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Something else terrible about Mizzou: the social-media policy written by its law students

The toppling of a university president over a scattered range of grievances tangentially connected to race isn’t the only questionable thing University of Missouri students have accomplished recently.

Law students wrote a breathtakingly autocratic, sloppy social-media policy that brings to mind The Simpsons Halloween episode where Ned Flanders rules a 1984-like alternate reality that enforces constant smiling.

After coverage by ATL Redline (“Orwellian”) and Reason (“unconstitutional, ungrammatical”), the law school’s Student Bar Association has apparently removed the policy from its website (“404 – File not found“).

Thanks to the foresight of the person who saved the policy to the Internet Archive, you can still read it in all its horrendous glory. The preamble:

Before you post content to any social-media outlet affiliated, or reasonably possible to be associated with; yourself, the School of Law, the student organizations here at the school, the Missouri Bar Association, the American Bar Association, or any other legal association, and the University of Missouri, please take a moment to review our official guidelines.

So, that means personal Facebook and Twitter profiles, among others.

A sampling of rules (bold in the original):

Do not comment despairingly on others. [probably meant to write “disparagingly”]

● Provide positive and insightful commentary to help create a bond and build a rapport with users.

● If leaving a comment, post something meaningful, encouraging, informative or respectful. Comments should always follow the established posting policy.

● Before posting, re-read your comment to make sure it can’t be misconstrued as negative or inappropriate.

Respect peoples privacy.​ Avoid speaking about, or mentioning, others in your posts whenever you can. Seek that person’s informed consent when needed.

● All statements must be true, accurate and not misleading. [ATL Redline notes this seems to bar sharing Onion parody articles]

It even mandates tattletaling:

● It is the duty of each member of the SBA to report instances of possible non-compliance with this policy to the Vice-President of the SBA-all reports will be kept anonymous and in confidence.

● The Vice-President of the SBA will give a report on instances of possible non-compliance to the Board of Governors. It will be the Board of Governors that decide if a reported instance is, in fact, a violation of this policy-and the appropriate remedies to the situation.

The Student Bar Association hasn’t said anything publicly about the policy on its Twitter profile, which has been silent for more than a month, and its Facebook group is closed.

Read the policy and thoughts from ATL Redline and Reason.

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Greg Piper served as associate editor of The College Fix from 2014 to 2021.