California School District Keeping an Eye on Students' Social Network Postings
September 17, 2013 10:15 AM
comment(s) - last by
A company called Geo Listening will do the monitoring
A California school district has hired a contractor to
monitor the social networks
of students in hopes of pinpointing suspicious behavior.
The Glendale, California school district is paying $40,500 to the company Geo Listening for the social monitoring services. The firm will read Facebook, Twitter and other social network posts by 14,000 middle school and high school students in the district. It will only apply to students ages 13 and up (when parental permission isn't necessary for the school's new monitoring methods).
Geo Listening's exact methods for monitoring the sites or verifying that the students are, in fact, from the school district are unclear. But the firm said it will only view public posts (students can set their posts to private), and it searches for keywords to find any alarming posts. The firm has also learned the lingo of youths to catch those who may be speaking in code or in shorthand. The school is then given a full report of the company's findings.
The district said it is employing this method in order to ensure the safety of its students. For instance, if a student posts about suicide, a fight or bringing weapons to school, the district wants to know so that an intervention can take place.
It also wants to know when other inappropriate acts are taking place on school grounds, such as drug use and
Prior to the $40,000 contract, the school district took part in a pilot test of the monitoring program with Geo Listening. For $5,000, the firm monitored 9,000 students' social networks in the district last spring.
According to the Glendale school district's Superintendent Richard Sheehan, the pilot was successful in countering a possible student suicide. The firm also found that a student posted a picture of a gun, and once investigated, it turned out the gun was fake and the student wasn't disciplined. But Sheehan said the monitoring has proved to be a valuable tool.
"We were able to save a life," said Sheehan. "It's just another avenue to open up a dialogue with parents about safety."
However, many are worried that the students are being spied on. Parents are concerned that their children's privacy is being invaded by the firm's monitoring methods, and are further concerned about how their children will be reprimanded if they post something questionable on a social site (for instance, will the child's parents be called in when something happens? Will this allow students to be punished for merely saying something negative about the school?).
Do you think the monitoring will be effective? And is it spying, or a safety precaution?
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Quit putting your entire life on the Internet.
9/17/2013 11:56:51 AM
Personally I think school's are obligated to protect their students from being bullied at school. When the kids get home however, it the responsibility of the parents to monitor their own kids. The government was never intended to be a substitute for parents.
RE: Quit putting your entire life on the Internet.
9/17/2013 9:05:49 PM
Little kids don't know any better. They need proper education on social networking similar to sex education. By the time kids figure out they shouldn't have done something online it's already too late for them usually.
High speed internet and the current state of the internet is one of the most powerful tools available, for better or worse.
Most parents are SO far behind their kids technologically, they don't even know how to educate them. Kids are sexting one another by the time they hit 6th and 7th grade, then parents are like wtf is sexting, rabble rabble rabble.
"If you mod me down, I will become more insightful than you can possibly imagine." -- Slashdot
Indiana High School Student Expelled for Tweeting Foul Language, Says it Wasn't Posted at School
March 28, 2012, 8:53 AM
GPS Units Track Students Who Skip School
February 21, 2011, 9:49 PM
"Mo' Money", Less Problems: Google Offers Cold Hard Cash for Finding Its Browser Bugs
October 1, 2014, 3:04 PM
eBay to Spin Off PayPal Business Next Year
September 30, 2014, 7:28 AM
Facebook to Use Your Browsing Data to Sell Offsite Display Ads
September 29, 2014, 3:52 PM
After Microsoft Complains, EU Rejects Google's Search Settlement for Second Time
September 23, 2014, 4:58 PM
Microsoft Expands Free Office 365 to All College Students
September 22, 2014, 3:21 PM
Apple Adds New Password Protection for Third Party iCloud Apps
September 17, 2014, 8:50 PM
Most Popular Articles
New AT&T Mobile Share Value "Double Data" Promotion Lasts Through October
September 28, 2014, 8:32 AM
Update: Apple Releases iOS 8.0.2 Update to Make Up for Botched 8.0.1 Release
September 25, 2014, 8:19 PM
Appalling Negligence: Decade-Old Windows XPe Holes Led to Home Depot Hack
September 8, 2014, 8:58 PM
TiVo Mega Features 24TB of Storage, Can Record Three Years* Worth of TV Content
September 8, 2014, 8:45 AM
FBI Outraged That Apple, Google are Adopting Digital "Locks" to Protect Users
September 26, 2014, 1:00 PM
Latest Blog Posts
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information