The Washington Post has a lengthy article on the growing alarm among school officials on the use of blogs by teens and the personal information and pictures that they routinely post on popular social network sites like Facebook, MySpace and Xanga.
We have discussed on this blog in the past that blogs and social network sites are becoming a new form of loose public record. Although less official than a government public record source, these new digital records can be much more personally revealing and psychologically insightful for researchers, private investigators, skip tracers, law enforcement officials and government agencies. A young man was recently convicted of a heinous crime that was originally thought to be an accident, based on an online confession in his blog that was discoverd by prosecutors. Unfortunately, these online records can also be used by sex offenders and stalkers, to name just a few.
Now school administrators are warning parents and students on the academic, professional and privacy dangers of publicly publishing their personal thoughts, activities and pictures online. Some private schools have resorted to banning the use of Facebook with school computers and email addresses. Others have expelled students for particularly offensive blog postings.
You can read the entire Washington Post article @ Teens’ Bold Blogs Alarm Area Schools.