Last week, Michigan joined the growing number of states to enforce a social media privacy law. Like similar legislation in California and Maryland, it will now be a lot harder for employers and educators to gain access to employees’ or students’ social media accounts. Governor Rick Snyder signed the legislation, which prohibits educators or employers from asking for usernames or passwords, into law on Friday. Sarah Wolfe’s article “Michigan Social Media Privacy Law Signed By Governor” has more details.
Governor Jerry Brown very appropriately tweeted that he had signed the social media privacy bills. He later followed up with a press release. The Los Angeles Times online version carried the story “Gov. Jerry Brown Tweets That He Signed Social Media Privacy Bills.”
As the school year really starts to heat up in law schools across the country, here’s an article that recommends one more subject: embracing social media. Menachem Wecker’s article, “Law Students Should Embrace Social Media, Study Suggests,” outlines the reasons that law students should be plugged in. Students should be using social media platforms to control their online professional reputation and be prepared to build client relationships through them. Law schools themselves may be slower to embrace these practices.
Thinking about applying to law school? Social media can help or hurt your chances of getting in. Shawn P. O’Connor provides some useful tips in “Use Social Media to Get Into Law School.”
California is poised to pass SB1349 which would make it illegal for colleges or universities to demand students reveal their social media passwords. Lori Pruitt’s article “Law Would Ban College From Getting Social Media Passwords” looks at this timely back-to-school issue.
Even law school libraries are utilizing social media to connect with their patrons. Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law devotes a page of their website to their social media offerings, which include a blog, Facebook, Twitter, and somewhat surprisingly, YouTube. Follow the link to learn more.
Both public and private schools in Delaware are now subject to a law which prohibits them from requiring students to surrender their social media passwords. California and Maryland are debating similar legislation to protect student privacy. Neha Prakash discusses the issues in “Delaware Law to Give Students Increased Online Privacy.”
Should your employer have a say over what you post in your personal blog? Natalie Monroe is suing her Philadelphia school board for firing her over negative comments about her students that she posted on her blog. The school board contends that the blog did not factor into the firing. Read the Associated Press Wire Report, “Pa. Teacher Suspended for Blog, Now Fired, Is Suing.”
In a widespread student protest in Montreal, Quebec, students are helping raise awareness of perceived unfairness in tuition hikes through social media. They have also effectively harnessed social media to organize their public protests. Perhaps most significantly, the students are doing a much more efficient job of utilizing social media channels than the government is. Nelson Wyatt’s article “Social Media Making It Easier to Organize Student Protests, Get Media Out” provides a good overview of the situation.
Cyberbullying of children through social media continues to be a persistent danger to children. However, attempts to curb it also continue to run up against defenders of First Amendment rights. Sam Stockard’s article, “Ketron to Reword Online Bully Law,” looks at Senator Ketron’s attempts to strengthen online bullying legislation in Tennessee.