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Social Media Users Beware, Your School May Be Watching

​Social media has becoming an increasing important aspect of students’ lives in the Glendale, California School District.

Social media has becoming an increasing important aspect of students’ lives in the Glendale, California School District.

According to the article published by KTLA, the new school policy will affect roughly 13,000 middle and high school students. Their social media pages such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram will be reviewed and monitored by a company based in Hermosa Beach, California called Geo Listening.

The monitoring will mainly focus on posts that are inappropriate, sexual, self-destructive, or deemed to be cyber bullying. The program was piloted last year and is scheduled to continue for this upcoming school year.

Facebook, as well as other networks, have created similar plans to combat destructive behaviors on social media. Social media agencies and other online organizations have spoken out against cyber bullying and agree that the Internet needs more regulation.

However, some might surmise that such measures are extreme and that they are an invasion of privacy for Glendale students. To assume this you must believe the fallacy that social media pages are meant to emulate a journal or another private means of expression.

But social media is based on the idea of sharing information. Pages such as Facebook are posted in cyberspace, which means unless your privacy settings restrict viewing, anyone can see your posts. Because Geo Listening will only monitor posts that are made public, users can restrict the privacy settings to avoid being watched. The bottom line is, if you want to keep something private, don’t post it.

The purpose of this initiative is to protect students from harming themselves and others. I do applaud the school for taking steps to protect its students and trying to understand better its student needs. Unfortunately, bullying is a serious problem today in schools. The school may be able to help a student that otherwise may not have come forward. If even one student is kept safer because of this, isn’t it worthwhile?

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