Controlling Social Media: Can They Do That?

By Stephanie Parkinson

Controlling Social Media: Can They Do That?

April 4, 2012 Updated Apr 4, 2012 at 6:16 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - A local teen is finishing out his senior year at an alternative school after tweeting the F-word got him expelled. A teacher from southern Michigan lost her job after posting a picture on her private Facebook page. Some corporations have even asked current and potential employees for their Facebook passwords.

Social media, and newly embraced company policies directed at the platform, are leaving many asking can they do that?

"I think that really is the key question and right now that answer doesn't exist," said John Kaufeld, social media marketing, IPFW.

Many schools and workplaces have rules in place for their networks and their computers, but now people can access the Internet from their phones, through their own Internet connection.
And of course they can post to their social media sites on their own time. So the question is, where do employers and school districts draw the line?

"We have something that came out of nowhere. We don't have existing laws that cover a system like Facebook or Twitter. Right now we're in that uncomfortable zone where we've got old rules that were designed to apply in a different world and we're trying valiantly to apply those in a Facebook Twitter, always connected world, but really, they don't fit," said Kaufeld.

Kaufeld says in order to see change, the ones who are being impacted now need to start setting precedents.

"They need to stand up and keep that discussion moving forward. It's not going to be fun, it's not going to be pretty, but it's gotta be done," said Kaufeld.

Kaufeld says the more people question the action being taken, the sooner these boundaries will become more defined.

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