Facebook Whining Gets Prof Grounded


A post with three  observations.

Gloria Gadsden, a sociology professor at East Stroudsburg University decided to vent her frustrations with some students on her Facebook.  At one point she asked:  “Does anyone know where to find a very discreet hitman? Yes, it’s been that kind of day …” Another post:  “had a good day today, DIDN’T want to kill even one student. Now Friday was a different story.” (Full article)

Most of us know there is no privacy on the Web.  Whispers  amplify into roars.  Secrets evaporate upon “send” contact.   A closed circle leaks like a broken dam.

Of course the statements got back to the kids targeted.   ESU investigated and put Gadsden on paid administrative leave.   The story  made the rounds on the Web and wound up in the national media, including USA Today.

Observation one:  No secrets on Web.

Observation two: Don’t believe everything you read, even in the respected traditional national media.

Why?

Because the Chronicle of Higher Education also ran a story on the incident, but it exposed a few more complications.  First, the professor is black and had written a piece for the Chronicle last year that she said proved to be controversial.  She felt this influenced the university’s action.

The USA Today piece didn’t include this information even though the Chronicle article came out before the USA Today story.  Did they intentionally leave it out?  Did they not do even the most cursory research?

Observation three:  Blog High Ed’s own Brad Ward of BlueFuego was quoted in the USA Today article.  Congratulations, Brad!

Finally,  I have a suggestion.  Every post-graduate program should create a  course that’s been needed in higher education for centuries.    It must to be a requirement so that when people earn their PhD they’ve at least been exposed to three credits worth of Common Sense.

More thoughts later.

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46 responses to “Facebook Whining Gets Prof Grounded

  1. anicholsonusat

    Hi there. I saw your post and just wanted to give you some context regarding the piece you saw on USA TODAY. We’ve recently started a new partnership with Insider Higher Ed, where we run their content on our site. The piece that you link to is one which fell under this arrangement. Here’s the story by Jack Stripling on InsideHigherEd.com http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/03/02/facebook

    Definitely lots of chatter on the topic!
    -Alex Nicholson (anicholson (at) usatoday.com)

  2. Higher learning clearly doesn’t mean higher intelligence. Facebook etc have been around for years and if it’s taught us anything it’s that we’re responsible for our own privacy.

    Maybe someone should teach a “Noobs 101 – Social Media and You” course.

    PS: The prof is a schmuck. As anyone can clearly see this isn’t a colour issue, it’s a competency issue. And she clearly isn’t when it comes to Social Media.

  3. Skylar Gonzalez

    I don’t think there’s anything accurate about this blog. She did NOT have any students on facebook page. She was new to facebook. And you idiots are just as irresponsible as USA Today. How about doing a lick of research before you start a blog?

  4. Great article, I think we live in a digital time where everything is watched, and you are right, there are no secrets!

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