Social Media influence in today's world. Credit to forbes.com
The freedom of information and the free exchange of ideas is what makes the internet the internet, but assumed anonymity is a major problem in today's cyber world.
Here at The College of St. Scholastica, the problem is that assumed anonymity is a problem with students on social media. In the last three years there have been at least 3 social media groups focused on student behavior. Groups like CSS confessions and CSS Pass-Outs on both Facebook and Twitter respectively have light-heartedly poked fun at student's everyday lives while occasionally bordering on the inappropriate. There have been groups in the past three years that have now gone defunct that have bordered on the sexually inappropriate and have been shut down based on these issues.
This year on November 2nd an email was sent out by our Dean of Students Megan Perry-Spears regarding the recent Twitter group specifically and how the posts affected the school.
Perry-Spears said of the behavior, "Those who post mean things, false things, misogynistic and racist things under the cloak of anonymity demonstrate a particularly nasty kind of cowardice and a profound failure to live within our Benedictine values."
Edward Snowden, a former CIA agent and NSA contractor has said, "I believe in the principle declared at Nuremberg in 1945: "Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring.'"
Anonymity is a perceived thing on the internet in the Email sent out by Perry Spears she states, "I do not know [yet] the names of those who created and monitor the feeds".
The simple fact that accounts like this have been shut down in the past speaks to the true nature of internet anonymity. Edward Snowden set out to prove to the American people that a digital trail was being created for government use to invade people's personal privacy. Snowden (a right wing hero) and government traitor has taken political asylum in Russia.
The fact of the matter in the case of CSS confessions and CSS Pass-Outs and CSS dating connection and whatever else could be made into a social media group is that they will not last. Through the past, the school has shown enough internet and media savviness to protect themselves from possibly harmful material to the school's reputation (as rightly they should). Groups like this and their future it seems to be the case that they will continue to be shut down, maybe not based on actual content but the possibility of negative content being posted about the school. Things are so fleeting in the Digital age.