I was listening to the news report on CBC recently about Stephanie Rengel, the young Toronto girl murdered recently. Under the Youth Criminal Justice Act media were forbidden from identifying Stefanie or the two youths accused of her murder. Of course, this did not stop Stefanie’s friends from creating a Facebook memorial for their friend which violated all aspects of the ban. More on the CBC report here
This got me thinking about the futility of publication bans in the internet age. It also got me wondering if these students were aware of the ban and decided to ignore it, were unaware of the ban or (and I think this is the most likely) were aware of the ban and unaware that their Facebook memorial violated it and the privacy of their friend’s family.
There is a great article in December Wired magazine about managing your online presence or taking care of the “Brand Called You”. Don’t ban facebook, teach facebook.
Instead of banning students from Social Networking and other Web 2.0 phenomenons we should be teaching them about the oldest lesson in creative writing – Consider Your Audience…and how that advice applies to the Web 2.0 paradigm.