Needless to say the school and some airheaded football parents eventually got involved and demanded it be taken down, haven’t seen it since.

    1. See? Whining works. Turns out my mother was wrong.

      1. I’m halfway debating whether or not to start another page just like it, just to piss them all off and cause ultimate mayhem! Hmm, maybe later tonight after a couple glasses of whiskey.

  16. Glendale’s efforts to police students’ social media presence appears to be part of a wider discomfort with Constitutional protections children many “education experts” people whose job is to work with them often have.

  17. One school district in California wants to monitor its students that way too.

    So *rubbing my temples* the government is going to hire someone to find out what the school district could find out by typing “www.facebook.com” at the top of their browser?

    I’m not sure we have a privacy issue on our hands here, I think we have a stupidity issue.

    Oh, note to CA students: that stuff you put on your facebook page? Yeah, other people can see it. You know, FYI and stuff.

  18. obviously sarcastic and even followed by a “jk” and “lol”

    Obama didn’t put ‘jk’ and ‘lol’ on any of his campaign speeches. So can we really blame people for believing he was serious?

  19. I’m just waiting for the discovery that the PPACA mandates facebook accounts for everyone.

    Because, like, public health, that’s why.

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