Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Facebook Blacklisting?

If some NU profs, most notably, Medill Professor Michele Weldon, have it their way, your membership in Facebook clubs that criticize their classes may cause you trouble. The Facebook is a popular website for university students who network with friends from their school and other schools and make clubs, usually in somewhat of a sense of jest (take a club I belong to simply titled "ROBERT GOULET," which honors the mustachioed crooner).

Some of these clubs have been challenged by professors in the Medill School of Journalism recently, to the point that the professors held an open forum with freshmen about the harm that venting on websites, for instance by creating Facebook clubs with names the likes of "Editing and Writing the News Made My Quarter Hell" and "History and Issues [in Journalism] Cured My Insomnia," is a detrimental habit. According to these profs, if one posted such "libel"ous comments when one is in the working world, there will be serious consequences for that individual.

In my opinion, these professors are possibly more offended than they'd like to admit that the Facebook clubs express dissatisfaction with parts of the Medill curriculum. Columnist Elaine Helm spins this in a positive light in her column from yesterday, entitled "
Free speech? Yes, but with supervision" but her article ends with an ominous warning from Professor Weldon: ""(The Facebook) may be your generation's mode of communication, but my generation still controls the consequences." With Medill's recent intervention in the Facebook community, it seems that nowhere, not even a little online outlet like The Facebook is safe!


Steph said...

At first I sided w/ the prof on this one, but then I changed my mind. Maybe this is an example of ppl at NU (this case faculty) needing to step back and get their heads out of "the bubble" (you know what I'm talking about) and get some perspective. There must be something in the water that makes everyone neurotic (i'm still recovering). On a side note, I do take issue w/ the "I was raped by my Medill midterm" club, for reasons in no way associated w/ libel. It bothers me that college students throw around the "raped" hyperbole so much. It's just so uncessary. How about "abused," even less offensive "owned" or "housed!"

Elaine said...

I definitely agree about the "I was raped by..." trivializing a word that should not be trivialized. Someone actually made that point last night at Take Back the Night as well.