The ethical issue I will discuss is privacy, regarding the educational use of social media. A different approach will be taken towards this blog, as I will expand upon an interview I conducted with my sister, who is a secondary school teacher.
The main points from the interview can be seen through the presentation below.
The image above is what a member of the public would see if they were to search for my sister on Facebook, for example a student. Apart from her profile picture and cover photo, no other images are available to the public, as she has edited her privacy settings heavily. Furthermore, the posts of friends onto Anita’s timeline need to be approved by her initially, to prevent unprofessional posts being associated with a teacher.
This ethical issue of privacy on social media links to teachers being fired for their social media posts. For example, Carly McKinney was fired for the inappropriate pictures she tweeted on Twitter, most notably the one captioned ‘Naked. Wet. Stoned.’. The full article can be found here.
Ironically, she was not arrested for the possession of drugs. Therefore, as Greenwald (2014) argues, you should take your privacy online seriously, including social media, as what you post online could be newsworthy. If you are sceptical in the way your social media post may be interpreted, then do not post it. After all, Ronson (2015) did point out, ‘the people I met were mostly unemployed, fired for their transgressions’, so think twice about what you want to post on social media.
The YouTube video below explains how teacher – Christine Rubio, was fired due to her Facebook post on wanting her 5th grade students to drown on a school trip. However, her privacy settings were open, if she had edited her settings so only friends could see her posts, she would have remained a teacher.
Teachers live in constant fear about being made redundant due to their social media postings. Consequently, as can be seen with the case of my sister, they exercise a lower degree of authenticity on social media. The extent they go to, for example renaming themselves on Facebook, to make their activity private, is definitely unethical in my opinion. Teachers should be able to be authentic on social media and enjoy the perks it was created for.
Carly full article. Available at: <http://www.dailydot.com/news/carly-crunk-bear-fired-photos/>. [Accessed 25 November 2016].
Carly picture source. Available at: <http://gabworthy.com/technology/meet-the-people-who-ruined-their-careers-with-one-tweet/5/>. [Accessed 25 November 2016].
Greenwald, G (2014) Why privacy matters. Available at: <http://www.ted.com/talks/glenn_greenwald_why_privacy_matters>. [Accessed 25 November 2016].
Ronson, J (2015) How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life. Available at: <http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/15/magazine/how-one-stupid-tweet-ruined-justine-saccos-life.html?_r=2>. [Accessed 25 November 2016].
Teacher fired for her Facebook post. Available at: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBRZ-lF3t6s>. [Accessed 25 November 2016].
BBC (2013) UK jumps up internet scoreboard as digital divide grows. Available at: <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24426739>. [Accessed 25 November 2016].
BBC (2015) Who’s that girl? The curious case of Leah Palmer. Available at: <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-31710738>. [Accessed 25 November 2016].
Guardian (2014) Twitter abuse: easy on the messenger. Available at: <https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/24/twitter-abuse-abusive-tweets-editorial?CMP=twt_gu>. [Accessed 25 November 2016].
Guidelines on what communication on social media can lead to prosecution. Available at: <http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/a_to_c/communications_sent_via_social_media/>. [Accessed 25 November 2016].
How teachers can avoid the dark side of social media. Available at: <http://education.cu-portland.edu/blog/principals-office/teachers-avoid-dark-side-of-social-media/>. [Accessed 25 November 2016].
Ten reasons teachers were fired. Available at: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZg83Dpv2N4>. [Accessed 25 November 2016].