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Schools With Strict Social Media Rules

The web is often thought of as a wide-open, anything-goes free speech zone. But some schools are cracking down on how students use social media, and regulating what students can post online. This particularly true when it comes to student athletes–whose high profile at many schools makes every tweet a potential public relations disaster for the university. Below are a few examples:

  •  At Villanova, basketball coach Jay Wright instituted a total twitter blackout for his players during the 2010 season.
  •  At Kansas State, basketball player Jamar Samuels tweeted that he’d be “getting twisted tonight.” As a result, he was temporarily not allowed to train with the team or play. And the team decided to conduct a training session on Twitter behavior.
  • The New Jersey Institute of Technology was among the first universities to try out a new Big Brother-like internet surveillance system called UDiligence that monitors the Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter pages of athletes. UDiligence flags any activity that might reflect poorly on the university and sends an email alert to coaches. Schools pay about $5,000 to cover 500 student athletes.
  • Montana State places restricts students from linking to “an external site promoting a product or service.”
  • At Syracuse four students were placed on probation and threatened with expulsion in 2006 after creating a Facebook page that made fun of a professor and allowed students to share personal attacks.

To read more about the social media restrictions at these and ten other schools, check out Best Colleges Online’s list of “15 Colleges with Strict Social Media Policies.”

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