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Social networking no-nos

There's a case pending before the Indiana courts involving a photo a Whitley County student posted on her MySpace page that her school principal found objectionable. reports on a Kansas lawsuit involving a photo a nursing student posted on her Facebook page.

Look for an increasing number of such stories. Social networking sites and young, immature and inexperienced students are a volatile mix. In posting comments and photos, young people seem to have an expectation of privacy that defies logic. In turn, they frequently come up against institutions that haven't figured out that the best way to make everyone aware of something you don't want them to know is to overreact.

In time, we'll inevitably see all schools and universities adopting policies dealing with material posted on students' (and employees') Facebook pages.

Karen Francisco, editorial page editor for The Journal Gazette, has been an Indiana journalist since 1981. She writes frequently about education for The Journal Gazette opinion pages and here, where she looks at the business, politics and science of learning as it relates to northeast Indiana, the state and the nation. She can be reached at 260-461-8206 or by e-mail at