Social Networking Sites and Safety

A Guide

For School Administrators

Sgt Corey F MacDonald Esq.

Portsmouth NH Police Dept

Prosecuting Attorney for City of Portsmouth





Table of Contents

1.      Introduction to the attractions to Social Networking

§  “What is the draw for youth to MySpace and other similar sites?

§  A false perception of anonymity

§  A chance to portray an image

§  Who am I?

§  A chance to meet like-minded people

§  Sports, music, hobbies, cliques, trends, etc.

§  Little to no supervision

§  The perception that parents, teachers and law enforcement are in the dark on Myspace and other social networking sites.

§  Teen Image

§  Young adults can project either their real image or the image of who they wish they were.

§  The shy student in the corner can now communicate her hopes, dreams and wishes without saying a word.

§  Never before has there been a tool where students can get so much information across in so quick a fashion.

§  What is MySpace

§  An online social network used by more then 180 million users, members must be 14 to join.

§  Free to join, no credit cards, or other verifying tools are used.

§  MySpace started 3 years ago by Tom Anderson, and it makes money through Ads

§  The new “Hour long phone call”

§  Review of Recent News

2.      Why Educators should care:

§  A false perception of anonymity

§  Bullying:

§  Students target other students on-line

§  Students take shelter behind the idea that no one is checking their activity.

§  Added tools, i.e.  picture modification.

§  A wider audience, and a longer drawn out effect.

§  Case study: “I hate Joe Smith.”

§  Admissions and evidence of Youth at Risk

§  On line predators - 1 in 5 kids are approached by a predator (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children) – talk to your students

§  No expectation of privacy, Good information is available for you access.

§  A chance to be proactive in getting to know your students challenges.

§  Ability to “size up” students

§  Topics to help establish rapport

3.      Overview of: MySpace, Facebook, Gizmo ..

§  Child Abduction Murder Study discusses the focus of Stranger/Danger program is for Kindergarten to 3rd graders

§  Homicide rates highest children 0-4 and 13-17 Years of Age

4.      Working with a Law Enforcement: A Resource For You

§  Preserving a page

§  Printing a page

§  Search warrants

§  Subpoena's

§  IP Logs

§  Using this information

5.      Emergency Disclosures

§  MySpace is permitted to disclose info. Must believe in good faith that an emergency exists

6.      Best Practices

§  Where to put your computer

§  Trust Building: Password Privacy

§  School Policy – discuss these types of sties in the classroom

§  Who do you add as a friend?

§  Who don’t you add as a friend?

§  Is it safe to meet up?

§  Report Bullying / harassment

7.      Communication


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