Young teachers: *Not* thinking about privacy

In that last item I linked to a National Public Radio report about how more thought is going into online privacy on the part of teen and 20-something social networkers. The story didn't say they were being more private but that they were considering their options a lot more (though 66% of teen social networkers do use privacy controls, Pew/Internet has found – see this). Well, this story in the Washington Post detailing some of the more raunchy content on some young school teachers' social-networking profiles conflicts with NPR's. What surprised me most was just how unthinking the Post's 22-something sources were about how public their intimate photos and sarcastic comments were. It's kind of today's version of "not reading the directions" – so many thought only their friends could see a profile that was actually open to and searchable by "the more than 525,000 members of the Washington, D.C., network. Anyone can join any geographic network." What they also need to know comes from a lawyer with National Teachers Association (teachers' union). The Post cites him as saying that "if teachers claim free speech protection under the First Amendment … the US Supreme Court recently ruled that governments can fire employees if their speech harmed the workplace's mission and function."

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