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Statement on Social Media

In accordance with the following statement in the Student Rights, Regulations, and Procedures Handbook, the purpose of this webpage is to offer Clarion University students facts and tips to keep in mind when using the internet social networking sites.

"Students and recognized organizations are cautioned that any material posted on the internet, including social networking sites and internet blogs is not private or protected information. You may be held accountable for content posted in this manner and information obtained from this source may be considered in cases of misconduct. For complete information on the potential consequences of posting inappropriate content on an internet site, please visit http://www.clarion.edu/judicial."

Facebook, Twitter, Blogspot, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc...

1. Who is Responsible?

Much like the content on your resume, you are responsible for what you post on the internet. While you can't control with certainty who views your information, you can control the type of information you display.

2. Who is on Facebook, Twitter, etc?

Anyone can join these sites and potentially gain access to your information. Potential employers may not have access to your page, but a current intern or alumnus at the company who belongs to your school's network could easily print off your profile and share it.

3. I keep strict security settings & only my friends can see it!

Just because you've changed your privacy settings or deleted incriminating photos, doesn't mean your information can't come back to haunt you. These sites do not use secure encryption, meaning there's chance Internet Service Provider (ISP) software can hijack the transmission of your profile and use it against you. Untagging or deleting items may avoid problems in the future, but you never know how many people have printed or saved your profile or pictures. Also, Many ISPs and servers routinely back up or duplicate your information, thus saving it indefinitely.

4. It is my personal page... what I post on there can't be held against me.

Police departments and campus officials are increasingly using social networking sites to identify potential suspects in crimes. While Clarion University officials will not routinely monitor these sites, if a violation is brought to their attention an investigation can begin.

Keep This in Mind...

1. If you would not want your family or parents to see it, don't post it.

2. Only accept "Friend Requests" from people that you know and trust.

3. You only have one chance to make a first impression - don't let your profile ruin it for you.

4. Think twice before advertising parties and events involving alcohol, even if everyone you invite is 21.

5. The privacy settings are there for a reason - use them

Resources:

Cornell University, "Thoughts on Facebook"

Mercyhurst College, "Face the Facts"

Updated by: Daniel V. Percopo; Fall 2011

Cyberstalking and Cyberbullying

Cyberstalking and Cyberbullying have both become forms of harassment not only at the junior high and high school level but also at the collegiate level as well.  Data according to an August 2009 Student Affairs Today Article entitled 'Act no to address cyberstalking to protect students, institution' states that 13% of college women were stalked and 25% of those same women reported some for of cyberstalking.  Cyberstalking and Cyberbullying may come in the form of e-mails, text messages, use of online social networking sites, cell phones, cameras, and even GPS units. 

The Clarion University Rights, Regulations, and Procedures Online, in conjunction with the policies and procedures set forth through the Office of Social Equity addresses Cyberstalking & Cyberbullying as a form of harassment and/or discrimination.  It is important that students report being harassed to University Police, The Office of Social Equity, and/or the Office of Judicial & Mediation Services to investigate the issue, talk about options and students rights, as well as to provide on or off campus resources as needed.    

How Are People Cyberbullied or Cyberstalked?

Being a victim of cyberbullying can be a common and painful experience.  People who cyberbully or cyberstalk:

  • Pretend they are other people online to trick others
  • Spread lies and rumors about victims
  • Trick people into revealing personal information
  • Send or forward mean text messages
  • Post pictures of victims without their consent

Of people surveyed by the National Crime Prevention Council (2010), 81 percent said that cyberbullies think it's funny. Other's believe those who cyberbully:

  • Don't think it's a big deal
  • Don't think about the consequences
  • Are encouraged by friends
  • Think everybody cyberbullies
  • Think they won't get caught

How Do Victims React?

Contrary to what cyberbullies may believe, cyberbullying is a big deal, and can cause a variety of reactions. Some people  have reacted in positive ways to try to prevent cyberbullying by:

  • Blocking communication with the cyberbully
  • Deleting messages without reading them
  • Talking to a friend about the bullying
  • Reporting the problem to an Internet service provider or website moderator
  • Calling University Police , Residence Life Services Hall Staff, Office of Social Equity, or Judicial & Mediation Services

Many college aged students and youths experience a variety of emotions when they are cyberbullied. Young adults and youth who are cyberbullied report feeling angry, hurt, embarrassed, or scared. These emotions can cause victims, just like during other forms of harassment to react in ways such as

  • Seeking revenge on the bully
  • Avoiding friends and activities
  • Cyberbullying back

Some people feel threatened because they may not know who is cyberbullying them. Although cyberbullies may think they are anonymous, they can be found. If you are cyberbullied or harassed and need help, save all communication with the cyberbully and talk to your RA, CA, University Police, the Office of Social Equity, or the Office of Judicial & Mediation Services.

How Can I Prevent Cyberbullying?

  • Refuse to pass along cyberbullying messages
  • Tell friends to stop cyberbullying
  • Block communication with cyberbullies
  • Report cyberbullying to a trusted adult
  • Raising awareness of the cyberbullying problem in your community by holding an assembly and creating fliers to give to younger kids or parents
  • Sharing NCPC's anti-cyberbullying message with friends

What Else Can I Do To Stay Cyber-safe?

Remember that the Internet is accessed by millions of people all over the world, not just your friends and family. While many Internet users are friendly, some may want to hurt you.  You may wish to also read the Clarion University statement on Information Regarding Online Communities at http://www.clarion.edu/51561.pdf, talk with someone in Residence Life Services or Judicial & Mediation Services or with University Police if you have specific concerns or questions. 

Below are some ways to stay cyber-safe:

  • Never post or share your personal information online (this includes your full name, address, telephone number, school name, parents' names, credit card number, or Social Security number) or your friends' personal information.
  • Never share your Internet passwords with anyone, except your parents.
  • Never meet anyone face-to-face whom you only know online.
  • Be sure to remember that future employers will likely be checking information related to you online.

Other Clarion Resources

You may wish to utilize the following resources if you feel you are the victim of cyberstalking or cyberbullying:

For More Information

Check out the following resources to learn more about preventing cyberbullying:

  • www.ncpc.org provides information about stopping cyberbullying before it starts.
  • Stop Cyberbullying Before It Starts (PDF) provides useful information for parents.
  • Cyberbullying.us provides cyberbullying research, stories, cases, downloads, fact sheets, tips and strategies, news headlines, a blog, and a number of other helpful resources on their comprehensive public service website.
  • www.stopcyberbullying.org has a fun quiz to rate your online behavior, information about why some people cyberbully, and how to stop yourself from cyberbullying.
  • www.wiredsafety.com provides information about what to do if you are cyberbullied.
  • www.stopbullyingnow.com has information about what you can do to stop bullying.
  • 'Act now to address cyberstalking to protect students, instition' Student Affairs Today, (August 2009) Wiley Periodicals, Inc, A Wiley Company
  • www.ncvc.org/src provides training, technical assistance and materials to help develop antistalking programs
  • www.cyberlawenforcement.org is a network that specializes in cybercrime.
  • www.cyberangels.org provides online safety education
  • www.stalkingvictims.com provides support safety tips and other education

 Special thanks to Michael J. Mullen Jr for his work with this project as a practicum student.