Written in Ink
Written in Ink

Academics and Social Media

This article came across my FB feed this morning and with all the kinja changes and knowing that we have a number of academics on here i think its quite relevant to a good deal of us. Because i'm buried in work today, i'll just pull out some of the key quotes for other who are also too busy to read the original ;)

Professors have been censured, suspended, and even fired for things they have tweeted, blogged, or posted on Facebook—or things they said that other people have posted. (Feel free to Google "professor under fire" to read about some of these cases. I decided to write this without mentioning any names because I don't want to further embarrass anyone, pick at any scabbed-over wounds, or add to the number of search-engine hits.)

The upshot is that, as professors, we can no longer rely on tenure, academic freedom, or even the First Amendment to protect us when we "speak." We have to protect ourselves.

Draw clear boundaries between "official" and "personal." A few years ago, the previous administration at my college instituted a couple of policies that seemed designed to discourage people from speaking out publicly on controversial educational issues. One of those policies listed the potentially dire consequences for those who "represented the college" without authorization.

Use your own equipment—and time. My second reaction, when those campus policies were first introduced, was to go out and buy my own laptop computer. Along with the policies came a verbal reminder, during a faculty meeting, that the college owns our computers and can go through our hard drives and email anytime it so desires. I didn't think that would actually happen, but I wasn't taking any chances.


Its worth it to read the original article and give the guy some clicks. One of the reasons I use a burner on here and don't post selfies is because i'm aware of these risks. However, i'll happily go to a meetup! :)

Finally, i'm crazy busy today, so I won't be able to moderate comments consistently today. But i'll be sure to read once i'm done. Also, if there are any francophones who will be free around midnite PST and won't mind correcting a paper, i'll be eternally grateful and if you don't mind reminding me i'll see if i can remember to send a goodie your way? :)


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